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 (1:59 PM)
Welcome to this week's HuskyNation chat. Before we get started, I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays so far. I will be chatting for the next hour, so fire away with questions.
John (Eatonville, wa)
Do you think Sark will open up competition at the QB position and what do you think of the Washington depth at QB?
Mason Kelley (2:02 PM)
In a perfect world, Washington would have Keith Price as its quarterback heading into next season. There are going to be lofty expectations put on this program in 2013, and I think they would like to avoid a quarterback battle. However, if the junior struggles against Boise State, I'm sure the Huskies will take a long look at the other quarterbacks in the program, including this year's freshmen, Jeff Lindquist and Cyler Miles, and true freshman Troy Williams.
Of the big time recruits the Huskies are still targeting, which one do you think most likely lands with the Dawgs?
Mason Kelley (2:05 PM)
I think there are a few names to pay close attention to as signing day gets closer. I would keep a close eye on Myles Jack, Danny Mattingly, Joe Mathis and John Ross.
AJay (Washington )
Would you say UW is the front-runner for Reuben Foster right now?
Mason Kelley (2:07 PM)
I can't say that Washington is the front-runner for Reuben Foster right now. The two leaders for the nation's No. 1 inside linebacker are Georgia and Auburn. The Huskies are in the mix. Getting an official visit is a good sign.
Losing Hooks stinks. Can you tell us of any other JC prospects that are considering the Huskies?
Mason Kelley (2:12 PM)
While putting together this week's mailbag, I decided to open the post looking at what it meant for the Huskies once Hooks picked Ole Miss over UW and others. Sure, it would have been nice for Washington to pick up a highly rated junior college prospect. However, the Huskies have done very well with defensive linemen so far and have other targets that make his decision to go elsewhere easier to digest. Now, as far as other JC prospects, defensive end Marcus Hardison (Dodge City Community College) plans to visit the Huskies in January.
AJay (Washington )
Who is the coach recruiting Vanderdoes, Foster, Hooks, and other big names? Sark, Wilcox, Lupoi, Kiesau?
Mason Kelley (2:14 PM)
It depends on the prospects in many cases. When talking about Eddie Vanderdoes and Reuben Foster, I would say Tosh Lupoi is the lead recruiter. Lupoi and Peter Sirmon seem to handle a lot of the program's recruiting in the South and on the East Coast. But Steve Sarkisian and Justin Wilcox certainly do their share of recruiting as well.
Any possibility that Elijah Qualls flips from UW? It looks like he's going to take a few visits (UCLA).
Mason Kelley (2:16 PM)
I just talked to Elijah Qualls on Tuesday. If there is one player Washington fans don't need to worry about, it's the defensive lineman. If it was an option, he would already be enrolled in school. There is a reason he has tried to recruit so many prospects to Washington. If there is one thing I am certain of, it's that Qualls ends up with the Huskies.
What happened with Caleb Tucker? I hear he's no longer committed to UW.
Mason Kelley (2:20 PM)
I haven't talked to Tucker directly, but he has decided to flip his commitment to Houston. This one comes as a bit of a surprise. He loved his visit to Washington. He spent his trip trying to bring Danny Mattingly with him. I'm not sure what happened here, but he is no longer a part of the Huskies' 2013 class. The good news is, Washington has done very well with linebackers this year, so they have plenty of prospects at the position and other players they are still recruiting.
How does OL recruiting look? We need the big boys in a bad way
Mason Kelley (2:24 PM)
If the Huskies can keep Sean Harlow and find a way to get Brayden Kearsley to commit, this offensive line class will look pretty good. If those prospects end up at Oregon State, the Huskies will only have two linemen committed and will have to uncover a few hidden gems to add depth. It will be interesting to see what happens here. I know fans are desperate to see the program add more linemen and it would be huge to keep Harlow and add Kearsley.
When is Joe Mathis announcing? He's wearing a UW hat at the Cal State game right now
Mason Kelley (2:26 PM)
As I understand it, Mathis will announce at the U.S. Army All-American game. Washington is definitely a finalist for the defensive lineman and has a very good chance to add him to their 2013 class.
I'm concern about OL recruiting. We have two solid commits in Crane and Kirkland but Harlow seems to be waffling and no leads in other OL prospects.. Should I be worried?
Mason Kelley (2:29 PM)
I have been getting this question a lot. I think it remains to be seen how this position will look come signing day. As I mentioned earlier, keep Harlow and land Brayden Kearsley and this is a very good group of offensive linemen. If those recruits end up at Oregon State or somewhere else, the Huskies will have some work to do. I don't think we'll be able to judge the offensive line class until we get closer to signing day.
You think that if we beat Arizona and WSU that maybe all these premiere kids would have us #1 instead of #2?
Mason Kelley (2:30 PM)
I honestly don't think those losses did much to harm the 2013 recruiting class. I would say the wins over Stanford and Oregon State did more to help the class than any of the losses hurt.
Keith (Seattle, WA)
What's the deal with Austin Hooper, and the Fresno DBs? Has the shipped sailed on their recruitment? Haven't heard much about them recently.
Mason Kelley (2:32 PM)
I just caught up with Austin Hooper on Tuesday. I met with him and Michael Hutchings at De La Salle High School. Hooper is still very much in the mix for Washington. He raves about the coaching staff. I think the Huskies have a very good shot with him. As far as the Fresno DB's, I think the program is still in the running for Johnny Johnson, but I don't know him well, so I'm not sure where he is at right now.
Do you notice a big difference when talking with west coast recruits and those from the south? Perspective and diversity of the West must be a bit of a shock.
Mason Kelley (2:35 PM)
The only real difference is most of the kids who are from the South who are looking at Washington don't know much about Seattle other than what they've been told. Once they get a chance to visit, they tend to say the same things that I hear from kids on the West Coast. I have yet to talk to a recruit who wasn't impressed by the city, coaching staff and progress of the program. That tends to be the same, no matter where kids are from.
How good in your opinion is Damore'ea Stringfellow? Is he the best player in the class?
Mason Kelley (2:39 PM)
Stringfellow is very good. He was as good as any receiver I watched at The Opening. He has a good combination of size and speed. He is physical and goes after the ball. The top half of this class is definitely talented and Stringfellow has certainly earned his ranking.
Mike (Seattle, WA)
Danny Mattingly's recruitment seems pretty quiet since he opened things up. Has he scheduled any visits?
Mason Kelley (2:43 PM)
Mattingly has taken all five visits, hitting Washington, UCLA, Miami, Arizona State and Oregon. All that is left for him now is to announce his decision. The reason things have seemed quiet is Mattingly isn't a big fan of being in the media spotlight. He tries to avoid media requests as much as possible. He is trying to make the best decision for his future and it seems to me that he will eventually end up at either Washington or Oregon.
Myles Jack? Will he consider leaving UCLA? Any Chance he winds up at UW?
Mason Kelley (2:44 PM)
He will definitely consider flipping from UCLA. Will he, though? That remains to be seen. Washington will get one of his final visits, which is a good sign for the Huskies. The Bruins seem like the favorite right now, but he still has four visits to take.
Who do you see out of all the commits thus far coming in and having the strongest impact Coleman, Stringfellow, Daniels, Qualls, Hall (if he comes), Constantine, Victor, etc.?
Mason Kelley (2:46 PM)
As far as prospects who might be able to come in and play right away, I would have to look at the two receivers right now -- Stringfellow and Darrell Daniels.
One guy I've heard practically nothing about is Thomas Duarte, WR/TE from Mater Dei. Any word on what schools he likes, timeline for committing, etc?
Mason Kelley (2:48 PM)
The last update I read on Duarte had him down to Notre Dame, Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington. I am not sure yet what his exact timeline is for making a decision.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Are the Huskies pursuing any JUCO WRs? There are some top guys still available (Strong, Blue, Ambles, Braswell etc).
Mason Kelley (2:51 PM)
I'm don't know of any specific Juco receiver targets the Huskies are looking at. However, with three receivers committed and John Ross as a top target, I think Washington has just about filled all of its available openings at that position.
Don (Berkeley, CA)
Is JUCO Desmond Harrison a possibility for UDUB at offensive tackle? Lupoi should be somewhat familiar with the kid given he played at Contra Costa County, and his ties to the area.
Mason Kelley (2:53 PM)
Washington doesn't appear to be one of the schools looking at Harrison right now. He has a ton of schools after him, but the Huskies don't appear to be one of them.
Do you think if we get Harlow, Kearsley and no big names flip flop, will this be Sark's best class?
Mason Kelley (2:55 PM)
This definitely has the potential to be Washington's biggest class under Sarkisian. If the Huskies keep the guys they've got and reel in a few more names like Kearsley, this will be a great group when it comes to talent.
What was the vibe you got from 2014 RB Joe Mixon? Is Darrell Daniels gonna help get him up to UW?
Mason Kelley (2:57 PM)
Darrell Daniels said he is going to let Mixon make his own decision. He isn't pushing him to UW. Daniels has nothing but good things to say about Washington, so that helps, but he isn't pushing Mixon one way or another. I think Mixon will have the Huskies in the mix throughout the process, but he is going to get offers from all over the country. Washington has an inside track, but will have to hold off other schools.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Will Aaron Gordon join fellow Northern California product Marcus Lee in Lexington? Or does Romar close the deal in your opinion?
Mason Kelley (2:59 PM)
I know Aaron Gordon likes the Huskies, but I don't know where he ends up. It is hard for kids to turn down Kentucky, but if anyone can get Gordon away from the Wildcats, it would be Romar.
Who is a bigger get for 2014 Mixon or Baker, putting the in-state must get title aside?
Mason Kelley (3:01 PM)
That's hard to say. Bishard Baker is more of a safety prospect, while Joe Mixon is a running back. Both would be huge additions to the 2014 class for different reasons. Baker will be one of the top prospects in the nation. In-state or not, he is a must-get for sure.
Do you think Cameron Van Winkle (kicker) can start as a freshman?
Mason Kelley (3:02 PM)
He will get his chance. He is really good. If he doesn't beat out Travis Coons for the job in 2013, he will have the the position locked down for four years after that.
Mason Kelley (3:04 PM)
Well, it's noon, so that's the end of this week's chat. I hope everyone has a great weekend. Happy holidays! The questions continue to get better and better, so please check back next week. I'm here every Friday from 11 a.m.-noon. Thanks again for stopping by and let's chat again next week.