Chat with Mason Kelley
Welcome to HuskyNation! On Friday, reporter Mason Kelley stops by to chat about the state of Washington football.
Kelley joined ESPN.com in 2012 after spending three years as the high school sports coordinator at The Seattle Times. He has written about high school, college and professional sports since 2004, working for newspapers in Florida, California, Idaho and Washington.
Send your questions now and join Kelley Friday at 2 p.m. ET!
Mason Kelley (2:00 PM)
It's Friday, which means it is time to take questions on all things Washington football and basketball. With a big weekend both on the field and in recruiting for the football team, fire away and I will do my best to answer anything you throw out there.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is the coldest college football game that Washington will play this season?
Mason Kelley (2:01 PM)
That would either be next week at Colorado or the following week at Washington State. It should be pretty cold each of the last two weeks.
Michael Sacia (Issaquah)
Do you expect the Huskies to run a lot early because of the talent of the Utah D-line?
Mason Kelley (2:02 PM)
If you look at the way Washington has played recently, the Huskies have made a commitment to their ground game. Bishop Sankey had close to 100 yards in the first quarter alone against Cal. I would expect that to continue against Utah.
I saw Joe Mixon was offered by Washington. What are your thoughts? Do the Huskies get him?
Mason Kelley (2:04 PM)
2014 running back Joe Mixon was in fact offered by Washington last night. He also landed an offer from Colorado and Cal. He would be a big get for the Huskies. Based on what he has told me, the junior has Washington right at the top of his list and is a prime candidate to follow his teammate Darrell Daniels up to Seattle.
Hi Mason! What are a few names of recruits who have committed elsewhere but you're hearing are still looking at UDub? Thanks!
Mason Kelley (2:06 PM)
The top two names who are currently committed to other schools are UCLA commit Myles Jack and Notre Dame commit Danny Mattingly. When you talk about two kids who are most likely to flip to UW, it would be those two seniors. Sure, there are other names floating out there like UCLA commit Jermaine Kelly and it's encouraging that USC commit Eddie Vanderdoes and BYU soft verbal Brayden Kearsley will visit, I think Washington's best chances are with Jack and Mattingly.
Mason, are there any surprise recruits that you think we have a really good shot of landing! Especially with the Lane Kiffin situation, where he might not be there next season? On top of that, we have Redfield, Kylie Fitts, and various other recruits coming this weekend
Mason Kelley (2:09 PM)
I'm not sure about surprise recruits. I think most of the names the Huskies are after are out there and, if they're not, the program is keeping that under wraps for a reason. Obviously, it's a good sign that Max Redfield is visiting, although, I think the Huskies have some ground to make up. If Kylie Fitts visits, that's also a good sign. Washington has no trouble landing on the radar with big names. But, to take the next step, Washington needs to hit the next level on the field, which means wins over top teams. The Huskies seem to be headed in the right direction and recruits have noticed that. But, again, outside of the usual suspects, I am not aware of any surprise names right now.
If the Huskies win out in the regular season and win their bowl game to go 9-4 with a six game winning streak, do recruits really start to take notice? And will this Husky team likely be ranked top 20 after doing so? This seems to be setting up well for the big 2013 season!
Mason Kelley (2:11 PM)
Recruits are already taking notice, but recruiting is about having something to sell. A 9-4 season with a bow win, considering the early season schedule, injuries and new faces, is something this program can pitch. I think the Huskies would have held on to a great class even if the losses mounted. But, to turn things around after Arizona and, if they are able to win out, this class could continue to grow in prominence with the addition of a few more big names.
Mason, now that Max Redfield decommitted, what are the chances he ends up at UW?
Mason Kelley (2:13 PM)
I talked about this in our #BlueChipBattles package, which is on the RecruitingNation homepage right now. I think the Huskies are on the outside looking in right now, but can catch his attention this weekend. I would put Notre Dame in the driver's seat with USC and Oregon right there and Washington making a push to get in the mix.
Have you been hearing good news about Myles Jack and Danny Mattingly? How many recruits will be on OVs this weekend?
Mason Kelley (2:15 PM)
The news remains the same with Jack and Mattingly right now. Both players like the Huskies, but their status hasn't changed. I will see Jack tonight and I'm working on a big profile on him so, if anything changes, I will let everyone know as soon as I know. As far as official visitors here are the names I've heard so far: Sean Harlow, Austin Hooper, Pierre Cormier and Max Redfield. There is also talk that Kylie Fitts will be here on an official as well.
Keith's knees look like Patrick Ewing's late in his career. Is this a real problem or does Keith just like walking with a hitch?
Mason Kelley (2:17 PM)
Price has been asked about this in the past and he says that's just the way he walks. He does walk like he's hurt, but he doesn't seem to be dealing with any injuries other than the wear and tear the body typically takes during a college football season.
Are there any rumors swirling about UW signing a HUGE class if we win out!?
Mason Kelley (2:18 PM)
Based purely on the attention Washington has been getting from recruits with the program's official visitors and the players planning official visits on top of the kids already committed, I think the Huskies have a very good opportunity to land a huge class. The wins over top 10 teams are definitely big, but a 8-4 season with a bowl win will continue to help the Huskies in recruiting.
Can you forward a message to ASJ from us fans? He needs to get healthy in the off-season! Please don't play basketball this season. Lets be honest here, he's not very good and all he does is foul other big men.
Mason Kelley (2:20 PM)
Ha! I can pass along the message, but I doubt he will listen to me. That's a conversation Lorenzo Romar, Steve Sarkisian and Austin Seferian-Jenkins have to have, making sure he is doing what is best for his health, college career and future.
Gabe (Bellevue, WA)
Any 'recent' news out of Myles Jack??? Will he be present at the game Saturday?? and do you like UW's chances in flipping him?
Mason Kelley (2:22 PM)
No "recent" news as far as a change in where Jack is at. I will see him tonight and will check in, but right now he is still committed to UCLA. If I had to guess, he will be in the stands this weekend.
Jason D (Yakima, WA)
Mason thanks for doing what you do buddy! Wondering what you think of Lowell Lotulelei coming to visit? Huge kid and would be a steal plus Pierre Cormier coming to visit would be another great get for UW. Also how many DE we bringing in next year? Seems they are a huge portion of what we have and what we are looking to get as well. Thanks buddy.
Mason Kelley (2:27 PM)
Sounds like Lotulelei is coming on an unofficial. I'm not sure what to make of that. I tried to get his coach on the phone this week, but called the day of a game, so I'm not surprised I didn't hear back yet. He would be a nice addition to the class. The same can be said of Pierre Cormier. Despite the success of Bishop Sankey, running back is a position of need for a team looking to add depth and Cormier would help. Right now, the Huskies have two very good defensive ends committed in Daeshon Hall and Marcus Farria and they continue to pursue guys like Austin Hooper and Joe Mathis, among others, so I think the team lands at least three players at the defensive end position. Considering Tosh Lupoi is the Huskies' D-line coach, it makes sense he is doing well with players along the defensive line.
If I'm looking at it correctly, of the starters, only Trufant, Schaefer, and Amosa (Who isn't a true starter) are leaving. Having ten starters back on each side of the ball with a senior QB, is next year the year that this team makes the leap?
Mason Kelley (2:30 PM)
Washington will return a lot of talent next season. I think that is the year the Huskies have to take a big step. The talent should be there. Year 4 is typically the time when progress is expected to kick in, and 9-4 would be a good step for this year, but this program wants to become a 10-11 win team year-in, year-out.
Are you worried at all about Stringfellow and possibly going to UCLA? I heard that was a rumor at one point with Poala leaving
Mason Kelley (2:32 PM)
Damore'ea Stringfellow is taking his trips, which always worries fans. However, after his official visit to Nebraska, he said his heart is still with the Huskies, so a program is really going to have to wow him if it wants to pull him away from Washington.
This is obviously looking a ways into the future, but what is the impact of having both Lindquist and Miles at backup QB (not to mention Derrick Brown)? Are big QB recruits discouraged because of the seeming backlog at the position?
Mason Kelley (2:35 PM)
I don't think quarterbacks are discouraged by the depth at the position at all. The Huskies have Troy Williams committed to next year's class and 2014 QB JaJuan Lawson also really likes Washington. Big-time quarterback recruits are drawn to Sarkisian's reputation for getting prospects to the NFL. While depth makes it more difficult for players to get on the field right away, the allure of learning from someone who can help them get to the next level can be worth the wait.
Gabe (Bellevue, WA)
Are you hearing any good news on OL recruits??
Mason Kelley (2:38 PM)
The one more recent name that I think should signal a good sign for Washington is Brayden Kearsley. He didn't seem to have the Huskies on his radar through the summer, but he is taking an official visit in December. Watching him at a few camps this year, he plays with a mean streak that would really be an asset on Washington's offensive line. He is currently a soft commit to BYU and Oregon State is high on his list, but he would be a good get for the Huskies.
Really looks like players are getting offered scholarships earlier and earlier. Is this trend good for recruiting? Do coaches just try to tell everyone that he is their "#1 guy" while also trying to recruit 4 other guys at the same position?
Mason Kelley (2:42 PM)
I don't know if it is good for recruiting, but it is definitely a sign of the times. To get the top prospects, it often requires getting on their radar early in the process. Just look at Washington, which offered a 14-year-old quarterback this summer. The recruiting process seems to be constantly evolving as coaches and programs try to get an edge with the top prospects.
Keith (Seattle, WA)
Do you think Huskies will be able to run the table and finish the regular season 8-4?
Mason Kelley (2:48 PM)
I definitely think Washington should run the table. The wins are there if the Huskies execute the way they have in their recent wins.
Doug Nussmeier (Alabama)
On a scale of 1-10, how much do the Huskies miss having me on the coaching staff? Offense seems to be stuggling....
Mason Kelley (2:53 PM)
Ha! This made me laugh. I think we have learned this season that Doug Nussmeier did play a big part in Washington's success on offense, maybe more than most realized. That being said, the Huskies have had a lot more playing into this than simply game plan or play-calling. The offensive line has dealt with injuries. Keith Price hasn't been the same, and clearly misses some of the senior playmakers who graduated. Considering Saturday is the Huskies' last home game of the season, I think the team finally tops the 21-point plateau against an FBS program.
Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)
Hey Mason, do any former Huskies come back and attend practice or visit with the team?
Mason Kelley (2:57 PM)
You see former players and coaches stop by practice. You see more during fall camp, but people stop by from time to time. Just the other day former coach Jim Lambright watched practice. I think any program likes to keep the past involved with the present.
Mason Kelley (2:59 PM)
Well, it looks like I have exhausted all the questions for this week. Thank you for stopping by. I will be back again next Friday at 11 a.m. PT. Feel free to keep the questions coming at any time by e-mailing me at masonkelleyESPN@gmail.com or contact me on Twitter @masonkelleyESPN.
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