Jonathan Smith, the former Oregon State quarterback, takes over as Washington’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. He had spent the past two seasons as the Boise State quarterbacks coach under Chris Petersen and the two seasons before that as the offensive coordinator at Montana.
Here’s a portion of Smith’s interviews with the media today at UW:
(on returning UW quarterbacks) Obviously, I’ve seen Cyler (Miles) play a bit on film. I’ve watched a little practice with Troy (Williams) and Jeff (Lindquist), and I think there’s some good talent there. Just getting the chance to meet them here for a couple of days, I think they’re good kids. I really do. And so I’m excited to be able to work with them, to develop them. I think they have a great background. Marques (Tuiasosopo) has done a phenomenal job, Sark was obviously a quarterback guy, so it’s not like I’m starting from ground zero.
(What about Coach Petersen makes him a good coach?) He’s a leader. He’s a great communicator. He’s a teacher. He doesn’t just teach the kids, he teaches the coaches. He sets a vision of what he wants things to look like and then he allows us to go coach and do that. He’s very up front and honest, which I appreciate. He’s honest with the players and I think they buy into that.
(on selling UW to recruits) There’s just so much to sell. You start here on campus with the university. The education is top-notch. Obviously, the facilities now are phenomenal. The setting — I don’t think there’s a better setting in college football. I’ve been here and experienced that. And then you get into the city of itself with Seattle — there’s so much to do, so much to see. The access to Seattle: anywhere you go in the country, you can get home on a direct flight. There’s just so much to sell.
(Your memories of playing at Husky Stadium as the Oregon State quarterback) I just remembered the passionate fan base and how loud it was. I just remember the effort that the players always played with at Washington. We had some close games when I was a player and how that crowd got into it was really a factor in the game. Just the communication from the opposing offense was tough. … You walked in and it was an electric atmosphere. … It’s a brutal place to play and hopefully we can continue that.
(on immediate priorities now) Well, recruiting is huge. We want to put together a solid signing class, so the next three, four weeks are going to be all about that. The second thing is we want to get to know these players, just start relationships with those guys.
(on being a major-college coordinator for the first time) Obviously very excited about it. I think coming to a place like this where you just have so much to sell is going to be a huge part. It’s a great city, the foundation’s been laid. I think dealing with these quarterbacks, I’m not starting at ground zero. … Coming from Boise, I know exactly how it’s been approached and I know it’s a group effort. I think Chris Strausser’s been with Chris Petersen now for 10-12 years. The amount of back-and-forth he gives is huge. Brent Pease is very familiar with what we’ve done, so we’ll lean on him. Very excited that Jordan Paopao wanted to stay on because he brings so much to the table with 1, what they’ve done offensively this last year; they did a lot of really good things. So as we look at it now for ways to built on what they’ve done in that regard.
(Is the offense going to look similar to what it was here at UW or what it was at Boise?) We’re going to start with what they’ve done and see how that can fit with the history of Boise’s offense. They went to a style like this (up-tempo) and started recruiting to that style, so the players that are in place now. So what’s best for them?