Archive for the ‘Mike Levenseller’ Category

BREAKING NEWS: Wulff Lands First Recruit; Rick Neuheisel Wanted WSU Job?; When Will Derting Attacks

December 15, 2007

You may remember me from such incidents as “I’ll take U-Conn for $7000 please” and “FOR THE LAST TIME, I’m not interested in the San Francisco job!”

BREAKING NEWS as of 3:00 PM 12/15 – Wulff has landed his first commit of his tenure at WSU. TE prospect Skylar Stormo from Kamiak has verballed to WSU. Stormo is a big kid at 6-4, 220, and is a hoops player as well. A 2-star prospect, but a potentially nice addition to the class. Picked WSU over the NW Pac-10 schools.

That appears to be the rumor coming out of LA anyway. I guess trying to coach up Kyle Boller in wonderful Baltimore has become tiresome. Scott Wolf is pretty reputable, so I would think there’s something to this. However that’s already a couple of days old. The new hot topic is Neuheisel returning to his old haunts at UCLA.

The last we saw of Neuheisel after the ’02 AC, he was dodging bottles of 151 as he ran off the field, flipping off the student section in the process. I am pretty sure I yelled something at him as he went to the tunnel, but I really can’t remember. It’s all such a blur. Given all the bad blood and the way Neuheisel went about his business, I can’t fathom Sterk had any reaction other than “pass” when he called for an interview.

UCLA and Neuheisel, what a perfect fit. A soft coach who wins with the previous coach’s players and everything’s great at first. Then you realize he recruits 20 wide receivers, running backs and QB’s every recruiting class and basically ignores offensive and defensive linemen. All for a program that traditionally starts out hot and then fades into mediocrity, year after year after year? We’ve got a match!

But seriously, does the thought of Neuheisel returning to the Pac-10 at UCLA worry you? I mean he was 33-16 at UW and led them to a bowl game in all 4 years at the school. He got himself in a lot of hot water by pissing on the NCAA rule book, time and again, and just couldn’t stay out of the coaching rumor mill whenever a hot job opened up. He takes the brunt of the blame for UW’s situation, and his passion for finesse really turned the team into a shell of what they used to be in the 90’s.

Meanwhile, recruiting is starting to make a little news. Apparently Paul Wulff was out on the road Thursday night, in the home of Redmond’s Cody Mackay. Mackay is a UW commit right now, but he showed a lot of interest in WSU before the Doba firing. He is still considered a UW commit, but he wants to take a visit to Pullman in January to reassure himself of his choice. We heard rumblings from Paul Sorensen about this, that Wulff and company were going to take a run at some kids who have already committed, and they are all fair game at this point.

Now will it lead to anything? We’ll see. All I know is, from following this recruiting thing for many years now, you NEVER know until signing day what’s going to happen. I mean Michael Bumpus was a strong USC commit all the way until the week before signing day, when Dwayne Jarrett dropped from the heavens on USC and suddenly they wanted him to greyshirt. Next thing you know, Bam! Bumpus signs with WSU. Anything can happen between now and early February.

There is still some confusion over the coaching staff, and as Vince mentions today, it might be another week or two before things are settled. Right now we know that Levy is back, and Bruiser has been retained as well. But what about Rosey and Peterson? It appears that they haven’t officially been let go, but it’s really not clear at this time if they’ll be part of the new staff either.

Interesting tidbit that Vince mentions talk of Wulff trying to get a veteran defensive coordinator instead of giving the job to Jody Sears. I had assumed, like many others, that if Sears was coming he was coming to be the DC, but that looks like it’s not yet settled. I also wonder about Sturdy coming as the OC when the EWU job is sitting there. Sturdy is regarded as a spread offense guru, and how can anyone argue with the kind of numbers they put up this year. But Sturdy was a head coach for many years before that, and he may choose to throw his hat in the ring for the EWU head job vs. being an OC at a BCS school. Who knows. Maybe this could be part of the reason Rosey is still part of the program, as a fall-back in case Sturdy gets the EWU job? Again, this will all clear up in the next week or so, but it’s nice to see some things coming together.

Moving on, the new Big Cat, Wulff, was on KJR again this week with who else, Elise and Ian. Another good interview, give it a listen here.

Tip of the hat to Brandon Gibson. Not only was an first-team All-Pac-10 in a conference that is always full of excellent WR’s, but he’s now been named to Phil Steele’s All-American team. Here he is making yet another great catch on a fluttering Brink go-route that was wildly off the mark. Gibson was a 3rd team selection, but still, nice to see some national recognition for one hell of a WR. Let’s hope he returns next year to put up sick numbers in this WR-friendly offense! It’s easy to say that Gibson is probably the #1 recruit on Wulff’s radar right now. We pointed it out yesterday that an unknown sophomore WR at EWU named Aaron Boyce hauled in 85 balls for over 1300 yards last year. Just think what Gibson could do in ’08!

Finally, for not much of a reason…..WILL…..DERTING! This is a little clip from the ’03 Notre Dame game, where he tried to put QB Carlyle Holiday in the morgue. God how I miss that guy. Enjoy:

Levy Stays! Plus Other Stuff

December 14, 2007

Well that’s a relief. Mike Levenseller will in fact be on the staff for 2008, as announced by Cougfan and the Seattle Times. Very, very good move for the best WR coach we could have. Could this be a help in keeping Brandon Gibson in the fold for 2008? (begin rant) Hey Brandon, have YA SEEN this offense in action? Do you realize that some sophomore WR from Kent, Aaron Boyce, just hung up a whopping 85 catches for over 1300 yards in this offense?? With a sophomore QB no less? Do you realize what you might do as a senior in this offense next year?? (/rant)

We stumped for Levy yesterday so we won’t waste much time analyzing this move, but two large thumbs-up for Wulff to make the right move.

I thought it was interesting that Greg Peterson still hasn’t officially been let go at this point. Peterson was NOT on the list of coaches that were officially told they were no longer needed on Wednesday. Might there be a fit for him on this staff? I’ve mentioned it before, but from what I’ve seen of Peterson, I really like him. And while we’ve more or less ripped Doba’s practice of late offers and all that came with it, lo and behold Peterson was the recruiting coordinator and you know he’s got a serious portfolio of information on kids that they’ve made some progress with. Here’s hoping they find a permanent spot for him, in some capacity.

Just a few other points of interest today:

Cougfan has an article about the EWU offense from the perspective of Paul Sorenson($). Note the dollar sign means it’s a premium article. Also note you’ll NEVER see premium articles at WSU Football Blog! Not that there’s anything worth paying for…..but still…..

If you were thinking of shedding a tear for Doba? Don’t. He’s just fine, thanks. As Hooty pointed out yesterday, first of all, no, Bill, the “Internets” didn’t fire you. Not getting close to your success you had in 2003 and the recruiting failures this year are the reason you are done here. But old Dobes will be just fine with his 5-bedroom home on his lake property in Michigan and settlement in his back pocket (or at least trickling in over the next several years, but either way, he’s got more money than he knows what to do with).

In an article without WSU mentioned, other than Brandon Gibson as first-team all-conference, Ted Miller breaks down the Pac-10 from 2007. Pretty disappointing year for a lot of teams, wasn’t it? All the hot air in the summer about who was better, the SEC or the Pac-10, yet you look at the final BCS rankings? 5 SEC teams are in the top-25, only 2 are in the Pac-10. Ouch. The fold jobs by Cal and Oregon are truly crippling to the conference, because what, 6 weeks ago and they both were in the top 10. Oh, OK, so THAT’S why they play a full season!

The EWU QB, Nichols? He’s sticking it out at EWU. Nice idea Hooty, and hell, maybe you started a rumor with your post on Tuesday, but it was enough to where he had to shoot it down! I guess the nearly 42,000 page views mean that people are actually reading this stuff?

One more point. Now that the season is of course over, and the coaching search speculation and rumors are in the past, news is going to really slow down around WSU nation. We’ll see some news with the final coaching slots announced, and of course, recruiting news that will definitely start to pick up as these guys hit the road. I’ve also got a ton of WSU video that I will be periodically uploading for your enjoyment (and believe me, I’ve got some really good stuff that is hard to find anywhere else). But even with this officially the offseason, just know that we will still be out there with our eyes open and our ears to the ground, trolling for anything we deem relevant.

There were some comments the other night that ripped into our own Brinkhater. So be it. This isn’t a mainstream media site or a pay site, and never will be. We won’t even pretend to be something like that. The comments are wide open to express your point of view, and we will ALWAYS ENCOURAGE you to vent your spleen. If we didn’t want interaction and feedback, we wouldn’t have comments enabled. Speaking of comments, we don’t and we won’t require anyone to register with Google/Blogger/Etc. However you are also encouraged to adopt a nickname when posting comments. It does get a little boring seeing “anonymous” time and again, and if you are going to be a frequent commenter here, might as well pick a name so we know who you are. We’ve seen many of you do that, but still, some of you choose not to.

Our goal around here is to inform and entertain and most of all, keep things light. Don’t get me wrong, Brinkhater, Hootie and myself are some of the biggest fans around, and we care far too much than we should. But this whole thing is obviously a labor of love. And in our attempt to entertain, yes, we ARE going to miss the mark occasionally*cough *Monday night* cough*. But that’s part of the deal. Nobody hits a home run every time up. Like all of you reading this, we have real lives too with families and jobs and responsibilities that go with it. So if you don’t see anything fresh for a few days, don’t fret. We are not hanging it up.

Six Down, Three to Go?

December 13, 2007

For those of you who wanted Control-Alt-Delete with the coaching staff, you may be getting your wish. Rumors were circulating last night, but today it appears official – According to Howie Stalwick, Wulff has released at least six of the nine existing assistants. Yarno, Burtnett, Walker, Long, Walkosky and Peterson are all gone. As has been heavily speculated before, Broussard stays on as RB coach as part of the new regime. There are also two other potential coaches that will be retained in Rosenbach and Levenseller.

Who knows with Rosey. It’s no secret he wants to be a head coach, and with Todd Sturdy coming to coordinate the offense and also coach QB’s, it’s not really clear what his role would be. In fact, it does seem rather odd that they would attempt to retain him.

Rosey’s been a polarizing figure the last few years among the fans. But I have to admit that I’ve never really had a problem with the guy, at least with his coaching. I thought he did a good job of introducing new wrinkles to the tired old one-back offense that we’ve been running since 1987. Notice how much shotgun we ran this year? And how many times we actually ran out of it? We started to turn into a hybrid one-back this year in very subtle ways. And, even Brinkhater loves to point out how genius the 2003 Holiday Bowl offense was that night in San Diego. Several times Kegel would be in the shotgun, and we ran J-Smooth out of that alignment several times. The trick play on the TD where Kegel motioned out of the backfield like a receiver, and the direct snap to Smith? GREAT call that led to a TD. Texas just hadn’t seen us run much shotgun coming into that game, and especially running out of it was something that they weren’t prepared for.

And I still remember an interview Kegel gave in 2003 about Rosey, and how great a change it was from the previous regime. Remember, Rosey got Heisman votes in 1988 as a QB in this one-back offense. He’s been there, done it, and that carries weight with players. Moreso than just being the son of the coach or whatever.

But it’s also been told to us here that Rosey hasn’t been real happy the last few years. I think the fan criticism has worn him down, and he’s heard it all. In fact, one story is that Rosey used to walk up the stadium stairs before kickoff to get to the coaches box, right through the crowd. I remember noticing it the first time at the New Mexico game in 2003, where he and a couple of others walked right up through the crowd before kickoff. But around 2005, with all the Brink-Swogger controversy, that practice ended. Rosey heard more and more calls of “you f-ing idiot!” and garbage like that as he would make his way up the stairs, so he started to go up to the press box another way. Maybe a change of scenery would be good and he can get a fresh start somewhere else, ultimately leading to a head job.

The real wonder is Levenseller. I want to personally stump for that guy. I really and truly hope that they do the right thing and keep him around. Levy has given everything he has to the program since 1992. Not only one of the best players in WSU history, but he’s openly regarded by many as one of the top WR coaches around. Jack Thompson on KJR Monday night called him one of the best WR coaches in the country and the best he’s been around. That’s saying something. Our WR’s have been pretty special of late. Jason Hill obviously, the biggest TD maker in school history. Brandon Gibson was a 3-star recruit from Puyallup that a lot of schools missed on, and he’s blossomed into a first-team All-Pac-10 pick who set receiving records this year and has a fantastic future on the next level. Bumpus never had top-shelf speed, but is tough as hell with excellent hands. Even Charles Dillon, banged up all season, had a productive senior year. Plus, it’s not just about catches and yards with Levy’s guys. They ALL block on running plays. It’s a requirement when you are a one-back offense that your WR’s also block and not pull Randy Moss-type disinterest when the ball isn’t coming your way, and they do the dirty work as well.

Whatever happens, Levy, WSU Football Blog salutes your years of faithful service and we are all hoping that you return to the Palouse! Do the right thing coach Wulff, and keep this man.

Finally, potential recruiting news. Cougfan has the FREE STORY today of center Jonathan Solomon out of Lawndale, CA. He favors WSU and UW, with “Dad favoring WSU, Mom favoring UW. I probably agree with my Dad more, but we’ll see what happens after I take my trips.” He’ll be at WSU on 1/11, and at UW on 1/18. He’s got a lot of schools in the mix, including Oregon, Boise State, BC, Oregon State, and Virginia among others. All have offered. He’s a sharp kid too, 3.5 GPA and 1490 SAT. One thing that stands out here is that he mentions that Trent Miles of UW is the guy who’s been recruiting him. Well, Trent Miles is no longer with UW, as he accepted the head coaching position at Indiana State University last week. We’ll see if that matters in a month or so.