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Mailbag - Post-signing Day, Pre-Spring #1

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If you think you're one in a million, just remember that means there are 7,000 people exactly like you.

Is that Kid or Play?  Anyone?
Is that Kid or Play? Anyone?
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Useless fact, you say?

  • If a set of identical twin women married a set of identical twin men, and they subsequently had children, all of the kids would genetically be siblings.
  • It has never rained in Calama, a town in the Atacama Desert of Chile.
  • In the 1800's, France gave out a critical photography patent as a gift to the entire world - except for Britain.  They had to pay.
  • Cats can't taste sweet things.
  • Even though always portrayed as such in illustrations, the "Humpty Dumpty" rhyme never says he's an egg.
  • 101 Dalmations, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, and Mulon are the only Disney tales in which both parents are present, and neither dies throughout the course of the movie.
  • Because of the rotation of the earth, an object can be thrown farther if thrown to the west.
  • The Fremont Bridge in Seattle is raised and lowered more than any other drawbridge in the world.
  • In the US, a pound of potato chips costs about 200 times more than a pound of potatoes.
  • 10% if the Russian government's income comes from the sale of vodka.
  • A person cannot taste any type of food without the presence of saliva.  For example, if dry salt is placed on a dry tongue, there will be no effect.
  • Nearly 80% of all animals on earth have six legs.
  • In the marriage ceremony of the ancient Inca Indians, the couple was considered wed when they took off their sandals and gave them to each other.
  • Most collect calls are made on Father's Day.
  • Women manage the money and pay the bills in around 75% of households in the US.
  • A rainbow can only be seen when the sun is 40 degrees or less above the horizon line - early morning or late afternoon.
  • It costs more to buy a new car today than it did for Christopher Columbus to take three trips to and from the New World.
  • One quarter of the world's population lives on less than $200 per year.  90 million people live on less than $75 per year.
  • Only female mosquitoes bite, and they are attracted to the color blue at twice the rate of any other color.
To your questions.

jhfstyle24:

How does UW stand on Sarell, and the big in-state guys in general, such as Bainivalu and Ahmed? Will we lock down the borders this class?

UWDP: Foster Sarell could very well end up being the highest-rated recruit ever hailing from Washington.  At this point, he can pretty much pick any school in the country to attend - he's currently the #1 offensive tackle and #6 overall recruit according to scout.com.  The conventional wisdom right now is that Sarell will likely end up choosing between Stanford and Washington, but the allure for playing for national championships at Alabama under Nick Saban and Jim Harbaugh's well-documented ability and willingness to climb trees and offer to make breakfast in the morning could keep Michigan in the running.  Sarell has said he's going to wait until signing day to announce his choice.  My personal opinion, based on very little research or specific knowledge of the recruiting process, is that the longer an in-state guy waits to make his decision, the less likely it is he'll wind up staying home.  But I think a lot of factors work in the favor of the local school here.  (flips coin.....)  Looks to me that a strong season from the Dawgs is going to be enough to keep Sarell in the Pacific Northwest, and he commits sometime between the end of the season and the bowl game.

The Dawgs appear to be in better shape with Henry Bainivalu, at least in terms of getting an early commitment.  Another guy that could go just about anywhere in the country, Bainvilalu has a definite connection with the UW coaches, and has visited a number of times.  My useless opinion is that he ends up a Husky sometime this summer.

Salvon Ahmed could probably play any of four positions in college (safety, corner, running back, or receiver) plus return kicks, but prefers running back.  Ahmed seems really intrigued by USC at this point, and also has offers from Stanford, Oregon, Cal, Utah, and WSU, among others.  There are others here with more insight about Ahmed, and hopefully they'll chime in in the comments section.

Hunter Bryant could end up on either side of the ball in college, either as a tight end or defensive end.  The good news for the Huskies is that Bryant has very strong ties to the UW - both parents attended, and his dad Eric was a football player and one-time strength coach for the team.  His older siblings have all attended the UW, and sister Elisa was a standout thrower on the track team.

Those are the four in-state players that currently hold offers from the UW.  As the recruiting season really heats up this summer, other names are likely to emerge.

ATotalWimp:

WIth all the hullabaloo around recruiting and NSD finishing up for this year, who are the redshirt freshmen from last year's class that we may have forgotten but should look out for in the coming season?

UWDP: I'd wager eleventy thousand dollars the first name that's going to come to the minds of most Husky fans is Benning Potoa'e.  I was absolutely shocked not only in the fact that he redshirted in 2015, but more so that the decision to do it was made publicly so early in the season (early September).  He's a rather large lad at 270 pounds right now, and right now there's some speculation on where he's ultimately going to wind up as a Husky.  There's lots of talk about him playing the Buck, but Potoa'e isn't going to get any smaller, so playing him there would represent yet another departure from any sort of norm from the position for the UW coaches.  Personally, I'd rather he wind up at the strong defensive end position held down by Taniela Tupou in 2015 (and of course, backing up Elijiah Qualls, who would also be moved there in my perfect world).

Ricky McCoy was another player that was mentioned by the UW coaches on at least a couple of occasions as standing out during his redshirt year.  He's bulked up and could be in the rotation at nose tackle.

For the first time in the last two decades, the trajectory of the UW's offensive line is actually brighter on the edges than it is on the interior, with Trey Adams and Kaleb McGary at tackle.  Henry Roberts was one of the highest-rated recruits in the UW's 2015 recruiting class, and spent his redshirt season transitioning from tackle to guard.  He and fellow redshirt freshman Jared Hilbers could compete for starting spots in 2016, and give the offensive line legitimate depth it hasn't enjoyed since the Eisenhower Administration.  So it seems.

Secret Player to Watch:  Not much has been made of the signing of Ben Burr-Kirven, mainly given the lack of measureables, but when you watch his high school film, he's a guy with a knack for finding the ball, and making plays that his size wouldn't suggest he should be able.  Even with some veterans and more highly-touted players in front of him, I expect Burr-Kirven will come off his redshirt season and be a special teams ball hawk and highly valuable depth player for the UW's linebackers.  You heard it here first.  Remember that.  Others to watch out for:  QB Jake Browning, OT Trey Adams, RB Miles Gaskin

forsytha:

Interested on Murray's upcoming decision to go pro or not... What are the conversations like that go on with coaches behind closed doors? Would he realistically leave early with no jumpshot or muscle on his body? Does the lure of having a chance to create something crazy special alongside Markelle Fultz factor into it? Thank you!

Ben Nice:

Is there any talk about Dejounte Murrary going to the NBA after this season?

UWDP: The talk of Dejounte Murray heading to the NBA has really heated up as of late.  At the beginning of the season, I don't think anyone mentioned Murray in the 2016 draft whatsoever.  The latest mock draft from NBAdraft.net shows him going 10th overall.

What should worry Husky fans, at least a little, is that the bigger name guys that put these sorts of things together don't usually include players they haven't heard are at least thinking about leaving early, because otherwise their already-worthless seventy versions of their mock drafts will be worth even less.  So, there's a possibility that at some point, someone who at least claims to have some type of connection to Murray has said Murray might leave after this season.  Read whatever you want into that.  Could mean something, could mean nothing.

Dejounte Murray isn't ready to play in the NBA right now.  Physically, he's no where near strong enough.  As a player, his game has some pretty large holes.  But the draft is based on potential, and Murray has the size (particularly his wingspan, which is almost 6'10"), and nothing about his game is fundamentally broken.  He's a good ballhandler, when he stays under control.  He's got good mechanics on his shot, but it's just not going in right now.  And he's talented.  If he were to declare for the draft, I don't think there's any way 30 teams are going to pass on him.  And it only takes one to fall in love with him....

If Murray were the 30th pick, he'd be guaranteed about $3 million.  If he lasted for years, that total jumps to just shy of $5 million.  And if the team that drafts him picks up his fifth season, he's going to back almost $8 million.  Should he find his way into the lottery, those numbers in the first three years more than double.  I don't think he's a lottery pick in 2016, and I think he would be in 2017, but even the low-end numbers are pretty tough to pass up, especially when you have the supreme confidence that you'll not only fulfill that first contract, but get to the much more lucrative second one.  The confidence that all 19 year old players seem to have....

Lorenzo Romar is going to be completely honest with Murray.  Probably to a fault.  If he thinks Murray is either ready for the NBA, or at least close enough that the round-the-clock training and game work he'd get as an NBA player will keep him in the league, he's going to say so.  If Romar doesn't believe that, he's going to say it as well.  What Murray does with the counsel is going to be entirely up to him.

I'm willing to wager that Murray enjoys being a Washington Husky, and would love to win big here, but that his time is a means to an NBA end.  He could leave after this season and either be Tony Wroten, or he could be Zach LaVine.

Dawggummit:

How is basketball recruiting for 2016 looking? More specifically, how are things trending with Jaylen Nowell and Michael Porter? Thanks.

UWDP: There are people that know a lot more about this than I do, so I hope they'll provide some insight below.  But it seems to me that the relationship the Huskies have with Porter isn't going to be enough to sway him away from one of the basketball blue bloods for his one-year stop in the NCAA, and that the numbers might not work out for Nowell to end up a Husky.

Young_Huskyfan206:

At this point in the season, do you think Romar's seat has cooled a bit? If we dwindle down the stretch and don't make the tournament is there any chance he is let go? Thank you guys.

UWDP: It's only cooled if you think it was hot to begin with.  I don't think it really was.  Regardless of what we fans think of the results on the floor versus Romar's value as an ambassador for the University of Washington, his bosses put a pretty high value on it.  It's a sliding scale, and "Romar Off the Court" is pretty much unimpeachable in any meaningful way.  The folks that make the decision to fire or retain him have shown they have quite a long leash for what happens on the court, and are going to give him a glacial epoch for the results to follow.  The trajectory is as higher than it's been in a decade, so maybe that isn't all bad....

This is a team that was projected to finish 11th in the conference.  Romar has turned recruiting around, at least in the short term.  Short of some off-the-court meltdown, I don't think his job was in any jeopardy this season no matter what.

afish111:

With our increase in overall skill, athleticism, and style of play, do you think we will start to see more sellouts at Hec Ed? I remember when Hec Ed was the toughest place to play on the West Coast, would be nice to get back there for games against teams other than Arizona. P.S. I mean if we can continually get 6-60k-65k into Century Link and Husky Stadium no reason we can't continuously get 10k into Hec Ed. Am I right? Thank you guys!

UWDP: The style certainly helps, but the only thing that's going to bring fans back is winning games.  And even then, it's going to be tougher than it was in the mid-2000's due to the start times and the late announcements of them.

As bad as the TV contract has been for football, it's been even worse for Husky basketball.

HuskyInExile:

1. Great NSD coverage, thank you. 2. Please provide background & insight on new coaches.

UWDP: Here's Ikaika Malloe's.

What's interesting about Hamden is that he chose to take what, on its face, appears to be a demotion in leaving a job as an offensive coordinator at a lower-level school in order to become a quality control coach (which isn't an on-the-field position) at Washington.  Working one's way through the ranks used to be the only path for upward mobility, but the inception of the QCC (first at the NFL level, and more recently in college) has created what amounts to a crash course in coaching.  It's a position that head coaches use to both stash a coach away, and to mentor someone they think has a future in the game.  It's hours of film breakdown, scouting future opponents, self-scouting, observing practice, etc. for no glory and very little pay.  But it's served as a great training ground for a number of guys that have gone on to be great coaches.  That's not to say Hamden is destined for stardom, but the fact that he hasn't been directly on the field isn't the negative it might appear to be.

As for Malloe, I'll always first remember him as a walk-on safety that turned undersized outside linebacker, and was maybe the hardest hitter Jim Lambright ever put on the field as a head coach.  He had a pretty fair amount of success coaching d-line at Utah State, and should be a benefit in recruiting due to his age, his Husky ties, and his Polynesian heritage.
huksy57:

Pipeline is important, not filled yet, but Darnay Holmes is set to June 23... can we get him? I would rather get pipeline guys but oh well.

Doug:

In his recruiting round table, Chris mentioned his desire to see our pipeline to the Hawaiian Islands restored. What could the coaches do to restore it that they are not already doing?

UWDP: I'm not sure what a "pipeline" actually is, because people talk about them in such a way that small data points are extrapolated into trends that may or may not actually exist.

Thanks to the excellent work by SemperFi Dawg found in the comments under this article,
we find that the "Hawaii Pipeline" amounted to a grand total of 14 players in the 11 recruiting classes prior to Chris Petersen taking over here.  That's not "nothing," but three years without a recruit from Hawaii seems more random right now than it does some sort of trend.  While Hawaii produces a lot of football players per capita, the total it sends to major college football programs amounts to around 20 per year - less than the state of Washington.

Hawaii is pretty much in the "Pac 12 footprint," and it's produced memorable players in the past for the UW.  The question is whether the UW is now "ignoring" Hawaii, or if there's a down cycle in the Aloha State (only 12 players signed Letters of Intent at Power 5 conferences in 2016, for example; only 9 in 2015, only 7 in 2014).

Chris Petersen owns a map.  He passed geography.  He knows where Hawaii is.  I doubt is adverse to long plane flights, even over open water.  If there are athletes in Hawaii worth recruiting, I've little doubt he and his staff are going to put in the effort.

As for Darnay Holmes, yeah, the Huskies have a shot.  I don't think the odds favor the Dawgs, though.
Rhaego:

What does our starting five look like next year with Timmins and Fultz coming in, and Atewe becoming eligible?

bigstickdick:

please tell me that the two big guys eligible for next season can handle defensively 7' centers in the pac 12

UWDP: Thankfully, the bigs in the Pac 12 that are doing the most damage won't be around in 2017.

If Markelle Fultz plays a true point guard, it's really between he and David Crisp for the job in 2016-17.  Crisp's experience may give him a slight edge early, but Fultz has the size and a higher upside.  I'd be surprised if he isn't getting the starter's minutes heading into conference play.  Sam Timmons has a lot of size and offensive skill, but his playing time will probably be a factor of how well he can defend and move.  Assuming everyone else stays, the only new starter will likely be Fultz in for Andrew Andrews.

Mathew Attewe is strong and a good athlete, but I think fans need to temper their expectations of him somewhat.  He's mostly going to be a guy that will get minutes due to rebounding, defense, and overall hustle, but he's not likely to unseat any of the current freshmen.

SkiDawg93:

I caught the tail end of one UWdawgpound tailgate last season, which was arranged I think by HH. Are there thoughts of regular tailgates?

UWDP: Yes, it was Howling Husky who took that upon himself to plan and coordinate.  A very good thing he did.  I don't think there's a plan for any sort of "official" tailgate, just the ones that members here want to take on in the future.  Hopefully Howling does it again (but in E12 this year).

All for now, folks.  Remember, we want to hear from you, not about you.