Today marks an important occasion: the last Sunday before the first Saturday of college football season (one Huskies opponent is already in action. More on that below).
It also marks the day our preseason profile of Huskies coach Chris Petersen publishes in the newspaper, and you can read it here. I spoke with a handful of former coaches and a couple of Petersen's longtime friends to get their perspective on his path toward coaching. Here's an excerpt:
Ask a few friends what they remember most about growing up with Petersen, and nearly all of their memories are athletics based. Lincoln Eden — “Big Linc,” as they called him in high school — a lieutenant now with the Yuba City Police Department, met Petersen in middle school when his family moved to the area, and the two quickly became friends. They played Little League baseball together. Ron taught him how to lift weights. And though Eden didn’t play football — he preferred basketball, and later played at Sacramento City College and the University of Redlands — he ran routes and caught passes from Chris to help sharpen his quarterback skills.
“He threw the ball so hard,” Eden remembers with a laugh. “I think he would get upset with me when I missed a lot of them because they were very good passes and I just couldn’t catch that well.”
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Petersen eventually earned Yuba City’s starting quarterback job, leading the Honkers to a 9-1 record his senior year, and drew interest from a handful of smaller schools. UC Davis showed interest then but wanted Petersen as a defensive back, according to a 1986 article in the Los Angeles Times (the headline, touting Davis’ ability to turn scrawny athletes into college stars, begins: “Slow and small? Get to NFL via Davis”). So he instead opted to play for two seasons at Sacramento City College.
Legendary UC Davis coach Jim Sochor says now of Petersen’s collegiate career: “My only regret is that we only had him for two years. I’d have loved to have had him for four or five.”--- The Huskies are off today.
--- In case you missed it yesterday, Petersen dismissed freshman safety Lavon Washington from the team and indefinitely suspended junior tight end Derrick Brown for separate violations of team rules. Washington is the third player Petersen has dismissed since taking over (CB Patrick Enewally and DE Marcus Farria are the others).
--- Eastern Washington, UW's opponent for its Sept. 6 home opener, defeated Sam Houston State 56-35 in Cheney yesterday in the first game of the college football season.
--- A look at new Boise State coach Bryan Harsin, who is trying to maintain the level of success the Broncos attained under Petersen.
--- Some highlights from the Midnight Madness game the other night at SPU featuring several NBA stars:
--- Greg Hansen of the Arizona Daily Star has this guide to the 2014 college football season.
--- Oregon State coach Mike Riley is optimistic about the Beavers' health heading into the season.
--- A pair of USC offensive linemen will make history if they both start the Trojans' opener.
--- Stanford's backup quarterback is staying ready, just in case, which is probably a good idea for every backup quarterback.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple