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Husky Football Blog

Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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July 9, 2008 7:51 PM

Noble reportedly coming late, other links

Posted by Bob Condotta

A few notes and links for Wednesday night:

--- Dawgman.com is reporting on the site's message board that incoming DT Craig Noble has not yet passed the California High School Exit Exam and won't be able to get a result on a retake for three weeks or so, meaning he won't be able to enroll for the summer bridge program and could miss a week or two of fall camp. Practice starts Aug. 4. Noble, from Woodland Hills, Calif., was regarded as one of UW's top recruits and expected to compete for immediate playing time on a defensive line thin on experience. Arriving late obviously won't help his chances. UW coaches have said at least two of the incoming frosh could play on the D-line. The others are Everette Thompson, an end; Senio Kelemete, likely an end; and Alameda Ta'amu, a tackle.

--- Former Seattle PI reporter Ted Miller, now writing a Pac-10 blog on ESPN.com that is threatening to put the rest of us out of business, has this interview with prospective Oregon QB Nate Costa. In it, Costa says that "I have a hatred for UW.'' Really, though, it would have been an upset if he had said anything else. It would be like asking David Stern if he had a hatred for honesty, integrity, loyalty and tradition (really, I'm not bitter at all).

--- Nick Hundley, the son of former UW defensive coordinator Tim Hundley --- who worked under Rick Neuheisel --- made his Major League debut last Friday.

--- I'm really not linking this just because it mentions me. But after I detailed UW's Class of 2005 the other day, Rob Moseley of the Eugene Register-Guard decided to check in on Oregon's Class of the same season and found that it hasn't had much more staying power than Washington's.

All for now.

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July 9, 2008 11:53 AM

Garcia "way ahead of schedule''

Posted by Bob Condotta

At the kind invitation of UW's sports performance coach Trent Greener, I happened to take in the team's off-season conditioning and weight lifting session today. I'll have more on that later.

But thought I would pass along now a brief conversation I had with center Juan Garcia, who was wearing a smile as wide as any he has had since before he suffered a Lisfranc injury during spring practice in April.

Garcia happily reported that his foot is now out of a boot and that he will hopefully begin jogging in a couple of days and that he is growing increasingly optimistic that he could be able to play most of this season.

"It's way ahead of schedule,'' he said. "We were looking at (returning) at mid-season but now we're looking at two games into the season, so we'll see what happens.''

The caveat is that this remains a tricky injury and as Garcia admits, the real test will come when he puts the kind of pressure on the foot that can only be found playing football.

Garcia said how the foot will respond to that that won't really be known until he goes through a few practices. He's hoping he may be able to take part in practices beginning in mid-August, if not a little earlier just for some brief appearanes.

"Maybe throw me in for a couple of plays to see if it's actually going to hold,'' he said.

But UW trainers and coaches plan to be as careful with the injury as possible since a false step could put Garcia back to step one.

Garcia said he has been chomping at the bit to push his recovery but coaches and teammates are doing what they can to keep him in check.

He said on Tuesday he watched the team's voluntary 11-on-11 drills and asked if he could go in for a play. He said Jake Locker said sure, as long as the team walked through it. Garcia wanted more, however, and he thought his pleas had eventually worn down his teammates as they agreed to let him in for a play. But when the snap came, Garcia reported with a laugh that defensive tackle Cameron Elisara backed away, saying "I'm not taking any chances.''

"It was pretty funny,'' Garcia said.

Garcia said he will have the foot examined again by doctors next week to see how well it is healing. All previous reports, however, have been good and Garcia said that so far "not going to surgery has been a good thing. I feel pretty good. Maybe all those prayers have been working.''

Unable to run yet, Garcia spends his workout sessions almost entirely in the weight room, and he said he has added to his upper body strength --- his weight is up to 320, though he said he'd like to be back to 310 for the season.

"My strength is there,'' he said. "I've just got to get my stamina and conditioning back up.''

But Garcia said the recovery to date has him feeling like his old self. "My confidence is starting to come back,'' he said. "But no matter what happens, the one thing nobody is ever going to be able to take away from me is that I did not quit.''


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July 9, 2008 10:21 AM

Wednesday links and notes

Posted by Bob Condotta

First off, thanks for a lot of good comments in the "suggestions'' post last night. One thing that seems clear is that a lot of you do like the links. So with that in mind, here are a few new ones to pass along as well as a Jake Locker-baseball note at the bottom:

--- The Idaho Statesman has this story today asking the question "How young is too young?'' when it comes to offering scholarships to high school football players. The test case in this story is Skyline sophomore-to-be WR Kasen Williams , who has been offered by UW, Boise State and UCLA. The story includes quotes from UW coach Tyrone Willingham that were proferred a few months ago at that convention in Dallas.

--- SI.com's Stewart Mandel empties his mailbag, and among the questions is one asking which UW game offers the best coaching storyline --- the return to Seattle of former coach Husky Rick Neuheisel and UCLA or the matchup with Notre Dame and Charlie Weis, pitting Willingham against his old school? Mandel argues that it's the latter, saying the enmity ND fans still hold toward Willingham is greater than that held by UW fans toward Neuheisel. Not being that close to the ND situation, hard for me to really know. It seems curious if true, however, considering Willingham was fired merely for not winning enough games while Neuheisel was fired for his off-field actions that helped put the UW on a downward path that it is still trying to climb out of, then sued the school and won a hefty settlement. Mandel also puts the onus on Willingham this season, writing "there are officially no more excuses'' for Willingham.

--- The Bleacher Report has this look at the best games in September, a list that includes the UW-Oklahoma game. The author's view of the Huskies is that "they were better than 4-9 last season.''

--- While the Huskies are still looking for a permament AD, Notre Dame may hire one this week. The list of candidates includes one also rumored at one time as in the hunt at UW, Bubba Cunningham of Tulsa.

--- Heisman Pundit has this look at the Top Programs in College Football. Most are no-brainers. Interesting, however, to see Cal and Oregon on the list of those "On the Cusp.'' I'd still argue that you have to take a longer-term view if you are really judging a "program,'' --- to me, a program signifies something that is long-lasting and will survive a coaching change or two. Cal no doubt has been one of the better teams in the Pac-10 since 2002. Still, the Bears haven't been to a BCS bowl since 1959. Does the recent run really make Cal a better program than a UCLA or UW?

--- Former Husky Caesar Rayford is included in a picture that accompanies this story on diminutive running back Stefan Logan of the BC Lions.

--- I'm told UW quarterback Jake Locker will play for the Bellingham Bells in their three home games this weekend against Corvallis. However, his baseball-playing schedule beyond that is uncertain. Locker has played in just seven games as he has lived up to his pledge of concentrating on football-related activities this off-season, so far seeming to do a lot less baseball than was originally anticipated by some.

All for now.

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