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Game Thread Ohio State 33, Washington 14 (Final)

Discussion in '2007 Football Season Capsule' started by BB73, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. BuckeyeNation27

    BuckeyeNation27 Goal Goal USA! Staff Member

    If you were told half the stories I've been told by ND fans, then you wouldn't think much of him as a "coach" either.
     
  2. MililaniBuckeye

    MililaniBuckeye The satanic soulless freight train that is Ohio St Staff Member Tech Admin

    Seeing us lay another ass-whuppin' on Washington would be the icing on the cake. I want payback for the 40-7 ass-beating they gave us there in 1986, not to mention the fact they've beat us our last two trips there (1986 and 1994).
     
  3. sears3820

    sears3820 Sitting around in my underwear.... Staff Member

    I'll be there also.

    Flying into Portland for a few days and then we'll make the trip north to Seattle on Thursday.

    Beers anyone? :biggrin:
     
  4. bukIpower

    bukIpower Senior

    Yeah I already am holding high hopes for this years team much like I did in 04' when we replaced a lot of talent. The difference this year between 04' is that we got killed in our last game, we return an o-line, we have an established back, have a QB who has been in the system for 3 years, and have the mainly the same back 7 on defense. I must say I'm very confident in our chances to go 8-0 to start the year, but at the same time I can't help but think about some of the problems we will most likely face.

    I have an erray feeling that this offense is going to be horrible on 3rd down just like we were in 04' and that we won't have a 2nd back come to the fore front.. I hope i'm pleasantly surprised but I see some problems on offense. We'll need Small to come up big for us I think to ease the pressure off the run game.
     
  5. Flocka

    Flocka Where you going? NOWHERE!

    You say that like we are going to have a sub par run game next year.
     
  6. Jaxbuck

    Jaxbuck I hate tsun ‘18 Fantasy Baseball Champ


    I think he meant we need it to keep defenses from selling out vs the run.
     
  7. Flocka

    Flocka Where you going? NOWHERE!

    If so, I agree.
     
  8. daddyphatsacs

    daddyphatsacs Let the cards fall... Staff Member

    Regardless of the stories, you cannot discount the fact that his team beat UCLA last season.......and nearly beat USC. That alone is enough to make me take notice.
     
  9. MililaniBuckeye

    MililaniBuckeye The satanic soulless freight train that is Ohio St Staff Member Tech Admin

    I probably could be conned into slammin' a few brews....
     
  10. 3yardsandacloud

    3yardsandacloud Administrator Emeritus

    Recent News

    Game 3 - Washington Huskies

    Official Washington Huskies Athletic Site:
    Reffett Looks Forward To Football Practice 4/9/07
    Gunheim Brings Winning Mentality to Spring 4/5/07
    Willingham Excited for Spring Football Prospects 4/3/07
    Huskies Welcome Four New Football Players 3/26/07
    Jets Sign Former Husky QB Tuiasosopo 3/26/07
    2007 Spring Football Preview 3/23/07
    Washington quarterback connects with Bellingham 6-year-old fighting for his life. 3/7/07
    Baggett Joins Washington Husky Football Staf 2/28/07
    Huskies Invited To NFL Combine 2/9/07
    Willingham Signs Deep Class 2/8/07
    Signing Day Central (Indepth Info on the Huskies New Signees) 2/7/07
    Washington Welcomes 27 New Huskies To Its Football Program 2/7/07
    Husky Talk With Tyrone Willingham 1/24/07
    Washington Football Makes 2007 Schedule Changes 1/19/07
    2007 Washington Football Spring Prospectus PDF
    2007 Spring Roster




    News from CSTV/The Sports Exchange ... "Inside Slant":
    Inside Slant - 3/26/07
    Inside Slant - 2/08/07
    Inside Slant - 1/02/07




    Huskies Spring Practice Goes Beyond Just QB Competition 4/9/07 (AP)

    SEATTLE -- Jordan Reffett looks at spring practice a little like payday.

    Hours of winter conditioning -- done. Four months without hitting anyone -- finished. The next three weeks is time to cash in for Washington's senior defensive tackle.

    "Guys have been working all winter long. Guys have goals, they want to play, they want to start, they want to make big plays," Reffett said. "This is a chance to make big strides in their performance."
    The next three weeks had better be highly profitable for the Huskies, as perhaps the most challenging schedule in school history awaits them come fall.

    Washington begins its spring practice on Monday, and while most of the focus will be on freshman quarterback Jake Locker, the issues coach Tyrone Willingham faces in finally getting the Huskies back to a bowl game go deeper than who takes snaps from center.

    "The reality is I probably haven't equaled where I hoped we would be. I thought we would be that bowl team by now," Willingham said. "The reality of where we can go is still very much out there. We can get to be a really, really good football team again."

    Washington finished the 2006 season 5-7, short of its goal of reaching a bowl game -- an accomplishment that appeared plausible after a 4-1 start. But the Huskies closed 1-6, with narrow losses at Southern California and California, and an inconceivable 20-3 home setback to Stanford that ended any bowl hopes.

    The Huskies were bolstered by their 35-32 win over Washington State in the Apple Cup that kept the Cougars bowl-less as well.

    "It has the ability to kick you into gear for your offseason," Willingham said. "It put a good taste in our mouth."

    Willingham's main areas of concern this spring include replacing a pair of starters on both the offensive line and at linebacker, building depth in the secondary and hoping his two running backs don't get run down.

    Locker's move to the top of the depth chart at quarterback isn't simply because of offseason shoulder surgery to Carl Bonnell, the Huskies starter for the final five games last season. Willlingham said other areas of Locker's growth showed him enough that if the season started now, Locker would get the nod.

    Teammates are excited by Locker's prospects, even if he's never taken a collegiate snap.

    "I'm not worried about Jake Locker," Reffett said. "Jake Locker is the man in my eyes."

    But there won't be many bodies to for Locker or Bonnell to hand the ball off to this spring.
    Washington has just two tailbacks on its roster -- senior Louis Rankin and junior J.R. Hasty. Rankin led Washington with 666 yards rushing and had four rushing touchdowns last year, while Hasty has yet to run the ball in college, hampered for one year by academic problems.

    Help will arrive for the backfield when fall camp begins with four incoming freshman.

    "I never really practiced like this in high school. It's going to be a lot of reps," Rankin said.

    Juan Garcia, Ben Ossai and Chad Macklin return along the offensive line, but Washington lost both starting guards. Competing for one of those spots will be 6-foot-8, 375-pound junior Morgan Rosborough.

    Across the ball, the defensive line returns all four starters, and should play a significant role in helping decide who starts on the offensive line.

    "I think that needs to be solidified this spring, and I think the defensive line plays a huge part in that," Reffett said. "We're going to go out there and try to beat them every day."

    Behind the defensive line is another area of transition. Gone at linebacker are Scott White and Tahj Bomar, with Dan Howell the only starter back. Half the secondary returns, but the Huskies lost two of their most talented defensive players in safety C.J. Wallace and cornerback Dashon Goldson.

    Washington concludes its three-week run with the annual spring game on April 28. After that begins the countdown to the Aug. 31 opener at Syracuse.

    From there, the schedule only gets tougher, with a home schedule of Boise State (Sept. 8), Ohio State (Sept. 15), USC (Sept. 29), Oregon (Oct. 20), Arizona (Oct. 27), California (Nov. 17) and Washington State (Nov. 24).

    "We were close to being a bowl team last year. Obviously we did not make it, but our goal does not change," Willingham said. "We have to get to one and the time is now. There is no better time than now."





    Huskies face tough schedule 4/9/07

    BY NICK DASCHEL Columbian staff writer

    SEATTLE - As if four consecutive losing seasons wasn't enough to get it in gear when Washington opens spring practice today, there's another reason for urgency:

    The 2007 season schedule.

    It is as daunting as any in the country. And that just covers the home portion of the schedule.

    The seven-game schedule in Husky Stadium includes contests against Boise State, Ohio State, Southern California, Oregon and California, all bowl teams from a year ago and possible preseason Top 25 clubs.

    Moreover, the Huskies face Boise State, Ohio State and USC in September, three teams that played in Bowl Championship Series games last season.

    "Challenging. That's the way you look at it," Washington coach Tyrone Willingham said. "It doesn't get much better than that."

    Or frightening, if you're a team trying to reach postseason play for the first time since 2001. Or looking at starting a redshirt freshman at quarterback.

    This isn't Willingham's mindset.

    Heading into his third season at Washington, Willingham is convinced the Huskies are on the verge of a breakthrough.

    Of course, he thought along similar lines the past two seasons.

    "The reality is I probably haven't equaled what I hoped we would be. I thought we'd be that bowl team by now," he said. "It's still very much out there. We can get to be a very, very good football team again, and I think we're making strides in that direction."

    Spring is a time for stars and leaders to emerge, to build depth and further learn the coach's system. The Huskies will need a heavy dose of all three during the upcoming three weeks if they are to rebound from last year's 5-7 season.

    The team's areas of strength appear to be at receiver, when seniors Anthony Russo, Corey Williams, Marcel Reece and Quintin Daniels return; tight end, where an experienced threesome of Michael Gottlieb, Johnnie Kirton and Robert Lewis are back; and the defensive front seven.

    The positions of greatest concern are quarterback, where redshirt freshman Jake Locker is battling senior Carl Bonnell for the starting job; offensive line, a position with some returnees but one that Willingham consistently believes makes or breaks a season; and running back.

    Help is on the way in the backfield, as in February the Huskies signed five running backs. But this spring, only two running backs will suit up in senior Louis Rankin and sophomore J.R. Hasty.

    Rankin, who has five 100-yard games during his career, has rushed for 1,186 yards during his career, while Hasty - who sat out last season to repair his academic life - has yet to play in a college game.

    Because of his history, it would seem that the starting job is Rankin's to lose, though that is not his mindset.

    "Not at all. I'm going out to get better every day. I want (Hasty) to get better and better," Rankin said."I want him to do the best he can do. ... If he wins the job, there's nothing I can do about it. All I want to do is win some games."

    Willingham said just about everyone on the depth chart will be able to participate to some degree during spring practice. One known exception is defensive end Anthony Atkins, who will spend the spring working on academics.

    The spring game, which is open to the public, will be played on April 28 at 12:45 p.m. in Husky Stadium.





    UW running back: "I have a lot to prove" 4/9/07

    By Bob Condotta

    The interview was nearing its conclusion when a coach reminded J.R. Hasty that he'd better just end it so as not to miss even a second of an upcoming tutoring session.

    And about as fast as he ran while scoring 92 touchdowns while playing at Bellevue High School, Hasty was off.

    "I don't see it happening again," Hasty had vowed moments earlier of the events that led to him being declared academically ineligible for the 2006 season.

    But until the day he actually steps onto the field as a running back for Washington and begins to fulfill all those expectations that accompanied his arrival as the most-heralded recruit of Tyrone Willingham's first class, he knows questions will remain.

    "I feel I have a lot to prove," he admitted.

    Which is why, as UW's spring ball begins today, Willingham sounds as much cautious as optimistic on the topic of Hasty, indicating that football is secondary to getting everything else in order.

    "The first thing is we're hoping that he continues the process of being the person that we'd like him to be and doing all the things that need to be done in this system," said Willingham when asked what he'd like to see out of Hasty this spring.

    Hasty is eligible for spring practice and should he continue on the same road through the spring and summer quarters, he apparently will be good to go next fall.

    And Hasty says not to worry, that he has learned his lesson.

    "Last year, I wasn't taking it seriously enough," he said. "Not as serious as I should have been and not as serious as I am now. Fall quarter, I did real well. Winter quarter, I did pretty good. So I'm trying to finish up strong and make my chances of playing greater."

    Hasty didn't do that last year, and fell behind in the number of credits needed to be eligible, putting him in catch-up mode. And which is why until the fall arrives and he has done the work needed, his name figures to be etched in pencil, not pen, on the depth chart.

    In what would seem a sign that he may have received his wake-up call, Hasty shirks little blame for what happened.

    "I was messing up, slacking off, being lazy," he said. "Going through that stage the first year of the typical stuff you might think of ? too much hanging out, socializing. I look at it now and realize I really did mess up big time."

    It wasn't just academics that fell behind, however.

    Hasty looked just like the running back the Huskies were hoping to get during practice in the fall of 2005 as a true freshman ? the same form that allowed him to score a state-record 50 touchdowns as a senior at Bellevue ? and coaches flirted with the idea of playing him on several occasions before deciding on a redshirt.

    But after the season, he said, he decided to add bulk, thinking bigger would be better.

    And when spring 2006 rolled around, his quickness and instincts weren't as readily there, leaving him third on the depth chart out of three scholarship running backs when the spring ended.

    Hasty, listed as a junior but with three years of eligibility remaining, said he weighed 208 to 210 pounds last spring, up from 195 his final season at Bellevue.

    "I'd never been that heavy in my life," he said. "So that was kind of messing with me. I think I was trying to get a little stronger and I took it a little too far and got a bit overweight. I didn't like how I was playing with it. I know that can't happen again."

    So now he's down to 200 and said, "I'm a lot faster than I was last year."

    Just in time, as this looms as a make-or-break spring for Hasty. He and senior Louis Rankin are the only tailbacks on the roster ? scholarship or otherwise ? meaning he'll get all the chances he wants to impress coaches and make his case for a significant role this coming season.

    But the backfield gets crowded again in the fall, as the Huskies signed five running backs in February, and two or three figure to get a chance to play immediately.

    "We're going to be in real good shape this spring because there's only four of us [including two fullbacks] to take all the running-back reps," Hasty said. "There's a chance of me and Louis playing a lot more because the coaches will see us a lot."

    Last fall, Hasty was forced to watch games from the seats of Husky Stadium or on television. After being declared ineligible in the summer, he couldn't practice until late September when he was deemed eligible to return to workouts, but not to full playing status.

    "It was real hard for me, all that stuff that was happening," he said. "It was pretty much all on me, doing that to myself. It was a real eye-opener. But as a young guy, it can happen to anybody. As long as you stay on top of your game, you will be on top of it, so that's the plan now, to stay on top of everything ? class and football."

    Through it all, he says the thought of leaving never entered his mind. He intends to stay, and play, as a Husky.

    "I always knew I was coming back," he said. "Right when it happened, they told me I was ineligible for this football season but that 'we still want you to play for us.' But they told me they want me to learn from it. I did. I did learn a lot. I wasn't going anywhere. I'm going to stay here until they kick me out."

    Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com. Read his blogs on Washington football and basketball at www.seattletimes.com/huskies


    UW spring football

    The Huskies will have 15 practices beginning today and concluding with the annual Purple-White game April 28 at 12:45 p.m. at Husky Stadium. That game is free.

    Here are five key questions facing UW this spring:

    Who's the quarterback?

    Actually, this one may have been cleared up pretty quickly. UW coach Tyrone Willingham said last week that Jake Locker is the starter for now, and while Carl Bonnell has more experience, he's not healthy, opening the door for Locker to take control for good. And given the lavish praise UW coaches have heaped on Locker, there's little reason to think he won't be the starter for as long as he stays at UW.

    Who plays guard?

    UW's biggest offensive question mark may be finding guards to replace the graduated Stanley Daniels and Clay Walker. Those two played virtually every down last year, and of the four main contenders to take over, only one has seen action as an offensive linemen for the Huskies ? Casey Bulyca, pegged as a co-starter at right guard along with Ryan Tolar. Morgan Rosborough and Jordan White-Frisbee, who is apparently on his way to health after battling foot problems the last two years, will compete on the other side.

    Will there be enough bodies in the secondary?

    The Huskies enter spring with just eight defensive backs on the roster, including two walk-ons and two who missed last season because of injury. Reinforcements are coming in the fall, however, and coaches say two or three true freshmen are likely to be called on to play. For now, the Huskies are hoping to see some good signs from the likes of cornerback Jordan Murchison (junior-college transfer who missed last year because of injury) and strong safety Mesphin Forrester (likely replacement for graduated starter C.J. Wallace).

    How about running backs?

    UW has just two tailbacks on the roster this spring ? Louis Rankin and J.R. Hasty ? and just two fullbacks ? Paul Homer and Luke Kravitz. Like the secondary, there are lots of new bodies coming in the fall. For now, Homer and Kravitz will get lots of opportunities to fill in at tailback.

    Who are some other key players to watch?

    Former Bellevue star E.J. Savannah will battle it out with Chris Stevens to take over for the graduated Scott White at weakside linebacker; Donald Butler moves up to take over for Tahj Bomar at middle linebacker; incoming JC transfer Jared Ballman takes over at punter and could also handle some kicking duties this spring with Ryan Perkins still getting back to full health; Ronnie Fouch finished up high school earlier this year so he could enroll at UW in time for spring ball and will compete for the No. 3 quarterback job.





    UW QB job is Locker's to lose 4/9/07

    By Bob Condotta
    Seattle Times staff reporter

    Washington football coach Tyrone Willingham said Thursday that the Huskies' starting quarterback job is Jake Locker's to lose.

    And because Locker rarely loses at anything, that was about as good as saying he will be the team's quarterback when the season begins Aug. 31 at Syracuse.

    "If we had to play a game today, he would be our quarterback," Willingham said during a luncheon to mark the beginning of spring drills, which get under way Monday.

    Willingham said that would be the case even if senior Carl Bonnell ? who started the last five games of the 2006 season ? were completely healthy, which Bonnell isn't, still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

    It was a somewhat surprising admission by Willingham, who in his first two years at UW had tended to be as cautious as possible in declaring starters. And Willingham qualified his statement a few times by saying that "we are still very much in competition."

    But a depth chart released on Thursday showed Locker at No. 1, and even Bonnell admitted his goal now is to try to wrest the job from his younger counterpart.

    "He deserves the opportunity," Bonnell said. "It's my job to push him and hopefully take the job. ... He has as much potential as anybody I've ever seen at quarterback. So it's going to be experience vs. potential."

    Bonnell, however, won't be in optimum condition to compete. He will be limited during spring drills after surgery on his left shoulder to repair an injury suffered last season. Bonnell said the surgery included having a cadaver's tendon installed to "tie my stuff back up."

    He hasn't been able to lift weights as much as he'd like and has lost a little weight.

    But Willingham's announcement was as much about Locker as it was Bonnell.

    Locker, who didn't attend the luncheon due to a class conflict, arrived at UW last fall as one of the most heralded recruits in school history after a stellar career at Ferndale High, regarded as the player who could lead the Huskies back to the promised land.

    Willingham resisted the urge to take the redshirt off Locker last season after Isaiah Stanback suffered a foot injury, which allowed Bonnell to take over. UW went 1-4 in Bonnell's starts, winning the final game of the year at Washington State.

    But Willingham said Locker has done enough in his one redshirt season, as well as his high-school history ? he led Ferndale to the state 3A title as a senior ? to deserve the No. 1 nod.

    "It's his understanding of how the game is played and executing certain things and putting himself and his team in certain good positions," Willingham said.

    Willingham said he's confident Locker will be able to handle the pressure of starting from day one of his college career if that's how it unfolds.

    But he also said UW coaches will have to be innovative this spring to speed up the learning curve of Locker and UW's quarterbacks. Other than Bonnell, the only other scholarship QB on the roster is Ronnie Fouch, who graduated from high school early to enroll in time for spring ball.

    "We're going to have to create ways this spring to accelerate the growth in all of our quarterbacks," Willingham said, including letting the QBs call their own plays during practices and putting them in more game-type situations.

    Names back on jerseys?

    Willingham said he is considering returning to having player names on the back of UW's jerseys. Willingham removed the names when he arrived before the 2005 season, saying it was one way to help install more of a team attitude.

    But Willingham said as the program "continues to grow and mature," some adjustments can be made and that "we are getting closer" to where he wants the team to be in terms of its overall attitude.

    "But also if we do it, it's to help the fans, which is a big part of it," Willingham said, acknowledging he has heard from those who say it's hard to follow the players on the field without names. He also said he initially hoped to eliminate double numbers ? two players sharing the same number ? which makes it confusing for fans at times without names on the jerseys. "But it's been difficult to eliminate that because we have a lot of kids," he said. "We have 110 kids at times."

    NOTES

    ? Willingham officially announced the hiring of Luke Huard as the team's offensive graduate assistant and Anthony Gabriel, a former linebacker for Willingham at Stanford, as the defensive graduate assistant. Huard will work with the offense (primarily quarterbacks) and Gabriel with the defense (primarily the line).

    ? Backup DE Anthony Atkins will sit out spring practice to concentrate on his academics, Willingham said.

    ? Willingham said the team is pretty healthy heading into spring and that everyone on the roster should be able to participate in some capacity. That includes OL Jordan White-Frisbee, who has battled foot injuries the past two years but is listed No. 2 at one guard spot. Also back is strong safety Darin Harris, who sat out last season with a back injury. Willingham said Harris could be limited, but he's listed No. 2 on the depth chart behind Mesphin Forrester.

    ? Willingham said the key position battle could be at guard, where UW lost both starters. Morgan Rosborough, a 6-6, 375-pound junior, is listed as one starter with Casey Bulyca and Ryan Tolar listed as co-starters on the other side.

    Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com. Read his blogs on Washington football and basketball at www.seattletimes.com/huskies.





    STILL KICKING 4/8/07

    Gail Wood
    The Olympian

    In an empty Husky Stadium, Ryan Perkins jogged alone across the artificial turf, grinning as his legs stretched out in front of him one at a time. It was as though he had found some place better than heaven.


    Perkins' remarkable comeback from two major knee surgeries in five months had just taken one giant leap forward.

    "He was grinning ear to ear," said Rob Scheidegger, University of Washington's head trainer who watched Perkins run that day in January. "He's been through so much."

    On May 5 last year, Perkins, who was an all-state kicker in 2004 as a senior at North Thurston High School, underwent a 4 1/2 -hour surgery to repair three torn ligaments in his right knee, which was injured during the Huskies' annual spring football scrimmage. A defensive lineman rolled into Perkins just after he punted.

    Perkins' anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate and medical collateral ligaments were torn, as was his meniscus. His knee also was dislocated.

    "It was brutal," Scheidegger said. "I've watched it on video."

    In early October, five months into his rehabilitation, Perkins suffered another setback. His ACL tore again because his knee was so loose, putting him back into the hospital for surgery.

    But this time, rather than patching the tendons, doctors replaced Perkins' ACL and MCL with cadaver ligaments. He spent another month flat on his back, doing school work from his Lacey home and keeping up with his studies.

    After his first surgery, Perkins was hospitalized five days. He returned home after four days the second time.

    "The second one, since it was five months from the injury, was a lot easier recovery," Perkins said. "A lot less painful."

    He had to sit for nearly an entire month after both surgeries as his knee healed, relying on his mom and grandparents to meet his needs.

    Back in action

    In late January, Perkins got clearance to begin jogging.

    "It's tough going from being able to kick and run and do all the good stuff, and then all of a sudden the next day not being able to walk," Perkins said. "It's not been easy. It's a job on its own. I was pretty hard-nosed about it."

    Remarkably, just three months after major knee surgery, Perkins began punting. But rather than using his right leg, he punted with his left, booming kicks 55 to 70 yards with 4.5-second hang time. Once his right leg is healthy, he'll kick field goals with his right foot.

    "It helps being ambidextrous," Perkins said. "Eventually, my right leg will be as strong as my left."

    On a mission

    Perkins isn't expected to get doctor's clearance to compete in UW's spring drills that begin Monday. But he is planning on being the Huskies' punter and kicker for their season opener Aug. 31 at Syracuse.

    "He's on a mission to come back," said Bob Simmons, the Huskies' special teams coach. "He's got a great attitude, a great outlook. He's done an incredible job."

    With placekicker Michael Braunstein and punter Sean Douglas both gone from last year's team, Perkins is Washington's only returning kicker. He'll compete with incoming freshman Jared Ballman of Grossmont (Calif.) and junior college transfer Erik Folk of Sherman Oaks, Calif.

    Perkins' long journey back hasn't come without a price. Far removed from the roaring fans, from the thrill of game day, Perkins worked out two to three hours a day, six days a week - usually alone.

    At first, the task was simply to straighten his leg.

    No guarantees came with all of the hard work.

    "The doctors never said there was a 100 percent chance, or an 80 percent chance or a 50 percent change," Perkins said. "Basically, they said their goal was to have me back kicking in a year."

    Perkins is way ahead of schedule. He turned some heads when he began punting with his left foot with a brace on his right knee. He continues to strengthen both of his legs by lifting weights and conditioning.

    "He doesn't have to be told to come to rehab," said Scheidegger, who rated Perkins' injuries among the worst he's seen.

    "I have athletes you have to keep after. But with Ryan, you just give him the workout, and he does it. I worry about him doing too much."

    'As tough as they come'

    Perkins, while no stranger to disappointment this past year, never thought about quitting when he heard his ACL was torn a second time.

    "I love to compete," Perkins said. "I love to play sports. Quitting never really crossed my mind. Don't get me wrong, there's been a lot of down time. But I always thought the surgery was going to make my leg better."

    Perkins is a contradiction to the stereotype that kickers are softies.

    "He's as tough as they come," Simmons said.

    For Perkins, the first recruit to give a verbal commitment to then-Huskies coach Keith Gilbertson, last season was an odd one. Injured, he wasn't part of the team, but Perkins went to practices, working with the kickers by holding snaps.

    "He stayed part of the team," Simmons said. "He didn't do a lot. He was there. He said to me that he still wanted to be part of the team."

    And now, after two major knee surgeries, Perkins is back on the field, chasing his dream.

    "I'm not a quitter," he said.

    Nobody doubted that.




    QB Locker carries great expectations for Huskies football 4/8/07

    Sunday, April 08, 2007
    BY NICK DASCHEL

    SEATTLE - You might expect this from the coach, an offensive lineman or receiver, even an impressed linebacker.

    But from the guy who is in direct competition for the same starting job?

    When it comes to Washington redshirt freshman Jake Locker, even senior quarterback Carl Bonnell can't help himself.

    "He is one of the most physically gifted people I've ever met at the quarterback position," Bonnell said. "His potential is just outstanding. Just watching him learn the offense and get out there to try to prove himself will be a fun experience."

    Bonnell started the final five games of the 2006 season for the Huskies, but when spring practice begins Monday, he'll chase Locker.

    Some of it is circumstance, as Bonnell still isn't 100 percent after undergoing offseason surgery on his non-throwing left shoulder. But even if Bonnell were healthy, UW coach Tyrone Willingham says he "would lean toward making Jake our starter."

    "The opportunities he's had to play the game of football, he's shown himself very well," Willingham said.

    That would be what Locker accomplished at Ferndale High School, and at practice during the 2006 UW season. Locker has vaulted over Bonnell, who has thrown 218 passes in two seasons at Washington.

    "Really, it's experience vs. potential," Bonnell said.

    It's flattering to Locker, though he doesn't appear swayed by the talk. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound former pro baseball prospect knows that come Monday, he'll have to justify the hype.

    "You're never guaranteed anything," Locker said. "I know that's what the coach said, and I'm grateful for that, but I also understand that this is competition. My focus is going out this spring and reinforcing that he made the right decision."

    Truth is, unless Locker blows away Willingham and offensive coordinator Tim Lappano during the three weeks of spring practice, the battle for the No. 1 quarterback will commence again when preseason drills open in August.

    Willingham said he's comfortable naming a starter the week of the season opener against Syracuse, though he adds, "we'd like to have all the answers as soon as possible."

    Who is Locker, the most touted Husky quarterback prospect in at least a decade?

    Clearly, he's an athlete who can accomplish things with his legs or his arm. During his senior season at Ferndale, Locker passed for 27 touchdowns - and ran for 24 more. He was a first-team Parade All-American.

    "I just have a lot of fun playing," Locker said. "That's when you get your best results. I like to play aggressive and when I step on the field, I don't believe anybody can stop me."

    Though Isaiah Stanback, UW's starter the first seven games of 2006 before he suffered a season-ending foot injury, is considered the gold standard for athletic ability among recent Husky quarterbacks, it doesn't drop off much with Locker.

    When asked whether Locker was comparable to Stanback when it comes to structuring an offense, Willingham said "his ability may allow us to do additional things. There may be some things we're able to add that we weren't able to do (last year)."

    First things first, though.

    Locker is one year removed from running the wing-T at Ferndale, an offense that revolves around multiple running backs and uses the pass as somewhat of a surprise element.

    At Washington, Locker will have to prove he's capable of operating a college-style offense; a year ago, the Huskies threw at least 25 passes each game. He has spent the past three months running 7-on-7 drills with UW's veteran crew of receivers.

    During spring practice, Locker will receive the majority of work at quarterback. Bonnell can take part in most drills, but will have to avoid contact, which means he's unlikely to play in the spring game April 28.

    "He definitely deserves this opportunity," Bonnell said. "But it's my job to push him and hopefully take the job."

    Both seem to be taking a may-the-best-man-win-the-job approach.

    "He wouldn't be here if he didn't want to play," Locker said of Bonnell. "We're good buddies. I respect Carl a lot ... There's no hard feelings either way.

    "I hope it's going to be me, but if it's him, I'm going to support him as much as I can throughout the process."




    Huskies prepare for challenge 4/8/07 (AP)

    Rugged fall schedule awaits UW in '07

    Tim Booth
    Associated Press
    April 8, 2007

    SEATTLE ? Jordan Reffett looks at spring practice a little like payday.

    Hours of winter conditioning ? done. Four months without hitting anyone ? finished. The next three weeks is time to cash in for Washington's senior defensive tackle.

    "Guys have been working all winter long. Guys have goals, they want to play, they want to start, they want to make big plays," Reffett said. "This is a chance to make big strides in their performance."

    The next three weeks had better be highly profitable for the Huskies, as perhaps the most challenging schedule in school history awaits them come fall.

    Washington begins its spring practice on Monday, and while most of the focus will be on freshman quarterback Jake Locker, the issues coach Tyrone Willingham faces in finally getting the Huskies back to a bowl game go deeper than who takes snaps from center.

    "The reality is I probably haven't equaled where I hoped we would be. I thought we would be that bowl team by now," Willingham said. "The reality of where we can go is still very much out there. We can get to be a really, really good football team again."

    Washington finished the 2006 season 5-7, short of its goal of reaching a bowl game ? an accomplishment that appeared plausible after a 4-1 start. But the Huskies closed 1-6, with narrow losses at Southern California and California, and an inconceivable 20-3 home setback to Stanford that ended any bowl hopes.

    The Huskies were bolstered by their 35-32 win over Washington State in the Apple Cup that kept the Cougars bowl-less as well.

    "It has the ability to kick you into gear for your off-season," Willingham said. "It put a good taste in our mouth."

    Willingham's main areas of concern this spring include replacing a pair of starters on both the offensive line and at linebacker, building depth in the secondary and hoping his two running backs don't get run down.

    Locker's move to the top of the depth chart at quarterback isn't simply because of off-season shoulder surgery to Carl Bonnell, the Huskies starter for the final five games last season. Willlingham said other areas of Locker's growth showed him enough that if the season started now, Locker would get the nod.

    Teammates are excited by Locker's prospects, even if he's never taken a collegiate snap.

    "I'm not worried about Jake Locker," Reffett said. "Jake Locker is the man in my eyes."

    But there won't be many bodies for Locker or Bonnell to hand the ball off to this spring. Washington has just two tailbacks on its roster ? senior Louis Rankin and junior J.R. Hasty. Rankin led Washington with 666 yards rushing and had four rushing touchdowns last year, while Hasty has yet to run the ball in college, hampered for one year by academic problems.

    Help will arrive for the backfield when fall camp begins with four incoming freshman.

    "I never really practiced like this in high school. It's going to be a lot of reps," Rankin said.

    Continued ...




    Spring Football: QBs Not UW's Only Question 4/8/07

    The Huskies have to address issues on the line, at linebacker and in the backfield this spring.

    By Tim Booth, Associated Press
    April 8, 2007

    SEATTLE

    Jordan Reffett looks at spring practice a little like payday.





    Hours of winter conditioning ? done. Four months without hitting anyone ? finished. The next three weeks is time to cash in for Washington?s senior defensive tackle.

    "Guys have been working all winter long. Guys have goals, they want to play, they want to start, they want to make big plays," Reffett said. "This is a chance to make big strides in their performance."

    The next three weeks had better be highly profitable for the Huskies, as perhaps the most challenging schedule in school history awaits them come fall.

    Washington begins its spring practice on Monday, and while most of the focus will be on freshman quarterback Jake Locker, the issues coach Tyrone Willingham faces in finally getting the Huskies back to a bowl game go deeper than who takes snaps from center.

    "The reality is I probably haven?t equaled where I hoped we would be. I thought we would be that bowl team by now," Willingham said. "The reality of where we can go is still very much out there. We can get to be a really, really good football team again."

    Washington finished the 2006 season 5-7, short of its goal of reaching a bowl game ? an accomplishment that appeared plausible after a 4-1 start. But the Huskies closed 1-6, with narrow losses at Southern California and California, and an inconceivable 20-3 home setback to Stanford that ended any bowl hopes.

    The Huskies were bolstered by their 35-32 win over Washington State in the Apple Cup that kept the Cougars bowl-less as well.

    "It has the ability to kick you into gear for your offseason," Willingham said. "It put a good taste in our mouth."

    Willingham?s main areas of concern this spring include replacing a pair of starters on both the offensive line and at linebacker, building depth in the secondary and hoping his two running backs don?t get run down.

    Locker?s move to the top of the depth chart at quarterback isn?t simply because of offseason shoulder surgery to Carl Bonnell, the Huskies starter for the final five games last season. Willingham said other areas of Locker?s growth showed him enough that if the season started now, Locker would get the nod.

    Teammates are excited by Locker?s prospects, even if he?s never taken a collegiate snap.

    "I?m not worried about Jake Locker," Reffett said. "Jake Locker is the man in my eyes."

    But there won?t be many bodies to for Locker or Bonnell to hand the ball off to this spring. Washington has just two tailbacks on its roster ? senior Louis Rankin and junior J.R. Hasty. Rankin led Washington with 666 yards rushing and had four rushing touchdowns last year, while Hasty has yet to run the ball in college, hampered for one year by academic problems.

    Help will arrive for the backfield when fall camp begins with four incoming freshman.

    "I never really practiced like this in high school. It?s going to be a lot of reps," Rankin said.

    Juan Garcia, Ben Ossai and Chad Macklin return along the offensive line, but Washington lost both starting guards. Competing for one of those spots will be 6-foot-8, 375-pound junior Morgan Rosborough.

    Across the ball, the defensive line returns all four starters, and should play a significant role in helping decide who starts on the offensive line.

    "I think that needs to be solidified this spring, and I think the defensive line plays a huge part in that," said Reffett, a fifth-year senior from Moses Lake. "We?re going to go out there and try to beat them every day."

    Behind the defensive line is another area of transition. Gone at linebacker are Scott White and Tahj Bomar, with Dan Howell the only starter back. Half the secondary returns, but the Huskies lost two of their most talented defensive players in safety C.J. Wallace and cornerback Dashon Goldson.

    Washington concludes its three-week run with the annual spring game on April 28. After that begins the countdown to the Aug. 31 opener at Syracuse.

    From there, the schedule only gets tougher, with a home schedule of Boise State (Sept. 8), Ohio State (Sept. 15), USC (Sept. 29), Oregon (Oct. 20), Arizona (Oct. 27), California (Nov. 17) and Washington State (Nov. 24).

    "We were close to being a bowl team last year. Obviously we did not make it, but our goal does not change," Willingham said. "We have to get to one and the time is now. There is no better time than now."




    UW Spring Football Preview - Part 1 thru 4 3/28/07 thru 4/8/07

    UW Spring Football Preview - Part 1
    Nathan Ware
    http://www.thedawgblawg.com

    Ah, one of the best times of the year: spring football. When basketball ends and all we have is baseball, spring football is like an oasis in the desert.

    The Huskies have a lot of work to get done in this year's session. They have to break in a new QB, they have new faces on special teams, and they have to take the defense to the next level.

    Let's start with defensive line as we look at each unit and how they stack up going into spring football.

    Defensive Line

    My take on the UW defensive line last year was that they were decent but not great. Frankly, I expected a little more out of this group. I thought that last year was the year they could start looking like a top tier line. It didn't happen but, with everyone returning, maybe this year will be that year.

    Projected Starters: Daniel Te'o-Nesheim(Soph) - DE, Greyson Gunheim(Sr) ? DE, Wilson Afoa(Sr) ? DT, Jordan Reffett(Sr) ? DT

    Key Losses: Donny Mateaki ? DT

    Key Reserves: Erick Lobos(Sr) ? DT, Anthony Atkins(Jr) ? DT, Caesar Rayford(Sr) ? DE, Cameron Elisara(Fr) ? DT, Darrion Jones(So) ? DE, De-shon Matthews(So) ? DE, Derek Kosub(Fr) ? DT, Jovon O'Connor(Jr) ? DT

    The starting four is as good as it has been in a decade and the reserves look capable of giving Washington one of the best defensive line rotations in the conference. I'm expecting this group to be near the top of the conference in sacks and rushing yards allowed.

    DE Greyson Gunheim has the tools and experience to elevate his status to 1st team All-Pac-10. He'll be gunning(pun intended) to draw the attention of the NFL this season. Afoa and Reffett are a solid tandem and the youngster, Te'o-Nesheim, is just a great football player who never stops moving towards his target.

    Most people would agree that USC has the best defensive line. With Washington State, UCLA, and Cal losing key players on their lines, Washington's line could be one of the top 3 in the conference.

    The importance of that fact will be accentuated this year because the secondary lost key players. Defensive coordinator Kent Baer will rely on this line to get pressure on the opposing QB to help out the young players in the defensive backfield.

    I'm curious to see how Anthony Atkins, Cameron Elisara, and Darrion Jones fit into the equation. It's likely that they will become starters in 2008 so this season is their opportunity to get some experience under their belt.

    Atkins is the wild card as we just don't know what to expect from him. However, he looks like a player with immense potential. Look for Jones to have a breakout spring session and cement his role as the primary backup to Gunheim and Te'o-Nesheim.

    As you watch the spring game, look for the battle between Gunheim and offensive tackle Ben Ossai. That might be the best battle on the field.




    UW Spring Football Preview - Part 2
    Nathan Ware
    http://www.thedawgblawg.com

    Yesterday, in our first installment of our UW spring football preview, we talked about the defensive line. Today, we look at the linebackers.

    Linebackers

    The linebacking corp at UW is strong. Is it the best in the conference? Maybe not but it's decent. I'd rank them in the middle of the conference.

    Projected Starters: Dan Howell(Sr) ? OLB, Donald Butler(So) ? MLB, E.J. Savannah(So) ? OLB

    Key Losses: Scott White ? OLB, Tahj Bomar, MLB

    Key Reserves: Chris Stevens(Jr) ? OLB, Trenton Tuiasosopo(Jr) ? MLB, Kyle Trew(Sr) ? OLB, Matt Houston(Fr) ? OLB, Austin Sylvester(Fr) ? MLB

    The Dawgs have a solid starting LB corp in Howell, Butler, and Savannah. The latter two are young but represent some of the best talent on the team. Howell should have a shot at an All-Pac-10 award this year. Butler was one of the surprises from last year's team as a true freshman. Savannah has had a great off-season and should be stronger and faster than last year.

    The reserves are an interesting bunch. Chris Stevens is a hybrid LB-DE that occasionally plays with his hand down at the line of scrimmage. He has a raw pass rushing ability that surpasses some of the UW defensive ends. One could argue that he's the best on the team at getting to the opposing QB.

    Tuiasosopo should have a breakout year at MLB after putting last year's bicycle accident behind him. Husky fans would love to see another "Tui" make a big impact on the football field.

    Newcomer Austin Sylvester is not your average freshman. He spent last year at a prep school and might make an immediate impact this year. He'll be competing with Tuiasosopo for the backup MLB job. His body appears ready for D-1 football unlike most true freshman. Coach Willingham appears to have struck gold with the recruitment of Sylvester. He'll be a star in the future.

    Matt Houston will compete for Dan Howell's slot in 2008 (after Howell graduates). Getting him some experience this year is critical.



    UW Spring Football Preview - Part 3
    Nathan Ware
    http://www.thedawgblawg.com

    Still fresh off my victory in my NCAA tournament pool, it's hard to focus on football. I picked the participants of the Final Four perfectly and each game in the Final Four perfectly. I might have to frame my bracket and do a Terrell-Owens-type of celebration. Even though it's hard to concentrate on football, I'll make it happen.

    Let's talk about the UW secondary heading into spring football.

    Defensive Backs

    Projected Starters: Jason Wells(Jr) ? FS, Mesphin Forrester(Sr) ? SS, Roy Lewis(Sr) ? CB, Byron Davenport(So) ? CB

    Key Losses: C.J. Wallace ? S, Dashon Goldson ? CB, Matt Fountaine ? CB

    Key Reserves: Darin Harris(Sr) ? S, Vonzell McDowell(Fr) ? CB, Victor Aiyewa(Fr) ? S, Jordan Murchison(Sr) ? CB, Matt Mosley(Fr) ? CB, Desmond Davis(Sr) ? CB

    Most people feel that the secondary is an area of vulnerability for the Huskies. Of course, it is. Whenever you lose players like safety C.J. Wallace and cornerback Dashon Goldson, it's going to hurt. They carried the Husky defense at times last year and it's hard to predict how their replacements will be able to pick up the slack.

    Replacing Goldson as the #1 cornerback will be 2-year contributor Roy Lewis. He might not have the star quality of Goldson but Lewis is a "steady-Eddie" that can cover anyone in the league. Across from Lewis will likely be UCLA-transfer Byron Davenport who will arrive in the fall.

    It's tenuous behind Davenport and Lewis because the 2nd and 3rd string have minimal experience including little-used JC transfer Jordan Murchison, promising redshirt freshman Matt Mosley, true freshman Vonzell McDowell, and others.

    Look for McDowell, a Rainier Beach alum, to be an immediate contributor and a future star. It's unlikely that he will redshirt.

    If either Lewis or Davenport gets injured, the Dawgs could be in serious trouble. You have to wonder if they will pull Lewis from kick return duties to save him from the wear and tear of that position.

    At safety, Wallace leaves a gaping hole. He was the leading tackler last year.

    Senior Jason Wells will be a solid starter at free safety while several players compete for Wallace's strong safety spot. There is a possibility that a true freshman could start at that position. I'm very high on incoming freshman Victor Aiyewa. He will compete with senior Mesphin Forrester at strong safety.

    Aiyewa has a chance to win the job because Forrester might be needed to help out at cornerback or free safety. One of Forrester's greatest strengths is his versatility and he might be needed at several positions this year. For example, Darin Harris' health concerns could put the coaches in a difficult position in terms of depth. Forrester might be needed to fill those type of gaps.

    This might sound crazy but there are eight true freshman that have a chance to play in the UW secondary in 2007, particularly if injuries occur. Aiyewa, McDowell, and incoming freshman Marquis Persley are the likely candidates. Additionally, it's not out of the question that one of the five tailback recruits gets switched to defensive back.

    The competition should be fun to watch. The Huskies desperately need one of the young guys to step up and become an immediate star. Just cross your fingers that everyone comes out of spring practice healthy.




    UW Spring Football Preview - Part 4
    Nathan Ware
    http://www.dawgblawg.com

    Tomorrow marks the opening of UW spring football. Ah, times like these are exciting. We've completed our preview of the defense and now it's time for some fun. Let's look at the quarterbacks heading into spring football.

    Quarterbacks

    Projected Starter: Jake Locker (Fr)

    Key Losses: Isaiah Stanback

    Key Reserves: Carl Bonnell (Sr), Ronnie Fouch (Fr)

    Coach Willingham removed all the suspense from the QB race on Thursday when he announced that Jake Locker was his #1 QB. Coach Willingham usually plays it coy but he couldn't hold back his excitement.

    Here we go, the Jake Locker era is upon us. It's exciting. Locker is the best player to join the Dawgs since Reggie Williams. He's in the top 5 in terms of fastest players on the team. He has an NFL arm. He runs with the vision of a running back and he's already the leader of the team. Wow.

    And, he has zero game experience. He'll take his lumps as a freshman but the crown jewel of the Washington football program will make the fans proud.

    How good of a year will he have? Pretty good. Not "Pac-10 Player of the Year" good but his stats will likely mirror those of Isaiah Stanback's first 6 games last year(53% completion percentage, over 3-1 TD/Int ratio, 4 yards per carry rushing) and that should be good enough to win a few games.

    If you attend the spring game, look for Locker's accuracy on out-routes and his touch on intermediate seam routes. After watching him in training camp last year, those were the two routes that he seemed to struggle with the most. Many young quarterbacks struggle with those routes.

    Also, watch his head movement. Young QB's tend to lead the safety to the ball. Locker will likely need to work on moving the DB's around the field with deceiving eyes.

    He has a decent offensive line in front of him and we can only hope and pray that he makes it through spring practice with no injury problems.

    The Huskies have a luxury with Carl Bonnell as a solid insurance policy should an injury occur to Locker during the season. Bonnell will participate lightly in spring practices due to slow healing from an offseason surgery.




    Willingham hints Locker will start 4/5/07

    Huskies QB redshirted last season

    By MOLLY YANITY
    P-I REPORTER

    If University of Washington athletic director Todd Turner is looking to create a buzz in the top Huskies programs, he need look no further than sophomore quarterback Jake Locker to do it for the football team.

    The top story line heading into spring football for the Huskies begins and ends with the wunderkind from Ferndale who sat out his freshman year and appears to be loaded for bear.

    Locker's prowess will be unveiled -- to the media, at least -- beginning Monday. Coach Tyrone Willingham has opened five of the Huskies' 14 practices over the next three weeks.

    The public gets the opportunity to see Locker in the annual Purple & Gold game April 28.

    "If we had to play a game today, he would be our No. 1," Willingham said, even if fifth-year senior Carl Bonnell, who started five games in 2006, were completely healthy.

    "(That is determined by) how (Locker) has played to date, his knack for doing things."

    The typically stoic Willingham, embarking upon his third year as Huskies coach, even gets a bit giddy talking about Locker.

    "He has shown himself to be a fine passer, an excellent runner, an excellent leader," Willingham said.

    "He plays with poise. Those are some things that stand out about Jake."

    Bonnell is recovering from offseason surgery to his non-throwing left shoulder and will be limited in practice.
    Willingham took over a team that went 1-11 and has seen steady progress, going 2-9 and 5-7.

    But the program has not achieved the level of success with which Huskies fans are familiar.

    "The reality is that I probably haven't equaled where I'd hoped we would be," he said. "I thought we would be that bowl team by now.

    "But the reality of where we can go is still very much out there. We could be a very, very good football team again, and I think we're making strides in that direction."

    Turner wants a considerable buzz back on Montlake and says the 2007 season could bring it.

    "Number one, the schedule is phenomenal and our future schedules look equally exciting," Turner said.

    Fiesta Bowl winner Boise State, national championship runner-up Ohio State and Pac-10 powers USC and Cal all visit Husky Stadium.

    Additionally, Northwest rivals Oregon and Washington State play in Seattle this season.

    One Husky who isn't ready to usher in the Locker era is Bonnell, who went 72-for-164 with seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

    He sprained the AC joint in his left shoulder in his first start at California and played through the injury for the season's final four games.

    But even Bonnell is impressed with Locker, who has four years of eligibility remaining.

    "He's probably one of the most physically gifted people I've met at the quarterback position," Bonnell said.

    "He has one of the longest broad jumps, his bench is out of the world.

    "His potential is just outstanding."

    P-I reporter Molly Yanity can be reached at 206-448-8295 or mollyyanity@seattlepi.com.





    Busy spring for Huskies' freshman 4/4/07

    By Leila Wai
    Advertiser Staff Writer

    Not surprisingly for a college athlete playing two Division I sports, it was Daniel Te'o-Nesheim's competitive nature that fueled his best throw of the meet.

    "I was doing (poorly) until that last shot," Te'o-Nesheim said. "I just got (angry) because (teammate) Cameron (Elisara) was beating me."

    Te'o-Nesheim, a 2005 Hawai'i Prep graduate, does the rare double of participating in football and track and field at the highest level of collegiate sports. He is one of Washington's top shot put and discus throwers, and is a starting defensive end for the Huskies.

    He notched an NCAA Regional qualifying mark in the shot put at Auburn's Springtime Invitational March 24, the second meet of the outdoor season.

    His toss of 56 feet 4 1/2 inches was just short of his career-best distance of 56-5 1/4.

    Te'o-Nesheim is equally successful in football. He was named to the 2006 Sporting News Pacific-10 Conference All-Freshman Team after starting all 12 games.

    He was ninth on the team with 35 tackles, and his 10 tackles for loss tied him for third on the team.

    In an interview last week, Te'o-Nesheim repeatedly asked for the time.

    "I don't want to be late for training," said Te'o-Nesheim, who was leaving the track and on his way to a weight lifting session with the football team.

    "It's pretty easy," he said. "You just have to manage your time. But it's fun, and worth it."

    He was recruited to UW solely for football, but last year Te'o-Nesheim and football teammate Brandon Ala, a Kamehameha graduate, saw the track and field coaches and asked if they could throw.

    "They just had me throw, and then they said, 'OK,' " he said.

    It wasn't as though Te'o-Nesheim was a track and field rookie. He won the state high school championship in the shot put as a senior with a toss of 58 feet and was second in the state meet in the discus (176-6).

    On most days he works on his throws for half an hour, then joins the football workouts. He will leave the track and field team when football spring practice begins Monday. UW's annual spring game is April 28.

    Te'o-Nesheim recently returned to full workouts after undergoing surgery to repair torn meniscus in his right knee.

    "I think it tore during the (football) season, but I didn't get it taken care of," he said. "Then one day at practice I couldn't make my knee straight."

    He returned to the track team a week before the Auburn Invitational and was "surprised (the shot put) went so far," he said.

    "It was kind of weird pushing off my right knee because I hadn't done much on it, but now it feels fine," he added.

    Te'o-Nesheim said he was disappointed about his play during year's 5-7 campaign ? "I thought I would do a lot better than I did. I guess some people might think (I did well), but I have a long way to go." ? and is looking forward to the 2007 season, particularly when the Huskies' visit Hawai'i for a Dec. 1 game.

    Reach Leila Wai at lwai@honoluluadvertiser.com.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
  11. 3yardsandacloud

    3yardsandacloud Administrator Emeritus

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    Former Husky now devotes his time to inspiring kids 4/3/07

    By Elizabeth Griffin, Journal Newspapers

    Mike Rohrbach knows what it's like to be a kid with dreams. When he was eight years old he had his life planned-he would attend the University of Washington on a football scholarship, have a ten-year career playing in the NFL, and then retire from football in order to replace Howard Cosel as anchor.

    Everything was going according to his plan until, during his junior year as a linebacker for the UW football team, Rohrbach's dream was threatened by a broken ankle. The break was so severe that doctors said he would never run again, and would always walk with a limp.

    A year and a half later, Rohrbach came back as co-captain of the team and the Huskies went to the Rosebowl.

    "I felt like that last year was just a bonus," said Rohrbach. Still, he knew that he would never achieve his goal of playing professional football. "It's great to have a dream but to realize sometimes those dreams don't come true. It's in the striving, in the setting of the goals, in the enjoyment of the journey, whether you ultimately make it to that goal or not, you hopefully look back with no regrets and realize it wasn't wasted."

    It doesn't take long to realize, while talking with Rohrbach, that he has no regrets for the work he's been passionately involved in since college. Immediately after graduation from the UW, he and his wife went to work on staff for Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). They worked with high school and college students through FCA for 14 years. Then, with a desire to localize camp opportunities and include younger kids, they started Run To Win Ministries in 1992-a program that mentors kids age 6-14, primarily through summer sports camps.

    Rohrbach, who also works as chaplain for the UW football team and Seattle Super Sonics, will share a message of encouragement and hope at the Youth Challenge Awards banquet on April 26.

    Started by the Lynnwood Rotary Club in 1986, Youth Challenge Awards recognize kids in Snohomish County who have been nominated by teachers, pastors, and youth workers for outstanding achievement during the past year. There are six catagories that students, grades 7-12, may qualify for an award in. The catagories are community service, courage, creativity, environmental service, inspiration and leadership. An award is also given to a group which has excelled in one of these areas during the past year.

    Winners are chosen by a committee appointed by the Youth Challenge Awards steering committee. The committee looks for students who stand out from the crowd because of their hard work, passion and leadership. Recipients have each done something significant to make a difference in the lives of others, and often overcome difficult situations personally to do so.

    During his talk at the awards, Rohrbach will focus on courage, perseverance, significance and making a difference, along with clearly congratulating each of the students chosen for awards due to their accomplishments.

    Rohrbach believes firmly in "enjoying the journey. We get so caught up in the goal that we miss the steps along the way." His message to kids is to "Go out there, do your best, have fun along the way, and let the results take care of themselves. Look in life for significance rather than success-if you're striving to make a difference, to be a great teammate, to be a servant, there's real significance gained in that and I really believe the success will come from that."

    This year, Run To Win will offer over 56 camps from Mukilteo to Olympia. The theme for this summer is "Wings to Soar."

    "I think kids need to know that there is hope for the future, a lot of kids today are hopeless, they just do not see a hopeful future or outcome," he said. "Hopefully we can inspire them to believe that there is hope, and that with God there is always hope. A lot of times it's just that notion of getting up everyday and when your feet hit the floor, deciding it's worth it and you're gonna go for it and you're gonna take advantage of the opportunities of the day to make the most of where you are and where you want to go."

    "Young people need role models, not critics," he continued. "I think in our society we're very quick to single out the kid who messes up and make a big deal about it. Many times we don't heap the same amount of attention and praise on the kids who are doing a great job. I think that kids need to know that adults genuinely care about them for no other reason than that we want them to enjoy life to the fullest."

    That's one thing that impresses Rohrbach about the Youth Challenge Awards. "I think that's what's so tremendous about this banquet and the work of the Lynnwood Rotary, is their desire to acknowledge the accomplishments of some kids that have gone through adversity to achieve what they have achieved," he said.

    The Rotary Club of Lynnwood, along with the Journal Newspapers, CityBank, and cooperation of local schools, youth organizations, Parks and Recreation Departments and other Rotary Clubs will join to sponsor the Youth Achievement Awards. All nominees, their families, and their nominators are invited to attend the awards ceremony on Thursday, April 26 at 7 p.m. in the Triton Union Building at Edmonds Community College. The public is also welcome to attend.

    For more information about Youth Challenge Awards, contact Mike Neumeister at (425) 774-3022. For more information about Run To Win Ministries, look up www.RunToWin.org.





    DuRocher powered by positive thinking 3/25/07

    By Greg Bishop
    Seattle Times staff reporter

    Johnny DuRocher is lying in a hospital less than two hours after brain surgery. His grandmother enters the room, walks gingerly toward the bed.

    "Hi, Grandson."

    He forces his eyes open, squints and stares.

    "Who are you?"

    Her face turns white. Her jaw drops. She stammers, unsure what to say next.

    "Just kidding, Grandma!"

    Only Johnny DuRocher can turn brain surgery into stand-up comedy. He calls his surgery a "vacation." He calls the part of his head doctors shaved for surgery a "landing strip." He calls the binder given by the hospital his "tumor notebook." Heeeere's Johnny!

    There are hopefuls. There are optimists. Then there is Johnny DuRocher ... the Next Big Thing turned third-string quarterback turned brain-tumor survivor turned Washington baseball pitcher ? all without a hint of anger or regret.

    "Hey," DuRocher says, pausing for the punch line, "it's not brain surgery."

    Sometimes the DuRochers sit around a bonfire on the 10 acres they own in Roy and talk timing. Even Johnny DuRocher shakes his head when the talk turns serious. He hasn't caught a break since high school.

    Well, except for the one that saved his life.

    DuRocher played against Stanford last season, threw an interception and got knocked silly attempting a tackle, which led to a concussion and an MRI and the diagnosis of a brain tumor.

    He only played because Isaiah Stanback and Carl Bonnell went down with injuries, and the Huskies decided not to waste a year of freshman Jake Locker's eligibility.

    DuRocher only found himself that far down the depth chart because of a debilitating stretch in 2005 ? three games ineligible, broken wrist against Oregon State, poor performance in the next spring practice.

    He only ended up at Washington after transferring. DuRocher left for Oregon in 2003, still the star quarterback from Bethel High School in Graham with a memorable college career just waiting to be written.

    All that to save a life.

    Then what happened? A couple weeks after surgery, somebody stole his Jeep, never to be found. The man upstairs has quite the sense of humor.

    DuRocher can't help but marvel at the timing of it all. The tumor grew between when doctors found it and surgeons removed it. Had there been no concussion, symptoms would have surfaced within months ? migraine headaches, loss of balance, changes in personality, possibly even brain damage. Had there been no MRI, DuRocher would not be playing baseball now. He would be having surgery, emergency variety.

    "I'm extremely lucky," he says.

    Two weeks before the Stanford game, DuRocher came off the bench against Arizona State and tossed a touchdown pass. The Stanford game, Nov. 11, felt like the perfect opportunity. Instead, it marked the end of DuRocher's football career.

    In the months that passed, DuRocher watched the tape just once. He didn't want to know who hit him or even if the hit was dirty. He wanted to know if he really got "lit up" in a manner befitting a "SportsCenter" highlight that never came.

    His recollection of the viewing: "When I got up, I wasn't quite stable. Wobbling. In pain. It's weird. When you're watching it on tape, it almost feels like it isn't you. Even though it happened the day before."

    The first tests were on Monday. Doctors noticed a dark spot. He took more tests on Wednesday. Doctors called his parents in on Friday. Told the whole family of the tumor ? 5 centimeters deep, 4 centimeters wide, 3 centimeters high ? like a golf ball fell onto the back of his brain and stuck there.

    "Am I going to die?" DuRocher asked the doctors. He turned to his father. Even this deserved a joke.

    Something about the next, um, bump in the road.

    On one night ? and only one night ? Johnny DuRocher did not smile or laugh or charm. In the handful of hours before surgery Nov. 30, he worried.

    Only then did he allow himself the questions. What if it's cancer? What if I don't wake up?

    His parents, John and Corrina, woke before dawn. Their son had barely slept. They arrived at the hospital at 6 a.m.

    Surgery lasted about three hours. Doctors scooped out the tumor ? which turned out to be benign ? inserted a plate, sewed up the hole and performed another round of tests. The DuRochers passed the time in the cafeteria at Harborview, trying to concentrate on a Clint Eastwood movie.

    Johnny DuRocher's eyes opened as the clock blinked 1:27 p.m. He never told his parents or any other visitors about the doubt that consumed him before surgery or the pain that lingered after.

    The pain came in waves that first night. Every 20 minutes, nurses administered morphine, but always, it wore off. His mouth tasted like he had been sucking on a penny. His head hurt. His neck hurt worse. He kept yelling for more drugs, then one side of his body would go numb, and he would yell again for the nurses. The big, strong athlete needed someone to turn him over.

    "That was the worst night of my life," DuRocher says. "Horrible."

    The day after surgery, DuRocher tried to stand up. He threw up instead. The next night, he asked the doctors, "What do I have to do to leave?" They told him to start walking.

    So DuRocher rose at 8 a.m. Dec. 2, less than two days after brain surgery, and hit the button for the nurse with the restless impatience of an athlete. They walked around the hospital. He called his parents.

    "Get me out of here," he said.

    That was Saturday. By Monday, DuRocher wanted to walk to the end of the driveway at his parents' house. He waited until Sunday ? and walked around the block. By Monday, he was walking half a mile down a hill to the front gate of their development.

    "He set goals every day," Corrina DuRocher says. "He's always been that kind of kid."

    There were setbacks. DuRocher had the shakes the first few days. He went Christmas shopping with his dad and faded fast, returning home for a five-hour nap.

    He ended up buzzing his head ? bye-bye landing strip ? and shaving, because when he looked in the mirror he saw "a recovering drug addict." He wanted a new start.

    DuRocher gained back the 20 pounds he lost after surgery. He started lifting weights after two weeks. He threw a baseball, marveling at how fresh his right arm felt following his first extended "rest" since childhood.

    Response at school was typical. Everybody wanted to see the scar.

    Six inches long and 2 inches wide, it runs straight down, dividing the back of his head in half. Red staples hold the skin together, like the seam on a baseball. The scar still itches, especially when the skin around it dries, and sometimes it even leaks. Yet doctors expect DuRocher to live a "normal" life with minimal chance of a reoccurrence.

    "I can't complain," DuRocher says. "I just had brain surgery."


    How's this for timing? Last spring, a strength coach at UW talked Johnny DuRocher into pitching. Never mind that DuRocher hadn't pitched since third grade. If you can throw, you can throw. And if you're 6 feet 4, 215 pounds with a right arm that once dropped jaws ...

    "His body," UW coach Ken Knutson says, "tells you he's got a chance."

    When DuRocher met with Knutson, he told a fib. Something about actually having pitched in high school, but it was immediately obvious the cannon needed tuning. So DuRocher worked out with the baseball team from May to July, threw once a week from September until surgery, and resumed workouts again in January.

    After he lost football, at least DuRocher had pitching to look forward to.

    This wasn't like Bethel High School, where DuRocher turned out his sophomore year with two goals: to hang out with his buddies and hit at least one home run. He eventually sent one sailing out against Emerald Ridge, but didn't get to enjoy the trot.

    "I wasn't used to hitting the ball," says DuRocher, who says he batted .111. "It took off, and so did I."

    His parents remember young Johnny on vacation in Florida, 3 years old and out in the backyard, shaking off catchers, staring down batters, spitting imaginary tobacco. His dad thought: He should be a pitcher.

    All these years later, he is. And dad insists all along he thought baseball was his son's best sport.

    The son throws four pitches now ? two-seam and four-seam fastballs, up to 94 mph, a slider and a changeup ? and it is the breaking ball, the hardest pitch to learn, that he throws best. In three appearances this season, he has allowed four runs (three earned) in five innings. Every pitch can turn into an adventure as DuRocher learns command, but the potential leaves him wondering the question a scout asked the other day.

    What if he'd been pitching all along?

    "I feel something good has to come of all this," DuRocher says. "So maybe this was just the roundabout way I had to go to start playing baseball. I don't know. We'll see."

    His teammates make sure DuRocher's head stays the same size. They call him the most-interviewed player who never played, tease him about tallying more interviews than pitches thrown in games. The backup quarterback is in the bullpen now, still waiting.

    "You can't tell he went through brain surgery," Knutson says. "He's such a great guy. You might think some of my pitchers don't have a brain, though."


    The letters flooded into the Washington football office. Hundreds of them. They came from rival football coaches and local chaplains and so many people Johnny DuRocher never even met before. He responded to each one.

    The lessons of his story are in those letters.

    They wrote this: "My son was a combat controller in the USAF and was KIA on Memorial Day 2005. The point is ... that you thank God that you can beat this."

    This: "You are about to learn more than you ever learned at Oregon or UW combined. You are going to learn about life, and how fragile it is."

    And this: "I was so pleased to see how optimistic you were about your recent news. We're always trying to teach our students about resilience, and I'm glad to see a role model like you out there to show kids what hope looks like."

    DuRocher envisioned awards and Rose Bowls coming out of high school, maybe a career in the NFL. The reality was the Next Big Thing became a third-string quarterback, survived brain surgery and started pitching.

    "I still have four months to see if something good can come out of this," DuRocher says.

    Something good has. The little things that used to bother DuRocher don't seem important anymore. His relationship with his younger sister, Amanda, a sophomore guard at Washington State, improved dramatically. His parents say surgery made him philosophical.

    A couple weeks ago, a young boy with a brain tumor visited DuRocher at UW. They toured the athletic facilities, walked around campus, talked about their fears. And after it ended, and the boy left, DuRocher called his parents.

    "That felt so good," he said.

    DuRocher fantasizes about a return to football. His parents think he's crazy. His doctor recommends against it. DuRocher has a hole in his brain where the tumor was, and if he gets hit again, the hole could fill with blood.

    Remember who we're talking about. Not a hopeful. Not an optimist. Johnny DuRocher.

    "He didn't even want to feel sorry for himself," John DuRocher says. "He's gone through all of it. I'm not ever going to doubt him."

    His son confirmed all that the first time he pitched for the UW this season. After the game, DuRocher jogged by his parents en route to the bullpen. They were leaning on a fence, the sun shining, their son's head turned away so they could see his hair flowing out behind his hat.

    "And he's got this grin on his face, and he's jogging back to the team," Corrina DuRocher says. "It was funny. One of those moments that sticks with you. It was just like he was 10 years old again, a fresh start, excited about something."




    Turner's legacy tied to stadium 3/21/07

    By TED MILLER
    P-I COLUMNIST

    Husky Stadium hasn't conjured many magical moments for Todd Turner since he took over as Washington's athletic director in June 2004. Five victories, to be exact, and just one against a Pac-10 Conference foe.

    Moreover, the stadium, one of the most scenic and celebrated in the country, has provided little solace when Turner looks away from the field in frustration. He's heard about rowdy crowds draped head-to-toe in purple, but he's mostly felt silent taunts from a steadily increasing number of empty seats.

    The final game before he arrived -- the 2003 Apple Cup -- attracted 74,549 fans, and attendance exceeded 70,000 for every home game even during that tumultuous season following Rick Neuheisel's demise. Last year, Husky Stadium's average attendance was 57,483, and the final home game -- a humiliating 20-3 loss to winless Stanford -- was witnessed by only 55,896, with few lingering until the final whistle.

    So it might seem bold -- or, perhaps, foolhardy -- that Turner isn't shying away from intertwining his legacy at Washington with a stadium that has been declining in roughly the same fashion as the team it houses.

    Turner shortly will convene an ad hoc committee that will study and then present a plan to the UW regents for the future of Husky Stadium before the end of the school year.

    That committee will recommend one of two proposals: 1) a significant stadium renovation along with a strategy for funding the project, which could cost "multiple hundreds of millions of dollars," according to Turner; 2) a far less ambitious plan to repair critical cosmetic and infrastructure problems.

    Option No. 2, by the way, won't come cheap. Turner estimates it could cost $70 million over the next decade, and it wouldn't include many crowd-pleasing improvements.

    Chief among potential "crowd-pleasing improvements" from option No. 1 is a removal of the track that surrounds the field. That would be a massive undertaking requiring a complete reconstruction of the west end zone stands and, probably, a lowering of the field.

    Removing the track, by the way, would make Husky Stadium one of the best five college football venues in the country.

    Naturally, there's a catch, the most obvious being Turner isn't sure how he's going to pay for the project, which will involve complicated environmental and logistical concerns, ranging from issues with the water table to reasonable questions about how it might affect the resurgent UW track program.
    "We don't have plans; we have possibilities," Turner said. "There's a difference. There are no easy answers to your questions. We have to get some sense of what is realistic.

    "There are things that need to be done just to keep (the stadium) working. The longer we defer major renovation, the more we're going to spend on maintenance, which is something we'd like to avoid or minimize."

    Removing the track has been discussed for years. Turner, however, appears to be done with talking. He has decided to push the renovation because he believes it should run concurrent to the 520 bridge and Sound Transit construction projects that are scheduled to begin in late 2008 or early 2009 just outside the southwest corner of the stadium parking lot. That construction is scheduled to be completed in 2014, so Turner's window of opportunity is limited.

    Also limited are his prospects of getting boosters, not so far removed from shelling out for the $90 million "Campaign for the StudentAthlete," to ante up once again.

    Many fans already are chafed at Turner for raising football ticket prices. His case also can't be helped by his marquee coaching hire, Tyrone Willingham, entering his third season with few projecting the Huskies will fight their way out of the bottom half of the Pac-10.

    There is another source of potential funding.

    Hey, anybody want to discuss public funds for another sports facility? Turner implied that might be his only recourse. The stadium committee will have to consider its feasibility.

    "I don't know how realistic that is," he said. "I see how tight the dollars are that are allocated to sports projects. It makes me pretty wary that I can expect to share in that. But I think that's important to keep on the table. I think the needs of Husky football are in line with the needs of the sports community and the sports industry in our state.

    "Husky Stadium is an iconic structure in the Northwest, part of our culture here."

    When USC comes to town on Sept. 29, Turner's first major football project, the new Legends Center, is scheduled to open. That afternoon, the Huskies will don retro uniforms honoring the team that beat top-ranked Minnesota in the 1961 Rose Bowl.

    Turner is hoping to whip up nostalgia for a storied past while pushing into the future.

    A once-profitable, self-supporting athletic department awash in football money is struggling to stay in the black, but that isn't stopping Turner from pursuing a monumental project that he believes is a cornerstone for the Huskies rejoining the nation's elite.

    If he pushes it through, and Willingham leads a football renaissance, Turner will secure a glittering legacy, one that would earn him a place in his Legends Center.

    If not, empty seats might not be the only things taunting him.

    P-I columnist Ted Miller can be reached at 206-448-8017 or tedmiller@seattlepi.com.
     
  12. BuckeyeNation27

    BuckeyeNation27 Goal Goal USA! Staff Member

    almost beating USC......former NA coach.....I sense a connection there :biggrin:


    seriously though....big deal. almost doesn't mean much, and UCLA got beat by NA. that's not enough to negate the stupidity of actions I've heard about him while at NA.

    -Playing golf before a game (yes, the same day)
    -Never heard of Brady Quinn until he saw him at a practice while "scouting" Chinedum Ndukwe. (most people on here could probably attest to the fact that Brady Quinn was born to play for ND. He almost didn't get that chance if it weren't for Ndukwe being at the same high school)
    -While looking at film of a high school kid with the kid's coach, Willingham noticed another kid who was pretty good. He asked the coach who he was. Tyrone was told he graduated last year, didn't get any football scholarships, so he took a soccer scholarship. The soccer scholarship was from ND.

    I can't figure out which one is the worst offense....but considering what Quinn has done since Willingham left, I'd have to go with that one. He was in the area scouting a 2 star safety. 2 stars. NA was recruiting a 2 star kid and accidentally found Brady Quinn.

    Mind bottling.
     
    Zurp likes this.
  13. OmahaBeef

    OmahaBeef Intergalactic Planetary Planetary Intergalactic

    haha, the above posting of articles is why I love this forum. Its sooo much easier to come here for all of my buckeye related news than go around searching on the internet. In general, thanks to all the people who keep this site running.
     
  14. methomps

    methomps an imbecility, a stupidity without name

    You better enjoy every article because there will be a quiz.
     
  15. Padraig

    Padraig Jesus loves you, the rest of us think ur an idiot. Former FF Keeper Champ


    D'oh!

    c.), c.), c.), c.), c.), c.), c.), c.), c.).........
     
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