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

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July 29, 2008 9:03 PM

July questions, take six

Posted by Bob Condotta

Better get the July ones answered before August hits:

Q: What is the plan for special teams? Are we going to see more starters on the units or more of the younger bench players? How is Ryan Perkins' leg progressing?

A: Good questions that like a lot of the others, we'll really be able to answer a lot better in a few weeks once camp begins. Here's a link to a blog in April where new ST coach Brian White discussed his plans a little bit, saying he will use starters if needed. But how much will be easier to gauge once camp starts and the coaches get a look at the incoming players, many of whom could end up on special teams. Using regulars on special teams is always something of a double-edged sword --- it may help a unit a little bit, but it also increases the risk of injury for that player. As for Perkins, he has chronic knee problems now due to the injury of two years ago that aren't going to suddenly go away. The trick for him will be maintaining it well enough so that he can play. He said in the spring it's a year-to-year deal, if not almost month-to-month and day-to-day. So we'll have to see how he does once camp starts. Certainly, the kicking competition between Perkins and Erik Folk will be interesting to watch.

Q: Is there any evidence that the lack of ability to fill the AD position has any effect on recruiting? It seems that the lack of ability to have quality candidates apply for the AD post provides at glimpse of how UW's program is perceived by others around the country.

A: I don't think so. Recruits tend to be interested mostly in how the program they me be joining is being run. While the AD certainly impacts that, I don't think the hiring of an AD at this point would change what even Tyrone Willingham says is the main thing impacting recruiting so far --- the uncertainty over his future. A new AD wouldn't have made any move on that issue yet, I don't think, as it's pretty clear president Mark Emmert wants to wait to see how the team performs this season before deciding anything one way or the other on Willingham. I don't think it's accurate to say UW can't get any quality candidates to apply for the AD job (and it's always worth nothing that we don't know for sure everybody who has). Certainly, there are rumblings that some sitting ADs who might have been attracted to the job have been turned off by the manner in which Todd Turner was let go. Some may also be wary due to the fact that there are some major issues here --- the renovation of Husky Stadium is pretty complicated, and obviously something will have to be decided on Willingham this year one way or the other. But I also think if UW wanted to pay the right guy enough money there wouldn't be any perception problems. I think all kinds of guys would leap at this job. But the right combination of a guy who wants it who is wanted by Emmert and who will do it for the right price has yet to be found.

Q: In addition to Willingham's job uncertainty, do you think the series that the Times ran earlier in the year has hurt recruiting? It certainly couldn't have helped.

A: Obviously, I don't think UW coaches made copies of that to show prospective recruits. But at the risk of sounding like a house apologist, I really don't think that impacted recruiting. To 17- or 18-year-old recruits, 2000 may as well have been the Lincoln administration. I think recruits are almost solely concerned with what will happen once they get to a school rather than worrying about the past. Maybe it would matter a little if any of the people in charge then were in charge now, but obviously they aren't. I know a lot of people questioned the timing of the series for recruiting reasons, but the reality is that every kid who had committed to sign with UW last year at the time the series ran ended up signing. I haven't heard any recruit, or recruiting expert, ever bring it up as a factor. So no, I don't think it has impacted recruiting.

Q: What's the skinny on the first RB the Dawgs will face, LeGarrette Blount. The one brief national media piece I saw made him sound like the second coming of Corey Dillon. How does the #1 JC RB end up at Oregon? And why can't the Huskies land JC's like the Ducks. I hear rumors UW is just too tough
academically? True?

A: I tread carefully answering a question on Blount --- I've been accused of mentioning him too much on here, considering this is a UW blog, but have done so because I figured there would be interest in Washington's first opponent of the season. Anyway, Ted Miller of ESPN wrote a nice story on Blount last spring that explained his history well, and at the risk of merely repeating everything he wrote, I'll just link to it here. One reason he picked Oregon is that like a lot of JC players, Blount was looking for somewhere he was pretty sure he could play immediately, and Ducks had that to offer after Jonathan Stewart left early. On the other issue, it's not completely accurate to say UW can't land JC players as the the Huskies have signed a number of them through the years --- seven in the 2006 recruiting class alone. Dillon was one, as well. But some close to the program do feel that the Huskies are hurt in being able to go after a variety of JC players due to the lack of a physical education program. Former UW coach and recruiting coordinator Dick Baird makes that argument in this story here from a years ago.

All for now.

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