The Ice Bath Time Machine has become something of a tradition here at the Dawgpound. For each the past six seasons I’ve taken the opportunity in our 30 Day countdowns to pair a Husky great with a perceived area of need on the current Huskies roster. Going back in time to get that Husky great and to bring him to the present requires a tool of supernatural ability.
Thus, I offer you the Ice Bath Time Machine.
Everybody has their favorite all-time Husky (I heart Napoleon Kaufman) and it is obvious that nobody would say no to a transcendent talent (I’ll take two Lincoln Kennedy’s with a side of Steve Emtman; to go please). To make this exercise a bit more engaging, I propose a few ground rules as we look at our options.
- We exclude the All-American types from the selection pool
- We limit our Ice Bath Time Machine to only teams from the 2000s
- We exclude players previously nominated for selection in past seasons
With that, let’s take a look at the candidates.
Charles Frederick, WR / KR / PR (2001-2004)
Frederick is an under-appreciated all-time Husky great probably because much of his career overlapped with that of Reggie Williams. He came to UW as an elite recruit out of Florida in 2001 and became one of the only four true freshman to appear in every game.
Special teams was Frederick’s forte. After a stellar freshman season where he finished top 5 in the nation in punt return average, Frederick was named as a Freshman All-American (this despite the fact that he didn’t catch a pass all season). His true breakout came in his sophomore season when he finished eighth in the conference in all purpose yards and was contributor as a receiver, kick returner and punt returner (including two 50+ yard TD receptions). Frederick finished his Husky career with 135 career kick returns (a UW record 72 in 2004), 63 career punt returns (with an 11.1 yard return average - better than greats such as Beno Bryant and Napoleon Kaufman), and two of the seven longest TD returns in UW history (87 yds vs Idaho in 2001 and 86 yds vs OSU in 2003).
Special teams is an area that UW struggled with in 2018 and projects again as another sore spot for this team. Since Dante Pettis is busy building a career for himself in San Francisco, jumping back in time to grab a multi-faceted playmaker like Charles Frederick becomes the next best option.
Manase Hopoi, DT (2001-2005)
The Huskies could certainly use a big man in the middle of the defensive line who not only can engage offensive linemen but who has a penchant for breaking contact and getting to ball carriers before they punch through the line of scrimmage.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Manase Hopoi.
Many Husky fans may not be aware that before we had a player named Hau’oli Kikaha, Hopoi was considered one the great, versatile linemen of the 2000s Huskies era. In fact, he currently ranks second - ahead of Kikaha - with 56 all-time tackles for loss. He also owns the Huskies record for TFLs in a single game with 6 against USC in 2004.
It is easy to forget about Hopoi as we all try to forget about the Ty Willingham era. But a guy like Hopoi was a real warrior who had the ability to generate his own pass rush without blitz support. He would fit perfectly with what Jimmy Lake and Pete Kwiatkowski are trying to do on defense this year.
Ben Mahdavi, ILB (1999-2002)
You may have heard that the Huskies graduated a fairly decent inside linebacker last year. Ben Burr-Kirven has taken his Pac 12 DPOY award with him to the Seattle Seahawks at the same time that his one-time heir apparent, DJ Beavers, has taken a medical retirement. While the Dawgs do have some experience to work with in the form Brandon Wellington and Kyler Manu, some reinforcements might be useful.
Since I’ve used players like Marquis Cooper and Mason Foster in previous iterations of the Ice Bath Time Machine, I had to stretch myself a little further to find an ILB that fit the versatile mold that the current Husky staff prefers. I found Ben Mahdavi.
For a two-year stretch, Mahdavi was one of the most productive defensive players on the Huskies roster. He led the team in tackles with 93 in 2001 and then finished second to Cooper one year later with 83. He also recorded 10 sacks and four fumble recoveries during his 2002 senior season.
Interestingly, Mahdavi came to UW originally as a long-snapper and, if I recall correctly, played his entire career as a walk-on. While I’m not sure that he is a better individual player than a guy like Wellington, Mahadvi was the “gym rat” kind of football player that Chris Petersen covets and would be a nice fit in the current linebacker room.
Cameron Van Winkle, PK (2013-2016)
Yes, Cam, we miss you. And we probably should have appreciated you more when we had you here with us.
Let’s all hold up our lighters.
The Huskies kicking game while not exactly a disaster was certainly a limiting factor last season. With reports coming out of camp that star recruit Tim Horn is having trouble with accuracy, walk-on Peyton Henry looks like he’ll be the UW placekicker again this year. Fans have probably been too hard on Henry, but it cannot be denied that a PK who lacks the leg to attempt a FG outside of forty yards does limit the options for a coach.
Enter Cameron Van Winkle.
CVW graduated from UW in 2016 with his name etched all over the Huskies record book. He’s fourth all-time in FGs made (52), fifth all-time in FGs attempted (64), and second only to Chuck Nelson all-time in FG percentage (81.2%). In addition, he tops the UW all-time list in PATs (both made and attempted) thanks in part to owning the record for most PATs in a single game (that would be the Oregon blow out of 2016). In addition, CVW had the leg to go deep as exemplified by his 51 yarder against Illinois in 2015 and his 49 yarder against Utah in 2014.
Cameron Van Winkle, PK
Many of you know that CVW has been waiting for his shot at an NFL roster. Unfortunately, the phone never rang for him and he recently decided to shift his career focus to real estate. But, as it turns out, Ice Bath Time Machines are quite handy for bringing players back. A guy with the leg and the accuracy of CVW could help put UW over the top in that one game - whether it be Utah, Oregon or Stanford - that is all the difference in the season.
Who would you bring back in an Ice Bath Time Machine if you could?
This poll is closed
Charles Frederick, WR/KR/PR
Manase Hopoi, DT
Ben Madahvi, ILB
Cameron Van Winkle, PK