As a Dawgman poster has been quick to point out, it was merely six weeks ago where I forecasted a terrible recruiting class for the Washington Huskies. At the time, most of the verbal commits had narrowed their choices to Washington and (pick one- Idaho St., San Jose, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon State). Combined with the devestating string of defeats the Huskies were enduring, it seemed like things were bleak on all fronts.
My, how things have changed. Washington has dominated the stellar in-state crop, headed by TE Kevario Middleton of Lakes. Southern California ATH Chris Polk appears to have been snared away from USC’s clutches, and the Dawgs have their eyes on another Cali kid named E.J. Woods. UW head coach Tyrone Willingham and recruiting coordinator Chris Tormey deserve tremendous credit for hauling in a class that Dawgman.com’s recruiting analyst Chris Fetters regards as potentially the best in school history.
In light of the recent dismissals of Defensive Coordinator Kent Baer and Special Teams/Tight End Coach Bob Simmons, one wonders if these moves had taken place a year ago, would the 2007 Huskies right now be preparing for a bowl game? If you take away the frightening collapses to UCLA, Arizona, WSU and Hawai’i, the Huskies right now are 8-5…
There are those, like the P-I’s Jim Moore, who feel that Baer is being used as a scapegoat to save Willingham’s scalp. It will be fascinating to see what kind of improvements are made to the Husky defense in 2008, and contrast it statistically to the 2007 squad for a comparative analysis.
It’s hard to believe that the Huskies haven’t been to any bowl game in five years. December 31, 2002 was the last time, a lamentable 34-17 loss to a mediocre Purdue team in the Sun Bowl. It was Rick Neuheisel’s last hurrah as Husky coach…. Imagine the bedlam in Husky Stadium next fall if UCLA is led by Rick Neuheisel as they run out of the tunnel….