If you’ve forgotten, Winslow — who went to high school in San Diego — seriously considered UW and was thought by some to be leaning toward signing with the Huskies for the Class of 2001 (detailed here) before deciding instead to sign with Miami.
On Twitter last night I linked this story from 2003 in which Winslow talked about how close he came to signing with UW and why he didn’t. It also leads off with a note about Aaron Rodgers and how close HE came to signing with UW, as well.
And given the success each has had since, it’s a tempting, if frustrating. “what if?” for UW fans to wonder what might have happened had UW signed each of those players.
Winslow would have been the heir apparent to Jerramy Stevens and teamed with Reggie Williams, Charles Frederick and the rest of the receivers UW had in that 2001-03 era. Rodgers would have contended (and given what we know now, certainly would have won) the battle to replace Cody Pickett following the 2002 season.
Winslow left Miami after the 2003 season, taken with the sixth pick of the 2004 NFL Draft — five picks before Williams. Rodgers stayed at Cal through the 2004 season, a year he led the Bears to a 10-2 record while the Huskies were going 1-10. While UW had lots of issues in 2004 — chief among them, the turmoil of the unexpected coaching change from Rick Neuheisel to Keith Gilbertson — uneven (at best) quarterback play was maybe the biggest on-field issue. Rodgers alone wouldn’t have solved everything, but he certainly would have made a difference. That UW came close to getting each but didn’t, however, kind of symbolizes Washington’s plight in that era.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— ESPN.com’s Ted Miller has Keith Price No. 6 on his list of the top 10 players in the Pac-12.
— Will Jake Locker break out this year in Tennessee?
— No joke — Stanford’s offensive coordinator position will now be known as the Andrew Luck Directorship of Offense.
— ESPN.com details how Lane Kiffin has changed at USC.
— SI.com’s Andy Staples with more on realignment.
— What does the NFL Draft say about college football?