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, so it's time for this week's HuskyNation chat. The days before signing day are dwindling, so there will be plenty of news coming out the next few weeks. I will answer as many questions as possible over the next hour, so keep them coming.
Great falls montana [via mobile]
What happened to Joe Montana's son that was redshirted a year or two ago? I dont see him on roster anymore. Did he transfer? I know his brother was on the notre dame roster. Can u shed some light?
Mason Kelley (2:02 PM)
Nick Montana is now at Tulane.
Brian (SD, California)
Just saw that USC's LB coach is going to Nevada. Do the Huskies have any chance of landing Hutchings?
Mason Kelley (2:08 PM)
Michael Hutchings has always liked the Huskies. However, he pulled the plug on a recent official visit to Washington. He is visiting USC this weekend and I wouldn't expect Scottie Hazelton's decision to leave for Nevada to impact that much.
Mr. Triangle (Where the trees meet the plains)
Does the fact that it is "All Quiet on the Recruiting Front" bode well for the big fish out there or is that a bad sign for the boys in purple?
Mason Kelley (2:11 PM)
I don't think it's a bad sign. Right now, the big names who are still on Washington's list are finalizing their decisions. The Huskies' official visitors this week are all current commits, so there are no pending commitments at this point. The program will add a few more prospects before signing day, but there are a lot of prospects who are still weighing their options. Whether it's Reuben Foster, Eddie Vanderdoes, Myles Jack or others.
Phillip (A stadium near you)
Mason, with all the younger players that have seen playing time the last couple of years and becoming upperclassmen and a with some depth behind them, is this program getting close to competing with Oregon and Stanford?
Mason Kelley (2:13 PM)
I think that is the hope right now. The program has been forced to play a lot of young players and those prospects aren't kids anymore. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Kasen Williams and Keith Price all boast plenty of experience. The 2013 season should be the year the program takes a big step forward.
How is looking for people like Vanderdoes, Foster and Hutchings? I'm almost 90 percent sure when it's all said and done one of them will be a Husky.
Mason Kelley (2:16 PM)
I don't seem Hutchings flipping at this point. He seems locked in at USC. Reuben Foster loved his visit and seems to be serious about keeping Washington among his finalists. And, Eddie Vanderdoes also has the Huskies right there at the top of his list. Foster seems to be saying the most positive things about Washington. Landing one of these prospects would be a huge addition to the 2013 class.
Are there any JC guys that would make an immediate impact UW is looking at?
Mason Kelley (2:17 PM)
Juco DE Marcus Hardison will make his decision later today and he still has Washington among his finalists.
James (Oceanside, CA)
Have you heard any names that Washington might be looking at recruiting wise in the San Diego area?
Mason Kelley (2:19 PM)
While the Huskies would love to have a chance with the Robinson twins, who are Oregon commits, I think they stay with the Ducks. However, Washington has expressed interest in DE Fred Melifonwu. He doesn't have an offer yet. But, if the Huskies have a spot open right before signing day, they could take a chance on this athletic prospect.
Did Hardison take a trip to UW? What other schools are finalists for him?
Mason Kelley (2:21 PM)
Hardison's finalists are Arizona State, Kansas State, West Virginia, Washington, South Florida and Auburn. I don't think he took a Washington visit. If he did, word didn't spread.
LV Dawg (Las Vegas)
Latest on Myles Jack?
Mason Kelley (2:23 PM)
He really enjoyed his Arizona State visit. He has changed his Oregon visit to a Florida State visit and Washington and UCLA are still in play. I was surprised, and I think he was, too, that he enjoyed his visit to Arizona State as much as he did. Sounds like the Sun Devils really made an impression. At this point, I don't think he has made a decision yet. He is really making sure he weighs all his options.
Econ Dawg (Seattle)
What are your thoughts on the O-line recruiting numbers? Do you see Basham or Bryant with futures on the offensive side of the ball?
Mason Kelley (2:25 PM)
To be honest, I'm not really worried about the numbers on the offensive line. I really like the players Washington has in this class and I think they will add at least one more. The program has done a pretty good job stocking the system with young talent. If they add one more recruit in 2013, that's three O-linemen and that's fine, especially if they can bring in a big name late.
Weekly update Mason. Whats the latest on Foster, Jack and Vanderdoes? Throw in the two wildcards in Falah and Mattingly (due to the Chipstah leaving)
Mason Kelley (2:28 PM)
Let's see. I have mentioned Foster, Jack and Vanderdoes already with Washington still in the mix for all three. Now, Falah is interesting. He is taking his USC visit this weekend. As I understand it, he really likes that he feels wanted at Washington. If he doesn't get the feeling he is hoping for during his USC visit, don't be surprised if he takes a long look at the Huskies.
Did Devon Blackmon ever transfer to UW?
Mason Kelley (2:29 PM)
He did not.
Gary (Gary, IN)
Which incoming freshman do you see making an impact in 2013?
Mason Kelley (2:31 PM)
The easy answer here would be Damore'ea Stringfellow, since he's the program's top rated recruit. However, since Trevor Walker enrolled early, he will get experience in the spring that could help him compete right away. While I don't expect him to start, the fact that Troy Williams enrolled early also helps his cause to contribute early. To be honest, any of the four-star standouts the Huskies have added have the potential to contribute early.
Do you think Nico Falah will end up at UW?
Mason Kelley (2:33 PM)
I think it's definitely a realistic possibility. A lot will depend on how his visit to USC goes this weekend. The Huskies are still in the mix for the No. 224 prospect in the ESPN 300.
Keith (Seattle, WA)
How realistic do you think it is that Lupoi will land a couple of the USC decommits?
Mason Kelley (2:35 PM)
After what happened with Shaq Thompson last year, I think Tosh Lupoi is capable of pulling off just about anything at the last minute. Landing a prospect like Vanderdoes is certainly a possibility given Lupoi's track record.
NZDawg (Auckland NZ)
Any update on Nic Purcell? Seems like he would be a great option to fill the current OL hole in this class.
Mason Kelley (2:42 PM)
Nic Purcell is an interesting prospect. He has plenty of talent, but lacks experience. There is also an ongoing question surrounding his eligibility. You can read more about that here: http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/colleges/oregon/post/_/id/3764/ducks-working-hard-for-jc-ol-purcell However, when it comes to Purcell's connection to Washington, I have heard less and less about the prospect since his visit early in fall camp.
Will there be more in-state talent 2014? How does it compare to 2013?
Mason Kelley (2:46 PM)
There is some very good talent in the 2014 class. The state's top prospect is safety Bishard "Budda" Baker, but it doesn't stop there with recruits like running back Devante Downs, offensive lineman Kaleb McGary and quarterback Nick Mitchell, among others. I think the number of D-I prospects should be about the same between the 2013 and 2014 classes.
Jared (New York)
I assume that the Chip Kelly departure is good news for the Huskies. What is the vibe in Seattle about this?
Mason Kelley (2:50 PM)
I think the timing of Chip Kelly's departure is good for the Huskies. Washington should have its best team since Steve Sarkisian took over in 2013. They are poised to make a move toward the top of the Pac-12 standings and will be in their best position to knock off the Ducks. If everything works out the way Washington plans, this will end up being very good news for the Huskies.
any chance we steal some recruits from Oregon with Chip leaving? If so, hearing any names?
Mason Kelley (2:52 PM)
I mentioned this in the mailbag this week, but I don't think Chip Kelly's decision will help Washington with Oregon's current commits. The rumors of Kelly to the NFL are nothing new, so the prospects who committed there were prepared that his departure was a possibility. Committing to a school these days is about more than the head coach, so I really don't see a lot of Oregon commits changing their minds.
perrycollective (Seattle, WA)
Why aren't the Huskies more aggressive on getting OL recruits? That has been a recurring theme the last several years.
Mason Kelley (2:56 PM)
Actually, I can't agree with you on this one. I think the Huskies have been very aggressive when it comes to offensive linemen. At one point, Washington had four kids committed on the line. There isn't much a program can do if a kid decides to go somewhere else. There is a lot of young talent along the line in the program, so I really think the Huskies are actually in pretty good shape at the position. Obviously they would like more prospects in the 2013 class and I think they will get at least one more offensive line commit in this class.
phil (des moines)
Do you have any update on Deontae Cooper and his status to play after his surgeries?
Mason Kelley (2:59 PM)
He planned to try and work his way back. It's all going to come down to how healthy he is and if he feels like he can play and contribute. At some point, it is necessary to look at his long-term health. If doctors agree he is healthy and he wants to continue his career, he will return.
Mason Kelley (3:01 PM)
Well, it's noon. That's all the time I've got for this week's chat. Thanks for all the great questions. I will be back again next week. Have a great weekend.