I had a bit of a rough week. I had to travel to the Twin Cities and the amount of work load while I was up there totally flattened me to the point where I didn't have time to read, write, or publish anything after Tuesday. Thanks to everyone who chipped in with news of current events while I was gone.
I like the Mike Heyward hire quite a bit. He is another hire with Northwest roots who isn't part of the USC/Idaho coaching tree. Whenever you bring in folks like Mike, Justin, and Peter you are importing a new culture and some ideas that tend to freshen up the outlook of the entire staff and program.
Heyward is an excellent young coach who also happens to be one of the best recruiters in the conference. This is a guy that Wilcox really wanted to work with and I think he will be able to get a lot of needed improvement out of our secondary going forward.
Sark confirmed that the next hire will be a new defensive line coach to take over for Johnny Nansen who will continue to oversee special teams and recruiting. There has been some speculation that he could also be replaced after LOI day but at the moment I think they have decided to retain him.
UW is still going hard after Cal's Tosh Lupoi even though he has reportedly told Sark that he is happy at Cal and wants to stay there. He only makes $164K and Washington's first offer probably doubled that. The Huskies may offer up to $500K to pry him away from Cal which the Bears would be unable to match. That is a pretty wild amount of money for an assistant coach who isn't a coordinator.
Like I said earlier this week...if UW is successful in hiring Lupoi I doubt the move becomes official until after signing day because of his loyalty to Cal. In other words he probably won't be pulling a Demetrice Martin or Al Yarber type move.
The Nick Montana transfer rumors are just that...rumors. He is enrolled and he is currently on campus according to Dawgman and Bob Condotta. Obviously being stuck behind Keith Price with a lot of talent coming up behind him isn't exactly the optimum position to be in.
That being said he saw the field this year as the primary backup and he even has a start under his belt so it isn't like he was wasting away on the bench. He is getting a quality education from the UW and he is also being tutored by two of the best QB coaches in the world....so I think he sticks around at least through the spring and probably through next season.
Nick is a really good kid. The coaches and his fellow players really like him. He has a lot of improving to do to become a starting PAC 12 QB but you can say that about almost any second year player.
Big Men on Campus this Weekend
The dead period is now over and the reformulated Washington staff enters the stretch run of the recruiting season. The Huskies are hosting eight players this weekend. MLB Blake Rodgers, WR Michael Rector, and DB Darien Washington are the solid commits who will be visiting this weekend.
They are also hosting three kids from Poly HS in Long Beach which is good to see. Poly is one the top programs in the west and they haven't sent a lot of players to Washington over the past decade. Attempting to build a pipeline to Poly is a really good thing.
CB Randall Goforth from Poly is the biggest uncommitted name who will be on campus this weekend. Last we heard he was a 60/40 lean toward UW. This will be Coach Heyward's first chance to make a major close as a Husky assistant.
OLB Salamo Fisois who is also from Poly High originally committed to ASU but he is now seriously considering Washington because of the coaching change. UW has room for one more and the 6'1 215 Fisosis could be that guy.
DE Alonzo Williams (also from Poly) is a really good looking athlete with a great frame to build on. He originally committed to Texas A&M but is now looking elsewhere because of the Aggie coaching change. Williams has only lived on the west coast for a year.
Williams is actually from Louisiana so it comes down to whether he wants to stay our west or not. Scout has him rated as a three star and he would be a real great get if Washington can persuade him to come north. His film is fantastic and if I was rating him I would give him four stars.
S Demariay Drew from Livermore, Ca is a new name on the board who the Huskies recently offered.the kid is a real stud who is on the road to overcoming some academic problems which probably limited some of his earlier offers. He has a number of current Pac 12 offers and could be a great get.
OL Michael Kneip from Bellevue HS is a definite plan B guy that the Huskies are taking a long look at. He doesn't have an offer yet but that could change over the next three weeks. Nobody is going to mistake this guy for Josh Garnett, but he has a good work ethic, and a good dose of nasty. He got the job done for the Wolverines last season and is the type of overlooked kid who has helped push Boise State into the top ten nationally.
This is another requested link back to the Stadium Journey website. We did a link to them last week for their review of the Alamo Dome during Alamo Bowl/USAA week. This week they have a new review of old Husky Stadium. It is a relevant because they wanted to good before and after snap shot of the facility before it begins to fade into memory.
This is a real clever idea of a site if you want to get a snap shot of the various football stadium across the country before you visit. You can count on me visiting before we head to LSU this fall.
Cats and Dawgs
The Cougars and the Huskies face off at Hec Ed on Sunday. Both of these teams have been terrible up to this point but the 3-1 Huskies are still capable of winning the conference if they can keep winning at home and splitting occasionally on the road. The Pac 12 is officially down and anyone...and I mean anyone can still win it.