mistakes cost Huskies?Up down, up down, KERPLUNK!
;-)Richard Linde, 20 February 2008
Recruiting mistakes can
cost a coach dearly in future seasons. For example, it has been widely
asserted by fans and the local media that Rick Neuheisel’s infamous
seven wide-receiver class of 2003 by virtue of its sheer number was one
Actually, it was an
eight WR class if you count Cody Ellis, who has finished out his career
at WR after being recruited as a corner back. (See the list below).
Scout.com lists 15 wide receivers on the 2003 roster, not counting
It is always hard to
determine whether reporters and columnists from the Seattle Times are
being objective in their criticism of Neuheisel because of the personal
vendetta established by the editors of the paper back in December of
2002. (See Coach Rick Hamlet). Under the heading of "Vendetta," I can list
a litany of bullets, pun intended.
Anyway, let’s assume
it’s a fair criticism, all the way around.
If so, has Rick’s
mistake in recruiting been inversely parroted by Coach Tyrone Willingham
and former coach Keith Gilbertson, the mistake of which has resulted in
a shortfall of veteran wide receivers going into this next season?
Because of this
shortfall in experience, along with a tough schedule, it is unlikely
that QB Jake Locker will either significantly improve on his completion percentage (47.3) or
on his passing-efficiency rating (105) from last year – as described in “Two-armed
Jake.” The numbers -- dissected from the gross anatomy of a
losing team -- are two main arteries feeding the vital organs of ball
control and turnover margin, two critical parts that have been
going into next season concerns the defensive line, where five of the
top six spots have been lost to graduation…but that’s another story.
At the least, the
receiver corps has been running on nearly a full tank of gas since 2003, but
now the car alarm has gone off. Four members of the infamous air corps
are graduating this year.
Of those inexperienced
receivers -- eleven of them in all -- six are true freshmen and one is a redshirt freshmen. Two sophomores, D’Andre Goodwin and Curtis Shaw, have
made six and five career catches, respectively, and they connote the
established vets on the team. Four of the receivers have been given
a four-star rating by scout.com -- so there is plenty of talent to work
didn’t add a wide out to his 2004 class, which was overflowing with
receivers. Gilby and Willingham failed to bring in a WR for the 2005
class. Willingham added D’Andre Goodwin to the roster in 2006, along
with Marcel Reece, a junior college transfer, who has used up his
eligibility. He signed Devin Aguilar, Anthony Boyles and Alvin Logan in
2007; however, both Boyles and Aguilar were academically ineligible.
Currently, they are enrolled in school, along with 2008 signee Chris
Polk; reportedly the three of them, who have been working out with Jake Locker,
will participate in spring ball. Curtis Shaw, who was recruited as a RB
in 2007, was switched to wide receiver.
Both Gilbertson and
Willingham get blamed for neglecting the 2005 class. A cursory look at
the prospective 2006 scholarship roster should have triggered an alarm
relative to 2008. Not anticipating Boyles’ and Aguilar’s academic
problems comes under the heading of “lack of attention to detail,” and
Willingham can be blamed for that.
for all this youth and inexperience is better left to the Seattle Times.
Okay...okay. Here's one for the Times: The imbalance of 2003 was like
teeter tottering with an overweight kid who suddenly jumps off: up,
down, up down, kerplunk! ;-)
Wide-outs signed to scholarships
2003, Rick, All gone; kerplunk!
Corey Williams; Sonny Shackelford;
Cody Ellis(%); Craig Chambers, Anthony Russo; Quintin Daniels;
Bobby Whithorne; Charles Smith
2004, Gilby (ok)
2005. Gilby; Ty (not ok)
(Alarm for 2k8 should have gone off)
Goodwin; Marcel Reece (*)
Aguilar(#) ; Anthony Boyles(#); Alvin Logan (RS); Curtis Shaw
Jermaine Kearse; Cody Bruns; Jordan
Polk; Chris Polk (&, on board now)
% Recruited as CB; switched to wide receiver
# Academically ineligible; enrolled now
* JC transfer; 2-year eligibility used up
& Recruited as RB
++ Tony Chidiak and Charles Hawkins were walkons in 2007
LOAD -- Lack of attention to detail; Tyrone should have been aware of potential
academic problems, since both stood a chance of not getting in for 2008
-- or not at all. Hard work on Boyles' and Aguilar's part paid off.
“infamous eight,” only Corey Williams and Sonny Shackelford played as
true freshmen. They along with Cody Ellis, Craig Chambers, Anthony
Russo, and Quintin Daniels all made significant contributions to the
Huskies over their careers and have finished their eligibility years at
UW, except for Chambers who transferred to Montana in 2006. Six
contributors out of eight, including Chambers in his early career,
None of Willingham’s
inexperienced WR corps is likely to burn up the joint this next season,
at least in the way Reggie Williams (6-4, 220) did in his freshman year,
when he caught 55 passes for 973 yards, and 3 touchdowns, with a long of
Speaking of Williams, I
wish at least one of this year’s WR gaggle were a bit taller like
him or, say, a
little larger like Reece, who is 6-3 and 240 pounds’ fast.
Other than a tight end,
I would think most quarterbacks would want at least one tall wide receiver to
work with – especially, Jake Locker whose passes occasionally sail on
him -- even if it is just for the feeling of confidence a tall receiver
brings to the playing field, like, say, putting with the old British
ball. For example, Ben Roethlisberger recently asked Steelers’
management to acquire a tall receiver, much to the chagrin of Hines
Most of the time taller
trumps shorter in football, assuming the other abilities are about the
same. If not, it’s a question of tradeoffs. However, tall,
athletically-gifted receivers, like Reggie, don’t grow on
Of the current crop of
wide receivers, Boyles (6-3, 185, as listed on scout.com) is the
tallest. He has been quoted as saying he’d like to bulk up a bit from
198, a weight that sticks in my mind. Eddie Jackson (6-5, 220) joined
the Huskies for one season in 2002.
list of candidates at WR for next season are:
Jermaine Kearse, 6-2, Fr; 4 stars
Cody Bruns, 5-11 Fr; 4 stars
Jordan Polk, 5-10, Fr; 3 stars
Chris Polk, 5-11, Fr; 4 stars
Anthony Boyles, 6-3, Fr; 4 stars
Devin Aguilar 6-1 Fr; 3 stars
Alvin Logan 6-2 rFr; 3 stars
Tony Chidiac 5-11 Jr; (walkon 2007)
D'Andre Goodwin, 6-0, So (six career catches); NR
Curtis Shaw 5-11; So (five career catches); 3 stars
Charles Hawkins, 6-2, Sr (walkon 2007)
infamous “eight” wide receivers from his 2003 class.
Redshirted in 2003. He played in 7 games over the 2004 and 2005
seasons and was academically ineligible for the 2006 season.
Redshirted in 2003. Played in just 5 games in 2004, but caught 19
passes for 408 yards, the third most receiving yards by a freshman.
He caught 8 balls against Cal for 189 yards and his first career TD,
a 77 yard reception. He had 31 receptions for 573 yards and 6
touchdowns in the 2005 season. Complaining about the lack of playing
time, he transferred to Montana for the 2006 season, where he had 41
receptions for 641 yards and 8 touchdowns. He didn’t play in 2007.
Redshirted in 2003 and was on the 2004 roster. He transferred to
UCLA for the 2006 season and failed to make its roster in 2007.
Redshirted in 2003. In 2004, he led all Huskies in punt and kick
returns. He ended his career in 2007, playing in 46 games with 122
receptions that went for 1944 yards and 9 touchdowns, his longest
being 83 yards.
One of nine true freshmen to receive playing time in 2003. Over his
four-year career, he played in 46 games, hauling in 119 passes that
went for 1648 yards and 10 touchdowns, with a long of 65 yards. He
had a career passing efficiency rating of 258.1.
Played in 34 career games over four years, ending up with 31
receptions for 388 yards, 4 touchdowns and a long of 55 yards. He
redshirted in 2005, rehabilitating a bad knee.
Played as a true freshman in 2003, appearing in nine games. He made
a spectacular 21-yard, game-winning-touchdown catch against WSU with
1:10 remaining. Williams was given a medical redshirt for the 2004
season. He played in 45 games over his five years, grabbing 46
passes that went for 560 yards, 3 touchdowns and a long of 41 yards.
Redshirted as a corner back in 2003. A prototypical Neuheisel
recruit, he was named to Pac-10 All-Academic team four years in a
row. Played in 46 games over his five years at UW and caught 36
passes for 590 yards, 3 touchdowns, and an 86-yard long