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

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July 22, 2008 3:59 PM

Media guides released

Posted by Bob Condotta

Happened to be at UW today and was handed a copy of the football media guide for this season. They aren't available yet to the general public, so if you usually get one sent to you, it will be a week or two before they come --- the school had a few shipped early to hand out at Pac-10 media day Thursday.

This year represents a change in how the Huskies have handled their media guides. New NCAA rules a few years ago limited schools to printing no more than 208 pages in a media guide. That meant a lot of schools, such as Washington,. had to cut out a lot of information.

Since schools used the media guides for recruiting purposes, as well --- including lots of info aimed at selling the school to recruits, such as pictures of the campus, flashy bios of the coaches, etc. --- most of what got cut was record book-type stuff.

What some schools are doing, however, is publishing a spring media guide aimed solely at the media, one including all of the stats and historical data, etc. --- one that can't be given to recruits --- and another in the fall that is aimed at recruits. UW is apparently the first Pac-10 school to join this trend, which appears to have started in The Big Ten, publishing this record book and media guide in the spring and now publishing another one aimed largely at recruits this fall.

The fall media guide does include a lot of player and historical info, but it's a lot flashier, more of a yearbook-style. It includes full-page pictures and bios on every Husky scholarship player, the kind of thing that will be perfect for kids to get signed on Picture Day.

There's no real news in the fall guide --- everybody is included other than those already known to no longer be on the team such as J.R. Hasty -- but one item of note is that LB Joshua Gage is listed with the scholarship players. Under his picutre it states that the "former walk-on earned a scholarship for the 2007 season and again in 2008.''

No other walk-ons are listed in the scholarship section. WR Charles Hawkins, who earned a scholarship last year, is listed in the walk-ons section. That doesn't mean Hawkins or other walk-ons couldn't earn scholarships later, just that they aren't considered scholarship players heading into the season.

Also, someone had asked about Tripper Johnson's eligiblity. He is listed in the guide as a fourth-year junior, meaning he has two more years to play. As noted in the spring, he took a few JC classes while playing minor league baseball that impacted his eligibility.

The cover features action drawings of Jake Locker and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim with Juan Garcia, Donald Butler and D'Andre Goodwin on the back. The inside covers feature photo montages of Huskies in the NFL, such as Laywer Milloy, Mark Bruener, Marques Tuiasosopo and Reggie Williams --- not something UW has ever done before and obviously aimed at showing recruits Huskies who have had success in the NFL.

There is no two-deep in the guide and there may not be an official one until the week before the first game, when the Huskies traditionally release it.

The guide is not yet available on-line, but should be soon.

And speaking of Locker, he will accompany UW coach Tyrone Willingham to Pac-10 Media Day Thursday. This is the final week of summer classes for most players --- the quarter officially ends Wednesday --- so players are spending this week finishing that up, and many will then head home for what will be their last break before practice begins Aug. 4. Players will be due back on campus Aug. 2.

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July 22, 2008 1:09 PM

Camp schedule set

Posted by Bob Condotta

The Huskies have released an initial version of their fall camp schedule to media.

UW will hold its first practice Monday, Aug. 4, at 3:45 p.m. The first two-a-day is Saturday, Aug. 9, after the NCAA-mandated acclimatization period.

UW will take off each Sunday through the three-weeks of camp but will practice at least once every other day until leaving for Eugene on Aug. 29.

On many days, UW will again hold split practices --- half the team going in one session, half in another --- something coach Tyrone Willingham has done throughout his time at Washington, feeling fewer players on the field can result in more and better work for those who are out there.

As noted the other day, Picture Day is Aug. 9 at 1 p.m.

There are no practices slated to be open to the media, a switch from previous years when at least one or two would be open, including the first practice. Media will once again be allowed to view the first 25 minutes of each practice, but no more.

As always, however, this is subject to change. Other than Picture Day, however, I don't see any events on here that would be open to the general public.

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July 22, 2008 12:06 PM

Lappano: "We know we have to win football games"

Posted by Bob Condotta

Interesting interview with UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano on the Dave "Softy''Mahler show on KJR-AM today as the coach admitted that "we know we have to win football games'' to start reeling in recruits for the Class of 2009.

Lappano was on for 10 minutes or so and Mahler ended the questioning by asking about the fact that UW doesn't yet have any commitments (I don't have a real detailed transcript as I heard all this in the car, pulling over briefly to scribble a few notes).

Lappano said the encouraging thing is that "a lot of kids haven't told us no yet.'' But he said the UW coaches know that recruits also want to see where the program is headed before commiting.

"A lot of kids are testing the water, if you will,'' Lappano said.

He added that "that's how important the Oregon game is'' to get off to a good start and show recruits the corner is being turned. He said if UW wins a few games early "a lot of kids will start raising their hands saying yes.''

On other matters:

--- Lappano said he is hearing good reports on UW's voluntary workouts this summer, saying that the team decided to do some 11-on-11 work this year for the first time, opposed to all 7-on-7, to involve the offensive linemen more. "From what I gather, they are going well,'' he said.

--- He said Jake Locker has come away impressed with the play of some of the 2008 recruits who are now on campus. "He says they are everything everybody thought they were and maybe a little bit more,'' Lappano said.

--- Freshmen he mentioned as having a chance to play immediately were Chris Polk, Kavario Middleton, Cody Bruns and Jermaine Kearse (I'm sure he figures more could, as well, but that's just who he mentioned). "They have a chance to get on the field,'' he said.

--- He said that while Locker has taken the lead in guiding the offensive workouts that Donald Butler and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim have been the leaders on the defensive side.

--- Asked about the tough early schedule, he said it is what it is but also puts a premium on the coaches getting the freshmen ready to play. "They can't be freshmen,'' he said.

--- He repeated something he has said often before, asserting that this team "will have the most speed'' of any since he has been at UW since 2005. "That's something you can't coach,'' he said. He said he thinks the speed will be a particular factor on the perimeter.

--- He said the key task the first few weeks of camp will be "identifying playmakers.'' He said he thinks the young guys possess a lot of talent and the goal will be to "get them the football in a lot of different ways.''

--- He said playing Oregon the first game could be a real advantage for UW since "I'm not sure that they know who their quarterback is right now .... Why not get that guy right out of the blocks''' instead of waiting until six or seven weeks into the season. "I like that,'' he said. (One thing to remember is that the Oregon game was originally set for Sept.13 so it really hasn't been moved up all that much).

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July 22, 2008 9:45 AM

July questions, take three

Posted by Bob Condotta

Off with another round. ...

Q: So, anything new on the AD search?

A: Officially, no. Scott Woodward is still the acting AD and said late last week his status hasn't changed. Many around the school are assuming Woodward will do the job for another year or so and that that could be announced sometime soon. However, at least one source indicated that Bill Moos may still be in the running. Moos has never commented publicly on the Washington position. Through his lawyer, he said several times earlier he had not been contacted. But his name has continued to circulate through the rumor mill. A UW official said this week that UW president Mark Emmert will not comment on the search until it is completed and said only that the search continues.

Q: You want a question? Please tell me why the Huskies won't be a surprise team this year? 7-5 or 6-6 is definetly possible with the development of Jake Locker.....even with the young RB's and WR's, I can see Jake's leadership gettting the Huskies at least 5, possibly 6 wins this season.

A: My first response would be that I don't think 5-6 wins would be viewed as much of a surprise. UW is being picked 6-7-8 in the conference, which is about in the 4-5-win range or so. But if you're asking me why not, I would say that UW is really young at three key spots --- WR, RB and DL. The latter is especially worrisome, but I wouldn't rule out the challenge that the youth at RB and WR may present. Sure, those guys look really talented and all, but there's still a learning curve there --- I remember Charles Frederick, one of the more heralded receivers UW has ever brought in, making zero catches as a freshmen. I know experience can be overrated at times, but I also think that college football is one place where it remains hugely important. There's a big difference between being 18 and never having played and 21 and having played in 30 games. I agree that Locker gives UW a fighting chance in every game. But as has been well-documented, he also needs to show that he is becoming a more accurate passer. That will be even more important this year, especially early, when the young guys will need to get some confidence. Locker and his receivers will need to take advantage of every opportunity. This is also now a program that hasn't had a winning season since 2003. There is nobody left on the roster who remembers going to bowl games and having winning seasons. The team will need some early success to get some confidence, and that obviously won't be easy against that schedule (and remember here, I'm not trying to be all doom and gloom, just answering the question).

Q: What is the status of Jason Wells?

A: He is expected to be ready to go for the start of fall camp after having surgery last fall to repair the knee injury suffered against USC. He sat out the spring but was often seen running stairs, etc., and I saw him during my trip up to a conditioning session. But the real test, as is the case with anyone coming off a major knee injury, is once the pads go on and the real hitting starts.

Q: How does Johnie Kirton like his new role at Dline and does he think he will have more impact there as a player? Any possibility Luke Kravitz plays DE?

A: Kirton said in the spring he liked it just fine. He was recruited by some schools to be a DL and there is obviously a lot of opportunity there, so he seemed intrigued by the possibilites. As for Kravitz, I can't imagine such a switch. He's a fifth-year senior --- guys usually don't switch in the fall of their final season. And he's the backup fullback, a pretty valuable position, so he's pretty needed there, I think.

All for now.

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July 22, 2008 12:22 AM

Alumni updates

Posted by Bob Condotta

With NFL camps about to kick off, there's starting to be a lot of news on ex-Huskies out there, though we'll begin with a former Dawg now playing baseball:

--- Scott Hanson of our staff caught up with former UW quarterback Johnny DuRocher, who had been steadily working his way up the Mariners' farm system but is temporarily sidelined with an elbow strain.

--- Former UW linebacker Joe Lobendahn has moved his way into the starting lineup for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (it's about halfway down this story).

--- Silver and Black Illustrated has some good pre-training camp assessments of the Raiders roster, which currently includes four former Huskies. First, here's the outlook for the team's QBs and RBs, which includes Marques Tuiasosopo and Louis Rankin; followed by a look at the receiving corps, which includes Marcel Reece; and finally, a look at the defensive line, which includes Greyson Gunheim.

--- And wrapping it up, a Dallas Cowboys beat writer ponders the future of Isaiah Stanback among many other issues in this mailbag.

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