Recruits, Roundball and what looks like the end of a short era in Eugene.
Take your pick, son. They all have something to offer. But only one will get you Dots. You know what to do.
- The balance of power is about to shift in the P12N. While Chip Kelly to the Browns is not quite done yet, it looks like a certainty that the Oregon head coach has coached his last game for the Ducks.
Duck Offensive Coordinator, Mark Helfrich, has already been tabbed as the backup plan. I have zero doubt that Chip Kelly will be successful in the pros. I'm more interested in the situation with Mark Helfrich. Helfrich, a 39 year old native Oregonian, has been the Oregon OC for the past four seasons. Prior to joining Chip Kelly, Helfrich was a disciple of Dirk Koetter and followed him from Boise State to Arizona State. A good friend of mine is very close to the ASU program and friendly with Helfrich. He tells me that Helfrich is a real salt of the earth kind of guy who has strong moral compass. He also hinted to me that he thought Mark would be more interested in blending in his own style to the Oregon offense as opposed to simply being Chip 2.0. Given what he has at QB, don't be too surprised to see Oregon blend in more of an air attack. Given that Koetter is a notorious spread-pass guy and that Helfrich was never a play-caller for Chip Kelly, I could see Helfrich evolving (not overhauling) the Duck offense and calling the same type of games that he called for both Boise St and the Sun Devils. Either way, there will be a change and this seems like a pivot point for the conference hierarchy.
- Ray Horton, a former All-American defensive back with with Huskies and current Defensive Coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals, is going to get a shot at landing a head coaching job in the NFL. His current employer has already spoken to him about the position as they look to sort out their vacancy. Horton may not be well known to some of you younger Dawgs (and, even for me, he's more of a distant memory as a player). He's a pretty cool guy who is known to be generous. I remember John B noting for us here on the 'Pound that Horton once made an incredibly generous gesture to another employee when he was with the Steelers.
- Lots of recruiting news to get to. UW has received two big commitments in the past 24 hours. The first is from DE prospect Joe "JoJo" Mathis. Mathis had previously committed to UW before opening his recruitment back up so that he could confirm his decision. Mason Kelley ($) notes that the landing of another major d-line prospect (to go along with Qualls, Farria and Hall) is a sign of the prowess of Tosh Lupoi and the revamped Husky D coaching staff.
- Speaking of Kelley ($), he has a great article on his blog that gives Husky Fans some great background on the ringleader of this recruiting class, Elijah Qualls.
- Also announcing for UW was the dynamic John Ross. Condotta pulled out this article on Ross from earlier in the season. Ross had suitors from all over the P12, Michigan, and Miami. He has the potential to invigorate special teams and provide the kind of dynamic playmaking that we have yet to really see out of Sark's offense.
- On the flip side, and as predicted by a few of you recruit-niks, Sean Harlow has decommitted from UW.
San Clemente, Calif., OL Sean Harlow has de-committed from #Washington— Adam Gorney (@adamgorney) January 5, 2013
- After all the dust settles, 247Sports now has UW sniffing the top 10 in recruiting classes.
- We all know that Steve Sarkisian is a likeable guy. But did you know that he's the fifth most popular coach in all of college football? Well, kinda. I wonder if he'll keep his status now that he has been turning down interview opportunities with NFL clubs.
- A couple of old friends (?) have found new homes. Former Husky DC Kent Baer will relive his P12 glory days of setting the wrong kinds of defensive records as the new DC for the Colorado Buffaloes. The man who broke Baer's records, Nick Holt, got himself a new gig as the DC for Western Kentucky (which is perilously close to me here in Memphis).
- As you all have heard, Austin Seferian-Jenkins has declined the opportunity to play basketball this year. This is a sound decision by ASJ (I'm assuming it was his to make) as it gives him the opportunity to heal up after a long season and to get himself focused both on his academics and what could be his last full year in school. College is a special time in life and it goes too fast as it is.
- The Huskies open P12 play today against the Cougars. Shutting down Ken Bone's squad, which features POY candidate Brock Motum, will be a tall task for the Huskies. You can check out Percy's excellent scouting report over on his Times Blog. Dybas and Caple have a Q&A session here for you to get more familiar with our opponent.
- Scott Johnson wonders if the Huskies will even rank in the upper half of what appears to be a peaking P12 conference.