Archive for January, 2005

WSU recruit videos – Hall = WOW

January 31, 2005

Check it out, per my most favorite WSU recruit of all-time, Shelton Danzy:

http://www.sheltondanzy.com/videos/04/index.htm

note – copy and paste the link, can’t get links to work today.

Anyway, you MUST look at some of the Arkelon Hall videos. In a word – WOW. Short stuff with touch, deep 15-yard outs on like laser beams, great scrambling ability, and man oh man, some of the deep balls?? Wow. He is absolutely the real deal. And, who the HELL is #4 in his clips?? That kid catches everything, and the moves?? Wow again!

Meanwhile Cougs got another verbal commit from a really quick interior lineman, Joseph Townsend from San Jose. We beat out UW and Arizona, among others, for him. He’s got decent size so far, 6-4, 265, but he runs a 4.9. Might be a nice pass rusher on third downs from the interior, but he’s not expected to be a superstar or anything like that. Once again, the speed in the class is unprecedented, and will probably turn out to be the fastest class in school history.

J.T. Diederichs AND Keauntea Bankhead in 2006?!?!

January 28, 2005

Who would have thought it was possible, but the rumblings are now true.

First, some background. In late 2003 – early 2004, there was a fierce recruiting battle waged between UW and WSU regarding 4 tremendous players from Ballard High School. QB Cole Morgan, OL Tyler Ashby, running back J.T. Diederichs and finally, the best of them all, Parade All-American safety Keauntea Bankhead. The Cougs and Dawgs split them right down the middle, with Morgan and Diederichs signing with the Cougs, while Ashby and Bankhead going with UW. Bankhead was really torn, and only in the very end did he commit to UW, some have said mainly because his parents really wanted him there, and his sister was a soccer player at UW.

In the signing day analysis, UW was said to have come out in better shape as not only was Ashby the #2 or #3 lineman in the state, along with Aaron Klovas (Oregon) and Andy Roof (WSU), but Bankhead was widely considered the #1 prospect in the state. Great size at 5-11, 210, speed (4.5) and hits like a truck, Parade all-american, basically every honor you can get, along with Matt Tuiasosopo.

Well, funny how things change. If you recall, Bankhead and Diederichs both failed to qualify, while Morgan grey-shirted and Ashby red-shirted at UW. So, both kids went to Dixie JC in Utah. When Willingham took over, Bankhead tried to call him to chat with the new coach and talk about the future, as he was still 100% committed and excited about the change. The problem?? Willingham wouldn’t return his calls! This had been rumored for a while, the last month at least, that Willingham was abandoning almost all kids that hadn’t qualified in the past and has a real thing about only getting kids that are qualified immediately. It was floated at Dawgman.com and Cougfan.com by the writers that there was real fire to the story.

Finally, today, the P-I caught up with Bankhead in Utah. What did he say?? It should bring a smile to your face to know that not only with J.T. Diederichs be coming to Pullman in one more year, but SO WILL BANKHEAD! What a great get this is. The headline says it all: “Ballard star DUMPS UW for WSU”. Check it out:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/huskies/209732_bankhead28.html

Accolades for WSU commits rolling in

January 27, 2005

Lots of accolades starting to roll in for Coug commits. I’ll try and itemize them below:

WSU verbal commit Dwight Tardy has been named the ALL CIF-SS Division III Offensive Player of the Year.

The running back had a monster year for St. Paul, averaging 9.6 yards per carry. On the season, the 5-11, 202-pound Tardy rushed for 2,272 yards and 34 touchdowns on 236 carries.

Tardy was also a first team selection to the ALL CIF-SS FOOTBALL TEAM for the second time in three years. Tardy was first team All-CIF his sophomore campaign. His junior year was cut short by injury. The award winners are selected from all 13 divisions in the Southern Section.

The CIF-Southern Section is the largest section in California, representing nearly one half of the state’s high schools.

WSU verbal commit Xavier Hicks has been named the ALL CIF-SS Division IX Defensive Player of the Year.

The safety had a tremendous season for Fullerton, leading the Indians to the semifinals. He has been called the best overall athlete in all of Orange County.

The 6-1, 185-pound Hicks was also a first team selection to the ALL CIF-SS FOOTBALL TEAM for the second straight year. The award winners are selected from all 13 divisions in the Southern Section.

Meanwhile, Brandon Gibson, WR/DB from Puyallup, Shelton Danzy, DB/RB from Rainier Beach, and the top o-lineman in the state of Washington, Kenny Alfred of Gig Harbor, all were named all-state by the Seattle Times and Northwest Nuggets by the News Tribune.

Cougs hoping for another USC gift??

January 26, 2005

Sort of like Bumpus last year, a gift from the USC riches might fall into our laps. Eugene Germany, a big-time D-lineman from last season who signed with USC out of high school, is now no longer headed to USC. He was a highly regarded player that chose USC over Michigan on signing day last year. The Cougs are now recruiting him, and while we may not be his leader, we are on his current list. NOTE – there are two stories below, in chronological order. The first story was when it was first announced he wouldn’t attend USC. The second story is his post-K-State trip.

Take a look:

Eugene Germany

While the saying goes the rich only get richer, sometimes programs just plain out get too rich. That was the case with the USC Trojans last fall in signing defensive end Eugene Germany, who ended up not enrolling in classes this fall.

“USC has told him that he still has a scholarship, and can enroll there next fall,” said Ponoma Senior head coach John Brown. “They asked him to take some classes this fall, like a greyshirt situation, and he just wasn’t interested in doing that. He is fully qualified, still has five years to play four, and is good to go if he can find a school to enroll in this month.”

Germany just may find a school he can join for spring practice this weekend as he heads out to Manhattan, Kansas to check out the Kansas State Wildcats.

“Eugene is visiting Kansas State this weekend, and he if loves it, that is probably where he is going to go. They are the only school that can get him in right now, and he knows the success they’ve had with JUCO’s and transfers. They have something like 17 or 18 kids from California on their roster. It is a good program over there, and Bill Synder is a good coach,” said Brown.

If Germany decides Kansas State doesn’t fit him this weekend, you likely will not see him enroll in school until next fall.

“Oregon State and Washington State have expressed a lot of interest. Oregon State can get him in during March since they use the quarter system, and if we would have gotten things rolling two weeks ago, Eugene would have been able to enroll in at Washington State right now. Michigan has also shown a little bit of interest, but he couldn’t join them until the fall. If he doesn’t commit to Kansas State either this weekend or early in the week, then he probably will wait until Signing Day to make his decision,” said Brown.

Germany is currently on his way out to Manhattan, and Scout.com will keep you up-to-date.

Story #2 – looks like the Ducks are making a late push:

Eugene Germany is a 6-4, 265-pound defensive end from Pomona, California, and the former USC signee has re-opened the recruiting process after deciding to take his game away from Los Angeles.

“I took a trip this past weekend to K-State,” Germany told Scout.com Tuesday. “It went good, I liked it and everything. I liked the atmosphere and the players treated me cool. The academic program was cool, they went through everything for me.”

Some more schools have come into the mix. “I haven’t made a decision yet,” he said. “I’m thinking about taking a trip to Oregon this coming weekend. I want to see what they have to offer.” Germany will know whether or not that trip has been finalized by the end of the day Wednesday.

“I’ll make my decision on February 2nd,” he added, also saying that he doesn’t have a favorite. Geography will not play a part in his decision.

Oregon, Kansas State, Michigan, Oregon State and Washington State have all offered a scholarship to Germany, who will have 5 years to play four starting this fall. There’s still a chance Eugene could enroll early, but it appears as if that will not be the most important factor when considering a school.

Meanwhile, Germany is doing the best he can as far as keeping himself in playing shape. “I’ve been running long distance just to keep my wind up and also 100-yard and 40-yard sprints,” he said.

How good is Trufant??

January 25, 2005

Interesting quick tidbit on Trufant. Not only did he play with an injured shoulder all season and just had surgery, but on top of the 5 picks and fumble recovery, did you know that this season, Trufant led the Seahawks with 96 tackles, 86 solo. He became just the second cornerback in NFL history to lead his team in tackles.

WOW. Think about that, 96 tackles, 86 solo? I think that was one of the things they knocked him for coming into the league, that he wasn’t the best tackler (but I can remember several times in 2002 where he came up and just stuck guys!). For a 2nd year corner who was terrific in his first year and now leads the team in tackles in his second year, on a team with no pass rush to speak of, well, all I can say is WOW. What a player. Oh yeah, he’s also a media darling around here and just truly a classy kid, top to bottom. We’re lucky not only as Coug fans but as Seahawk fans to watch him up close and personal.

Not much new on recruiting, as we near the final dead period before signing day next Wednesday. Will there be a Michael Bumpus surprise?? Remains to be seen.

Quick story on Bumpus I heard last year and how he became a Coug – If you remember, Bumpus was a USC commit last year right up until the final weekend, when USC suddenly landed the #1 receiver in the nation, Dwayne Jarrett, from New Jersey. Well, USC looked at their WR position, incredibly stocked, and they knew that it was not only likely Mike Williams was gone for good, but also that Jarrett had Williams-like ability to start as a true frosh. Plus, there were rumors making the rounds that Bumpus was not going to qualify. So, the last few days before signing day, Pete Carroll called Bumpus and said “hey, things have changed a little bit, and we’d prefer to have you grey shirt and enroll next year in January.” To which Bumpus said, “I don’t think so, I know I can play as a true frosh in the league, and I’ll prove it to you.” So he silently slipped in and out of Pullman for his final visit, a 100% secret that nobody knew about, and then on signing day, BAMN! He was announced in the first wave of recruits as a true shock. I remember listening to KJR and the publisher of dawgman.com, Chris Fetters, just being shocked that the Cougs swooped in late on him completely under the radar and landed a player of his quality. Fetters went on to say that Bumpus was already as good as UW’s Charles Frederick and has a much better upside. Pretty good call. So, who knows what happens here in the home stretch. You never know what surprises might shake down!

Great points, again

January 24, 2005

Michael, great points all. You need to post this stuff on the front page! No more comments man, it’s too good for back-page material. Here they are and my responses:

At 9:43 AM, Dr. Ferdie (Lawson) said…

So much to comment on here….

1) Speed is NOT as important as the ability to accelarate to full speed in a short amount of time. Looking at our man Greene, think about how FAST he was going when he hit the hole. The RB clincher against UCLA was a classic example: by the time he hit the line of scrimmage he was already at 4.6….so when he busted up the sideline, no one could catch him. Does Stewart have that type of acceleration????

Sean: Great point on Green, and you are right. The run against USC was phenominal as well, and he had that extra gear, however there is also one big difference between Stewart and Green – Green was a legit 4.4 – 4.5. Stewart is at best 4.6. That 1 or 2-tick difference is big at the next level. Look at Greg Lewis from UW. He had great moves and was very shifty, but you could probably make a highlight reel out of the number of times he was caught from behind!

One more quickie on Stewart – there are some pretty strong rumblings now that he may not even make it in to school next year at Oregon. Turns out his SAT scores the first two times he took them were low, the first one even in the low 500-range. He carries a 3.2 GPA but he’s also going to take the SAT one more time and we’ll see. Don’t know if you read Jim Moore’s piece about him a few weeks ago, but there was one thing that jumped out in that article – and I quote: “He hates to read, saying: “The Bible’s the only thing I can read and not like doze off.”

Ok, ok, he’s 18 years old, just a baby and many kids can’t read very well and retain at that age. But, if he admits to that, how the hell does he have a 3.2 GPA??

Way off topic – but who knows, maybe it’s an internet-generation age issue, the idea of not being able to read one page from a book and retaining anything from it. 20/20 I think did a great story a few weeks back about the first true ‘net age kids now venturing out into the real world and the problems they are encountering. Real disturbing thing, like not retaining basic information, not able to project long-term, and wanting it ALL, now, not being willing to pay the price of years of hard work, maybe that’s just a reflection of where our society has gone the last 15 years? Short attention span generation is how they put it, and the temptations are everywhere. Think about it, did you have the internet growing up? Instant messaging? Cell phones? Super in-depth video game simulations? On-demand digital cable shows and DVD’s?? Neither did I. Flip on MTV for a few minutes and watch any popular video. The thing they talked about? The images now change every 3-4 seconds, max! It’s all about short attention span. It’s an I WANT IT ALL YESTERDAY society, and they aren’t all cut out to be deep-thinking college kids. Geez, Mikey, think about what our boys are going to grow up with?? Things we couldn’t even fathom when we were kids.

2) Its all too easy to look at those recruiting ratings and to get frustrated and to have a bunch of question marks. But, the real issue for me as we talked about is recruiting speed AND recruiting needs AND recruiting system fits….when I look at who’s coming in, we have added a bunch of speed and added to the secondary, to LB, and gotten a 4 star defensive tackle. Remember, Rien Long won the Outland Trophy by playing 2/3 of the snaps, so we’re looking to add Depth to go with the Style of D that we have–high risk that demands depth because our offense doesn’t control the football for much time…..

Sean: True, again, and you have to take off your hat to Pflugrad. When you read quotes about how unbelievably organized he is, how thorough he is regarding recruiting and how he pushes his coaches to get out there, that’s great! The system, both on and off the field, is tremendous and we are very lucky.

3) For me, the year to rack up the GREAT recruits was last year…but lets not fret here….we get to 9 wins this year (or Ten plus a bowl), then the package continues to get better. In addition, think about the number of guys we’ve sent to the NFL. On defense, we’ve done well, but on offense? NOT as well…so part of what we need to get the 5 stars is more of an NFL profile. Yarno, Skips, and Rosey are going to help with that….

Sean: Disagree, this was the year with a wounded dawg hiring Mr. Personality who can’t make a decision and Oregon with the losing season. On our offensive NFL talent? I think that is going to change with either Armstrong or Lightbody as o-lineman, but also when Jason Hill and Bumpus come up for the league, they both will at least make a roster. I mean really, not just Bumpus and his electricity, but think really hard about what Jason Hill did this year. A sophomore who had never been part of the WR rotation goes out and pulls down 1,000 yards and breaks the school record for receiving TD’s? With those two QB’s and half the season without a running game to speak of, and both TE’s injured in week 4?? It’s remarkable how good he was, and amazing to think how good he’ll be. Size, speed/quickness, body control, hands, he’s the whole package.

4) If we had gotten Stewart, he would have backed up Harrison this year…our biggest need is either to run the two back, or to run the thunder and lightning…quick you, then pound you……but the biggest question for us is the Quarterback position. HOpefully Swoggs will return to form and quickly.

Sean: Pretty apparent now, but yep, Stewart would have backed up Harrison….if Harrison is still in school next fall. Fingers and toes crossed on that one. I also believe Swoggs will be in control and competing for all-conference (not first team, that’s Mr. Leinart’s) but he’ll battle Kellen Clemens for #2.

5) The cupcakes will bode well for us early…both for Swoggs as well as for that defensive secondary….hopefully those three games will enable us to mature and the ground running by Oregon State…

Sean: GREAT points here, too, not only are cupcakes good for padding the stats (Look at Orton at Purdue) and getting early season props for ESPN Gameday, but also good for the overall mental and physical condition of the team. Yes, anyone can get hurt at any time, but it’s a heck of a lot better playing Grambling in Seattle vs. playing at Oklahoma or at Auburn and getting beaten to a pulp! We’ve been down that road before in the early 90’s, going to Ohio State and Michigan and having the season in jeopardy just one game in. I love cupcakes, bring ’em (the low-carb variety, of course….:)

6) Remember, at the beginning of the year, Doba said the following, “I would be surprised if we didn’t have a winning record this year. I think we have a good team, but its next year that we’re going to be really good.” We would have been a bowl team this year with a healthy Swoggs and without those BRUTAL injuries to the DTs and TEs against Arizona…that cost us Oregon and Stanford….based on my math, that’s the difference between 5-6 and 7-4….

Sean: Not only was Swoggs huge and the DT’s and TE’s really tough, but think of the place kicking and how much that will improve next year. Two missed FG’s really hurt vs. Colorado, as it did vs. Oregon. Colorado was lost on two mistakes, one the blocked punt for a TD, the other the Brink pick floated into the flat, but we also missed two makeable kicks in that game. Let’s see, final score was 20-12. Had they hit the field goals, suddenly it’s 20-18 and instead of having the game end with Brink fumbling on the 2-yard line, we’re kicking a chip shot and winning that game 21-20. Otherwise Colorado on offense only crossed midfield twice, both resulting in field goals! Ah, hell with it, never mind.

7) All those kids got time as a result of those injuries…it will be fun to watch how it all unfolds next year.

Sean: No question an injury-plagued year can help build future depth. I just wish we would have gone to some of the younger DB’s on the roster to see what they can do in games last year, even if it meant burning a redshirt or two. Abdullah and Bohannon were brutal against the deep ball, and after the Oregon game teams figured it out and we were toast. The good news is the younger Abdullah, Husain, really played well late in the year and many people think he’s a potential star at one safety spot. Now we just need to get Michael Willis in to school and watch the stars fly!

8) WE DON’T HAVE MIKE PRICE ANYMORE. We have the BEST staff in the history of WSU football…WE OKAY, WE OKAY, WE OKAY.

Sean: AMEN!

We OK baby, we OK!

January 22, 2005

The day after, can’t help but feel mixed emotions.

On the one hand, we’ve always done well not having to get the 5-star recruits. I mean rarely, if ever, have we landed a player of that stature, yet the last 4 years, 35-14 speaks for itself as an overall record. As the recruiting analyst who’s name escapes me said the other day, WSU develops players better than any team in the nation, period. And he’s right. You can’t point to any school that has done more, on paper, with “less”, than WSU.

On the other hand, if we were ever going to land that 5-star super-duper premium recruit, it would be this year. THink about it – UW has never been lower, not just with 1-10 but the last 3 years of extremely mediocre play with turmoil around the program at nearly an unprecedented level; Oregon is coming off a losing season and had coaching and recruiting turmoil the last few years (famous story regarding Marshawn Lynch, Oregon coach actually signed his name to a letter of intent, only to have it throw out and Lynch will now star at Cal. Yeah, that’s slimy.).

Factor all that in with our unprecedented success the last 4 seasons, and all the stars it seemed were aligned. Yet, we lost out on the #1 guy around. It makes you wonder, if it didn’t happen this year, will it ever happen!? Will it have to be a Bledsoe-type situation, a small town guy that falls in love with Pullman?

Then again, in reading this AM, it’s pretty damn clear Stewart was set on being a Duck from day one. I have to admit I’m extremely impressed with this kid, and never once did he lead anyone in ANY direction, Oregon included. In the end, Oregon and Eugene captured his heart and it just looked like it was too much to overcome. I wish that kid luck (except when he plays the Cougs!). I also love the fact that we were in there fighting like hell until the end, and if he wasn’t so smitten with Eugene at such an early age, we probably could have overcome that and we’d be happy today.

All that said, and this is NOT to be taken as sour grapes – but there are still some warts on Stewart. While strong as hell and physical, after watching the 10 videos on him more than once and based on what Mead told me, there are things that jump out if you pay close attention.

1) He doesn’t make people miss. His highlight reel is basically him hitting the hole, taking on contact from a linebacker or safety and pretty much breaking the tackle. There were several runs where he broke between 3-5 tackles in impressive fashion, but that may not be such a good thing; 2) He doesn’t have that extra gear to break away, and a 4.6 40 time won’t have you running away from the pack in the next level. Of his entire 10-clip highlight package, there was probably 1 or two plays where he went more than 30 yards. Never once, in any highlight, was he untouched. 3) He’s battled some injuries the last two years, not blow-out-your-knee injuries but nagging ankle and other various injuries that tend to haunt power backs, regardless of the level you play against; and finally, 4) His style of run-your-ass-over, well, that’s fine and dandy in AAA Washington where your average defensive player is between 170 and 210 and you are stronger and heavier than basically every defensive player except for the d-line at 220. But, can a running back in college, standing 5-10 and weighing 220, can he run over guys at that level? Can you name one running back with 4.6 speed and a power runner that stood 5-10, 220, and was a great player? Jermaine Green comes to mind, but even he was 6-0, 230, and he COULD make guys miss. I can assure you, Will Derting and Scott Davis will NOT be guys he’ll be running over. The hope of an Adrian Peterson type breakout season might be a big stretch for next year for them, as that monster was built to run over dudes at 6-3, 245, and even he wore down and required shoulder surgery after the year. Can a guy with an Eddie George style in a smaller package hold up when he’s already been beat up in AAA??

The adjustment might be a little bigger than many expect, and in all seriousness, will he live up to the hype?? Think about how excited we would be today if he commited to the Cougs, and think about how much you would EXPECT him to accomplish, right out of the gates. Could he have EVER lived up to that level of expectations??

Hard to say. We’ll see next year, but he should be forewarned – you better learn how to make cats miss, or Will Derting will knock you back to Lacey.

Last-moment updates on Snoop

January 21, 2005

1) The P-I reports two sources say it’s Oregon, and it has been since Sunday or Monday of this week. Kind of contradicts some things said later this week, but what ya gonna do??

2) The Times says it’s still up in the air and the Cougs put the full-court press on yesterday.

3) One of the biggest “pitchers” of WSU football, recruit Shelton Danzy, put up a quick note to his boy Snoop yesterday. Pretty interesting, didn’t say for sure where he will go but kind of lends to the idea that he’s not going to Pullman with them:

Venoms Much More Than Just Fellow Recruits

By SheltonDanzy.com Staff Writer

January 20, 2005

SEATTLE, WA — Well, we are entering the final lap of this recruiting marathon. With roughly two weeks left in the recruiting season all but two of the Venoms have verballed. J. Stewart is on deck and due to annouce tomorrow during the 5:00 news on King5. While J. Taylor is taking his third official visit this weeked to Eastern.

J. Stewart’s highly publicized recruitment is coming to an end, but it would be our (Venoms) hope that all fans of both the Cougars and Ducks remain above reproach as to talking about the character of this incredible student-athlete. Jonathan, as we all spoke last night I hope you know that whether or not you decide to come to Pullman with us or travel to Eugene, has no barring on our bond whatsoever.

J. Taylor never doubt your talent as a football player; you are a gifted athlete. And, even though it looks like things aren’t going to work out as far as you being a Coug, you are definitely a Coug at heart! If we could change things and bring you to Pullman – you know we would do it in a heartbeat. There is no doubt that you are going to be a great receiver/ return specialist no matter where you decide to attend college.

What simply started as five players meeting at a football camp, has now blossed into a full-fledged friendship in just a short time. Hopefully, we will all be friends for life regarless of the colors of our jerseys…

Mighty Balls!!! Til The End.

Finally, some real optimism. This, from his hometown Olympian newspaper, in today’s editions. I think the door is open a crack, but we’ll see at 5:50 tonight. Lawson, don’t worry, I’ll call you with what happens. That’s right about the time we get home from work, but I am sure KJR will carry it live on the radio so I’ll call you as soon as it’s announced.

Here’s the article. Leads me to think 1) a lot of the speculation is correct, and he’s decided on Oregon earlier this week, and 2) we STILL have a chance in this thing! Also gets me excited to see how hard we came yesterday, Levy leading the charge (Mr. Mead has RAVED about Levy for years, the UW both loves and fears what that guy will do as head coach in the future and was on their initial short-list!):

From the Olympian:

Last week, Timberline football coach Kevin Young wagered a fairly educated guess on where standout running back Jonathan Stewart would attend college.

“If I had to guess where he’s going, I’d say Oregon,” Young said at the time.

While the Ducks are widely considered to be the favorites to land Stewart, the prize recruit might throw a change-up when he announces his decision at the KING-5 studios during today’s 5 p.m. newscast.

Washington State sent a cadre of coaches — led by offensive coordinator Mike Levenseller — to the school Thursday, making a last-minute pitch to snag the nation’s No. 1 running back recruit.

“Washington State came with the A-game today,” Timberline receiver Jaron Taylor, one of Stewart’s closest friends, said Thursday. “I was in the room with the Wazzu coaches, and they brought the A-game.”

Taylor is one of the select few whom Stewart has told of his decision, but said nothing’s final just yet.

“Right now, I think he will think about it real hard and make his final decision (today),” Taylor said.

Levenseller, along with running backs coach Kelly Skipper and offensive line coach Ed Yarno, showed Stewart film and spoke with the Blazers’ coaches in an afternoon meeting.

Was the Cougars’ end run enough to potentially change Stewart’s mind?

“It’s very possible it could,” Timberline assistant coach Randy Oliveria said. “But I can’t let it out of the bag.”

At school, the halls were buzzing about which school Stewart, the state’s all-time leading rusher with 7,757 career yards, would select.

“We all know that it’s between Washington State and Oregon, but it’s a mixed opinion about which one it is,” Timberline quarterback Nick Maxwell said. “It’s 50-50. I’m excited to hear where he picks.”

Jamie Newberg, the National Recruiting Analyst for Scout.com, said Stewart’s final destination remains a mystery even to those who follow recruiting for a living.

“I honestly don’t know. I wish I knew,” Newberg said. “Jonathan is a different bird. A lot of kids will give you favorites, and he never did that once. He always kept things close to the vest. When you have that, it’s very difficult to predict.

“If you put a gun to my head, at least I’d have a 50-50 chance.”

The speculation on Stewart’s decision has grown markedly in the last week, leading to some off-base projections.

“It’s been crazy how much rumors start,” Taylor said. “I don’t know how people come up with this stuff. They just assume things that are wrong.”

Today, Stewart will get a chance to put everything to rest, and to end the biggest recruiting battle the South Sound has ever seen.

“Everybody will find out (today),” Oliveria said.

2 quick notes

January 21, 2005

1) Talked to my man Todd, and he heard it out of the mouth of Doba himself, last night, that they feel “VERY confident” that we will get Stewart. Weird deal, though, due to NCAA recruiting rules, Doba had to fly back to Pullman last night, then this AM he had to get back on a plane back over here to go see Stewart in his home. NCAA rules are strict about # of coaches on the road recruiting at one time, and he had to return to Pullman before he could do a recruiting trip. Weird!

2) Even bigger news, Todd today for the first time saw BRAND NEW SKETCHES of the stadium renovation! It looks AMAZING and unlike anything we’ve seen yet floating around, and they are THIS close to accepting the project with the contractor. It won’t be like the other sketches that have been floating around. The news could be broken, officially, on Friday, 2/25, for the WSU football banquet over here on the west side. They are working Paul Allen hard for the initial big donation (as in multi-millions) and so far the progress has been excellent. They want to launch the campaign publicly with Paul Allen in the fold, makes sense to me. He also said that they still have the waiting list for season tickets, so even after a 5-6 season the Coug spirit is as strong as ever.

On the stadium, not much he could really describe, just that it’s very different than what we’ve seen from the other architects. It looks great. He says he will share the pics with me, so, stay tuned. Todd has been sworn to not share these pics with anyone, don’t email them, anything like that, so he might sneak them “under the radar” so to speak…..Oh yeah, the seating capacity with be 46,900.

GREAT comments Mikey

January 20, 2005

So good they need to go in on the main page. BTW, you and Rooster need to post on the main page, not just comments! I miss comments all the time, so throw them up there.

I agree, man, it’s crazy. I just talked to Mead about Stewart, and he said he’s sensational and all that, but for ONE big thing – he talked to a couple of recruiters who have been watching him the last 3 years, and they all agree that health could turn out to be a big issue at the next level. Many of his super highlights are bulldozing and steamrolling kids, but that’s at the high school level. You can’t always get away with that in college, of course, and some are worried about his true speed (maybe more like 4.6+) and he just doesn’t make people miss all that well. I said well, I’ve watched the highlights of him and I’m blown away, and he says yeah, but of those highlights, how many of those are him actually making people miss, and how many are him making like one or two moves, then running over a defenseless high school DB?? He’s got great balance and all that and he doesn’t go down very easy, but I went back and watched, and he was dead-on. Mead also pointed to the fact that he was hurt last year, but also, the year before battled some nagging injuries which many place on his style. I said yes, but he’s the all-time leading rusher in the state, so he’s been out there doing well, and he came back with “but the bottom line is you can’t make a living running people over in college unless you are 6-3, 250 like Adrian Peterson. Stewart is 5-10, 220 lbs.”

Food for thought.

So, you are right – he ain’t the second coming. He’s fabulous, but he’s just a kid, a human being at that. Yep, Doba and company won’t go down without a fight, but they also won’t beg like a dog either for him to come. If the surprise is coming, so be it, but if not, we’re strong as hell anyway.

Bennett really is building something, it’s pretty amazing. They are beyond young, and just give them a few years of playing in the system, they might be the team nobody wants to schedule! Their frosh PG, Low, is really impressive too.

At 10:28 AM, Dr. Ferdie (Lawson) said…

Well, there’s nothing quite like the hype of being a senior in high school who is being treated like the second coming.

Honestly, Sean, I don’t see the competition between WSU and Oregon.. Sure, the facilities are great and the crowd is super loud at Quack Central, but are the facilities better than USC???? Are they better than Tennesee? Is the environment anywhere near that of a Saturday night in Knoxville in a confernce that is HELL BENT on running the football.

I know that coaches aren’t supposed to bad mouth, but the Oregon of today is NOT the Oregon of Joey Heisman, Onterrio Smith, and the RB that plays for the Seahawks (name escapes me at the moment). That was TEDFORD’S Oregon.

Belloti’s Oregon is a .500 program with pretty mediocre talent development and a VERY poor defensive development program. I mean, how many years in a row has it been that they’ve been weak at LB and DB?

In short, I know that I am biased, but I think that Oregon is #3 right now in the NW foodchain…so if Smith wants to go there, fine…and I honestly don’t think he will change much for their fortunes…but you gotta think that Doba will come in that house firing today…and you also gotta think that his boys will be calling all day was well…..we’ll see…

But seriously, Oregon has that Nike money, but I will bet my bottom dollar that at the end of the 2006 season, we will be talking about two NW schools as upper division programs: WSU and Oregon State. Not only do we have skill at the skill positions (and we’re SSSSOOOOO young!), but we have recruited speed EVERYWHERE, and if you watch USC, Okey, Miami, and all the big boys, its all about speed….and we’re a better coached football team than ever before….

Ditto Oregon State…Reilly is a good coach, and a GREAT recruiter (that 11-1 team was HIS recruits)…you look at the athletes they had last year and the enthusiam of the Beaver Backer nation, and I think they rise over the Quack….

Anyhow, we’ll see…

Meanwhile, have you noticed that Bennett is quietly building a program? .500 record in the Pac with what 8 freshmen in the 10 man rotation…and they play sssssssooo ugly….they could be something in the next couple of years–albeit the POLAR opposite of the pups who are pretty darn fun to watch…

Keep me informed…but remember, ssso much of this is ego for the young kids, and you never know when god will speak…you never, ever know…