Wednesday is letter of intent day. Here's my UW preview from the morning paper.
However, there were a few good preview quotes that didn't make the story that I thought I'd include here:
Rick Kimbrel, Rival Pac-10 analyst:
On the UW class: "Washington has a lot of players that have the possiblity of being coached up. They've got a lot of players on this list that I'm looking at who seem to have their best days as a football player ahead of them. And they're getting in coaches like Sarkisian and Holt coaches who know how to get the best out of players. To be honest with you the difference between the 84th class and maybe the 50th class is one of two players who actually develop against players that don't develop. It's not an exact science, it is a compass that helps guide you thought the recruiting process, it's not an exact anything. This group that I'm looking at, they might end up coming in as three stars and leaving as five stars."
On Hawaii commit DT Semisi Tokolahi:
"He was a late bloomer. People didn't really know about him. They did a really nice job in Hawaii, which was a known state of theirs when they were doing pretty good."
On Sarkisian's late arrival: "They did what they had to do in the short time that they had to do it. I think this is a good first class for Sarkisian. I think Sarkisian is the right personality – he's going to make it competitive down here, he will get kids in the future."
CHRIS FETTERS, Northwest football recruiting for Scout.com
On Sarkisian's introduction to the state recruiting scene: "I get the impression that he's made a good first impression. It's so soon. It's only been like two months. That's why its hard to say, oh, yeah, he's a better recruiter than Tyrone. … In some ways I think I think the main point about Tyrone's recruitment is his pitch works with kids all over the country, but they have to be the right kind of kid. … Whether it was in southern California or southern Idaho, for some reason his pitch would appeal to a certain kind of kid. Now, I think what Sarkisian is showing is an energy and an enthusiasm and a creativity to the process that gets guys excited. ... I think there is some understanding what recruits like and what they want and the things that they like to hear. I think in that sense his pitch might work on a lot of kids.
(Willingham's) sales pitch is one that's kind of time-tested. It's not flashy, it's very substantive. So when a kid makes a commitment to him, chances are there's not a lot of waffling, there's not a lot of ambiguity. Whereas with Sarkisian, I think there's a situation where he's really selling guys on the promise of what could happen and trying to really get them going and get them energized.
On Sarkisian's challenge compared to Willingham's: "Even with Gilby at 1-11 with Tyrone coming in, there seemed to be this idea that OK it's an anomaly. It's a one-time deal, it's not going to happen again. But now, not only does Sarkisian have to deal with 0-12, but he also has to deal with this specter of 11-37. He always has to deal with the specter of that record under Willingham. And those kinds of things, you just can't erase from a kid's memory. Because they don't know about (Washington's glory days). They just look at the last few years and say Washington isn't very good. … That's the problem I think Sarkisian is facing.
"Willingham had to deal with a lot of uncertainty. But the uncertainty never had to really outweigh what the previous administrations had done, because four years earlier, Rick Neuheisel had taken them to a Rose Bowl. It wasn't that long ago. Now all of a sudden, Sarkisian is having to deal with nearly a decade of futility. That's a difficult legacy to overcome."
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Meanwhile, while I'll certainly be blogging through recruiting day. And there is great information at the TNT prep blog, which will be updated throughout the day. And the GoHuskies.com site has plans that include three signing day shows, available at no cost. The shows, hosted by Bob Rondeau and former Husky quarterback Johnny DuRocher, will feature visits with members of the Husky coaching staff, video highlights of signees and all the latest news. The half-hour shows will air at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.