There’s something special about having a time machine.
Although I love the styling of HG Wells Victorian-era The Time Machine, I always imagine the UWDP time machine to look like the phone booth in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Cramming as many characters into our dimension-bending shuttle as possible.
It’s that time again, time for Ice Bath Time Machine, as no annual 30-day countdown is complete without a trip to the past to remind the Husky faithful of where we come from and all those legendary characters that have worn the Purple and Gold.
Let me remind you all of the rules:
1. Any player picked in a previous edition of this article is off the board.
2. Players cannot have made 1st team All-conference at any point in their career. Special teams included! (Sorry Joe Jarzynka)
3. I’m picking players who were playing when I was old enough to know there was something called Husky football (early 1980’s).
John Anderson, PK, 1999-2002
I keep hearing Hugo Weaving’s voice as Agent Smith in the Matrix (not a time travel movie per se): “Misterrr Andersonnnn...”
It seems like it’s been a while since we had a placekicker that could put points on the board from outside the red zone. And while the consistency has definitely been there from close in - there’s just something about that kicker that can grab you 3 points from the far reaches of the gridiron, that can fluster defenses and swing momentum.
John Anderson was the Huskies placekicker for 4 years from 1999 to 2002, playing in 46 games, making 61 of 91 field goals, and earning 2nd team All-conference, multiple Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week awards, and “Most Feared Leg in the Pac-10” by The Sporting News in 2001.
As a freshman in 1999 Anderson kicked 3 field goals of 40+ yards vs Stanford (including a 49-yarder), and kicked FGs of 50 and 56 yards at UCLA - the latter was a school record without use of a kicking tee. That year, the Florida native and Lou Groza High School Kicker of the Year winner was named a first-team pick for The Sporting News Freshman All-America squad.
All of Anderson’s 8 bowl-game field goals were 38 yards or more (6 were 40+, with a long of 49), and through his first 3 years Anderson was a perfect 7-for-7 in bowl games. His game-winning field goal against USC in 2001 was the first walk off field goal in 21 years since Chuck Nelson in 1980 vs Stanford.
Though his 67% FGM does reveal inconsistency - I’ll take it in exchange for Anderson’s reach, for this year at least. After all, we have a time machine and can do whatever we want next season.
Jaime Fields, LB, 1988-92
The 5’11” 230 pounder from Lynwood, CA played in 29 games as both an inside and outside linebacker over four years during the National Championship era, and helped UW to three consecutive Rose Bowls.
A freakish physical creature, Fields weight room prowess was legendary within the team.
(from an article by Dan Raley) Fellow Husky LB Chico Fraley remembers Fields: “As an athlete I don’t think you could put more power into an individual. When I say power and explosiveness, he was running a low 4.4 (second 40-yard dash) and benching 400 pounds. He was ridiculous.” “When I actually think about Jaime, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t football. The first thing that comes to mind is his smile. For a guy as tough as he was, he was just a great human being.”
After three years with the Kansas City Chiefs, in 1999 after a night celebrating his 29th birthday Fields was killed in a hit-and-run car crash by a driver who ran a red light. Fields had been planning a return to the European football league with former Husky LB Donald Jones at the time.
Fields was part of that legendary linebacker room that boasted Dave Hoffman, Jones, Fraley, James Clifford, Hillary Butler, and others. As a member of one of college football’s best-ever defenses, Jaime Fields’s place in Husky football lore is eternal. No time machine needed.
Louis Rankin, RB, 2004-07
Before becoming a Husky, Louis Rankin was setting rushing records at Lincoln High School in Stockton, CA — his 41 touchdowns as a senior were second-most in California that year.
At UW, the 6’1” 205lb Rankin amassed 1,294 yds rushing as a senior in 2007 (the first 1,000-yd Husky rusher since 1997), with 5.6 yds/carry and 6 TDs to go with 20 receptions and two more TDs. But that’s not all... Rankin returned kickoffs - tallying 40 returns for 976 yds (24.4 yd avg) in 2007 and an 89-yard touchdown to open the Apple Cup that year. Want more? He threw a touchdown pass against Chris Petersen’s Boise State Broncos in a 24-10 Husky victory.
Fortunately for the Ice Bath Time Machine, Rankin’s achievements earned him no higher than 2nd team All-conference that year, sparing him the disappointment of being overqualified for our annual thought experiment. Rankin was also a team captain, was named the offensive MVP four times and the special teams MVP twice as a senior, and won the Husky Fever 12th Man (offense) award as a junior.
Rankin played all four years from 2004-07, finishing with 2,480 rushing yards and 39 receptions. Kalen DeBoer’s running back stable is full of potential breakout players, but Rankin is a proven back who could run, catch, and return kicks, in a room full of largely unproven talent.
Bob Sapp, OL, 1992-96
Where to start...
Bob Sapp’s career as a Husky is now somewhat of a footnote in the CV of this MMA celebrity who cut his teeth in Japan’s K-1 fighting league in the early 2000’s, but the Colorado native was one in a long line of dominant O-lineman at Montlake through the ‘90s. Sapp played in 21 games at both tackle and guard over his final two years, and was a member of that era’s formidable O-line that boasted Olin Kreutz, Benji Olson, and Tony Coats opening holes for Corey Dillon’s 1555 rushing yards and 22 TDs in 1996.
The 6’5” 295lb Sapp had the spotlight in scoring a touchdown against Miami in 1994’s Whammy in Miami. And it’s fun as hell to know that Sapp - known as “The Beast” in the fighting ring - and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson were playing across from each other that historic day at the Orange Bowl.
The ferocity that Sapp showed as a Husky and beyond is something an offensive line can never have too much of.
Bob Sapp also:
- Won the Morris Trophy for best offensive lineman (voted on by Pac-10 defensive linemen) and was team co-captain in 1996
- Won the Mark Drennan Memorial Award for most inspirational JV player in 1992, which was the same year he...
- ... punched another Husky player so hard his facemask broke
- Has been on the cover of Time magazine and the Wall Street Journal (both 2003)
- Might fight Mike Tyson soon
I think I know who I’d pick from this group, but all that matters is who YOU’d pick from this group. Which historic Husky would help this year’s squad the most?
Which Husky would ride shotgun in the DeLorean with you back to 2022?
This poll is closed
Bob "The Beast" Sapp