Friday, February 15, 2013
Mailbag: Junior-day visitors impressed
By Mason Kelley
SEATTLE -- Washington held its first big post-signing day recruiting event last week, bringing in some of the program’s top 2014 and '15 prospects for junior day.
The recruits were treated to a campus tour, a facilities tour and a chance to get better acquainted with their potential position coaches.
Safety Bishard Baker was among the attendees at Washington's recent junior day.
The event left a positive impressive with recruits, everyone from safety Bishard "Budda" Baker (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue) to running back Devante Downs (Mountlake Terrace, Wash./Mountlake Terrace).
"They really want me there," Downs said. "It's pretty cool to know they want me. When they can recruit nationally, and they want a kid down the street, that's pretty cool."
The Huskies haven't wasted any time getting a head start on the next two recruiting classes.
"It was definitely really cool," 2014 LB Joey Alfieri (Portland, Ore./Jesuit) said. "Visiting the school, I had no idea how nice everything was. From the dorm rooms to the facilities, everything is so high-tech. It's all state-of-the-art stuff."
The common refrain among those who attended the event was Washington offers impressive academic opportunities, the chance to play in a stadium that is undergoing a $300 million renovation and a coaching staff that makes recruits feel like part of a family.
The sales pitch is working.
While Washington continues to work on its future while getting ready for spring football, it is time to tackle the mailbag.
Steve via email: When does spring football start for Washington?
A: The Huskies open spring football March 5. The program's work in March and April will culminate with the spring game, which is scheduled for 4 p.m. PT April 20 at Seattle's Memorial Stadium.
Nate via email: Moving into spring football, where do you see the most competition?
A: The position battle I'm looking forward to following is at quarterback. As the incumbent starter, Keith Price will get every opportunity to keep his spot as Washington's starting quarterback.
But it will be interesting to see how redshirt freshmen Jeff Lindquist and Cyler Miles have developed. They should get opportunities to showcase the talents that made them four-star recruits coming out of high school.
I am particularly curious to see how true freshman Troy Williams performs this spring. He enrolled early this spring and has the potential to push the quarterbacks who are already in the program.
Michael via email: Cameron Van Winkle is coming in to challenge the kickers. Troy Williams is coming in to challenge the quarterbacks. How do you see it all shaking out come fall?
A: When it comes to high school kickers, Van Winkle is a special prospect. He has thrived in pressure situations, kicking a state record 39 field goals in 46 career games.
He has a strong leg, and he is accurate. His goal has been to earn the opportunity to be Washington’s kicker when the Huskies open a renovated Husky Stadium against Boise State next fall. And he will get his opportunity to compete for the starting job. I think he has the talent to come in and earn the job as a freshman.
Now, as far as Williams goes, he has the talent, but he faces a tougher challenge. Not only does he have to leapfrog two four-star quarterbacks with a season in the program, but he also would have to pass a two-year starter.
That’s a tough task for anyone, but Williams has the demeanor and talent to come in and compete.