QB Cody Pickett
Coach: Keith Gilbertson
1st year
2002 Record: 7-6
at Michigan LOST 29-31
at Southern Cal LOST 21-41
at Arizona State LOST 16-27
at Oregon WON 42-14
at Washington State WON 29-26 (3OT)
Purdue LOST 24-34

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

This team had the potential of good things last year. This year, they have the potential for things even greater. The emergence of Cody Pickett is a big plus. The passing game should be extremely potent, especially if Pickett can cut his 14 INTs down at all. But it's the running game that must be more involved. The balance created by a running game will make Pickett that much better. Averaging just 74 yards per game is not going to make it a competitive 2003 (PAC-TEN) season. This is a good offensive coaching staff who know what needs to be done, so look for coaches to give the ball to Alexis a lot more. The other key will be how well the supporting receivers compliment Reggie Williams. We think that Justin Robbins will burst back onto the scene and have an impact year. This offense will be dangerous and will put mucho points on the board. But to do all this, the Huskies must protect Pickett and preclude this by establishing a ground game to keep opposing LBs honest.

Defensively, the Huskies seem sound, but will need the back seven to gel once PAC-TEN play starts, if not sooner (with Ohio State first on the 2003 slate). The rush of the front-four will help ease them into their positions in the early going, but eventually, teams will find a way to get to them. We think the secondary will respond in a big way and step up to the challenge. The main concern is going to be the OLBs and how far they come along in a short amount of time. Again, expect to see more use of five DBs from this group to compensate the inexperience at LB until they come of age.

Starting out with (defending National Champion and possibly top-ranked) Ohio State in Columbus, this crew will be competitive. After that, they host a comfortable non-conference schedule and get USC, Oregon, and Washington State in Seattle. The telltale game of the year comes when they travel to Oregon State on October 18th. We feel that easily could be the game that decides the PAC-TEN championship. A two or three loss season is probable for the Huskies and a Top 10 finish if they do. Balance on offense and holding foes to 20% fewer points are realistic goals to guarantee success.

Projected 2003 record: 9-3
WR Reggie Williams
QB Cody Pickett
OLB Greg Carothers
ILB Scott White
QB - 5 DL - 4
RB - 2.5 LB - 3
WR - 4.5 DB - 4
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Cody Pickett, 612-365-14, 4458 yds., 28 TD's

Rushing: Rich Alexis, 202 att., 688 yds., 10 TD's

Receiving: Reggie Williams, 94 rec., 1454 yds., 11 TD's

Scoring: Reggie Williams, 11 TD's, 66 pts.

Punting: none

Kicking: none

Tackles: Marquis Cooper, 100 tot., 60 solo

Sacks: Manase Hopoi, 7 sacks

Interceptions: Derrick Johnson, 5 for 56 yds.

Kickoff returns: Charles Frederick, 30 ret., 20.0 avg.

Punt returns: Charles Frederick, 18 ret., 8.1 avg.


CB Derrick Johnson


DT Josh Miller has been declared unfit to play in 2003, due to herniated discs in his back. He looks to come back healthy for a senior season in 2004.


OFFENSE: Braxton Cleman-TB, Paul Arnold-WR, Patrick Reddick-WR, Kevin Ware-TE, Elliott Zajac-OG, Aaron Butler-OG, John Anderson-K
DEFENSE: Kai Ellis-DE, Ben Mahdavi-ILB, Jafar Williams-OLB, Nate Robinson-CB

written by Tim Chapman

Senior QB Cody Pickett had a monster year last fall, completing nearly 60% for an average of 342 yards per game! He has impressive composure to stick with the offense's game plan and deliver the ball when and where it was needed, something you either have or don't.. The team's passing game ranked fourth in Division I-A. What you may not understand is how well this guy reads a defense. He studies it like a Yale man, and delivers with the precision of a surgeon. So good, in fact that he was already establishing 2003 Heisman interest by early October. The biggest key for him this season is to not drown in the sea of attention that surrounds him.

Pickett can rely on a great cast of receivers. Headlining the group and many people's All-American lists is junior WR Reggie Williams. Williams (94 rec, 1454 yds) is one of the biggest catching threats in the country due to his size and marvelous hands- oh yeah, he's really fast, too. Double- (and even triple-, in zone) team efforts on Williams will mean the potential for great things from junior WRs Charles Frederick and Justin Robbins. Frederick is a speedster who can stretch a defense and make people miss after the catch. Robbins sat out last season due to an injury and will most likely receive a medical red-shirt. Robbins is a big target who can catch the ball and is a great 'possession' man to have down in the red-zone, when Pickett lobs the fade. The best part is, Williams is even better in the end-zone-fade-jump-ball situation with his 6'4" advantage.

Last year's running game was obviously anemic, gaining only 968 total yards. With the graduation of Braxton Clemen, senior RB Rich Alexis will get the reigns full-time. Alexis is a good enough back to lead an offensive attack, and with the help of Cody Pickett, this offense can really take off. He is aggressive and will attack defenders, yet still has the speed to turn the corner with the best of them. The main concern is going to be keeping him healthy. Backing up Alexis is junior RB Chris Singleton and a new name that will bring joy to Huskie fans as he develops, freshman RB Kenny James. James will get his chance by mid-season if the running woes are reestablished. Converted-linebacker Zach Tuiasosopo at FB is the perfect weapon to spawn a potent running game. He will be an important factor if there is to be any improvement in their 113th ranked ground attack. This should be a strong group of runners with good hands. The backfield will not be the problem if the running game sputters. That said, we segue to…

Part of the reason for the dipped running game was the offensive line. This was a group who never completely got 2002 together. Although the offense threw the ball more than they ran it, the rushing game was still sub par, losing 199 yards from scrimmage (NOT including QB sacks) and averaging only 2.13 yds/carry. And while we're on the subject, UW QBs were sacked 37 times. The good news is that four starters return and the only guy who didn't consistently start, junior OG Dan Dicks, played rather extensively. If this offense is to have as good or even better of a season this year, this group needs to rise to the occasion. Look for the line to make up sizeable ground to average at least 3.0 yds/carry.

The tight end position(s) always has/have rather accountable roles in this system. This position brings a question mark. The answer is now for soph Joe Toledo. Toledo is noted as a better blocker than a catcher, although very quick for his size. He will need to make the adjustment back to being a catching TE, as the Huskies love to turn to them. This will be a weakness until established. It shouldn't take long to turn that around.


WR Reggie Williams


Returning Starters in bold
QB Cody Pickett-Sr Casey Paus-So
FB Zach Tuiasosopo-Jr Ty Eriks-So
TB Rich Alexis-Sr Chris Singleton-Jr / Kenny James-Fr
WR Reggie Williams-Jr Matt Griffith-Jr
WR Charles Frederick-Jr Justin Robbins-Jr
TE Joe Toledo-So Jon Lyon-Jr
OT Khalif Barnes-Jr Ryan Brooks-So
OG Tusi Sa'au-So Nick Newton-Jr
C Todd Bachert-Sr Clay Walker-Fr
OG Dan Dicks-Jr Rob Meadow-So
OT Nick Newton-Jr Francisco Tipoti-Sr
K Evan Knudson-Jr Michael Braunstein-Fr



written by Tim Chapman

The Huskie defensive line returns three starters that helped the run-defense finish 11th in Division I-A, yielding only 97 yards per week. The leader is junior rush-end Manase Hopoi. Hopoi (17 TFL, 7 sacks, 3 hurries) gives offenses fits with his agility, causing blocking problems (and eventual double-teams.). Inside of him, senior DT Terry Johnson is a flat out big-boy known for his run-stopping abilities. Over 1/3 of his tackles were for losses. Junior Josh Miller mans the other DT, and he is the "quiet" one of the group, relatively speaking, even though he had more tackles than Johnson. Miller & Johnson form one of the better run-stopping duos in the PAC-10. The key for this group will be the emergence of a new defensive end opposite Hopoi. The likely candidate to fill the void…soph Graham Lasee. Lasee should see his share of growing pains, but he is a very nimble athlete who can bring solid support on the outside. His growth will occur rapidly as opposing O-lines will obviously pay him the least attention.

The secondary returns four starters, and much depth behind them. In the pass-happy PAC-10, depth is a valuable asset to a defense. Experience starts with senior safeties Greg Carothers and Owen Biddle. Carothers provides the Huskies with an aggressive DB that knows his bounds and is a sure tackler. Biddle brings a fierce attitude and a high level of football intelligence. On the corners, the Huskies return the likes of junior Derrick Johnson and senior Roc Alexander. This group should mold into an instinctive and feared group.

The importance of senior ILB Marquis Cooper has grown to mean more this year, due to the loss of both other LBs. He must stabilize the group while the new starters, junior Tim Galloway and senior Tyler Krambrink, adjust to this next level. Krambrink appears to be the next ruler of the outside. Their reaction to defenses and the speed of the game are what will show how fast this crew will solidify. Don't be surprised if this defense shows more use of nickel-back(s) to accommodate depth in this area so as to counter when opponents' use potent passing attacks to exploit the LBs in coverage.

Along with the needed emergence of its linebacking corps, the back seven must be more consistent in pass defense. The Huskies gave up 259 yds/game through the air in a league where the ball flies. Depth at the DB positions should help this year, but they will need a full sixty minutes from their starters. In a league where offenses (especially passing ones) rule, a strong pass defense is a must, and a 105th ranking again in this category won't do.



LB Marquis Cooper


Returning Starters in bold
DE Graham Lasee-So Mike Mapu-Jr
DT Terry Johnson-Sr Tui Alailefale-Jr
DT Jerome Stevens-Sr Junior Coffin-Jr
DE Manase Hopoi-Jr ..
ILB Marquis Cooper-Sr Joe Lobendahn-Jr
ILB Tim Galloway-Jr Scott White-So
OLB Greg Carothers-Sr Tyler Krambrink-Sr
CB Roc Alexander-Sr Sam Cunningham-Jr / Kim Taylor-Fr
CB Derrick Johnson-Jr Chris Massey-Sr
SS James Sims-Sr Evan Benjamin-So
FS Owen Biddle-Sr Jimmy Newell-Jr
P Sean Douglas-Fr ..




This is an area where the Huskies must replenish. Kicker John Anderson leaves as the third best field goal kicker in Huskies' history. The top man for the job right now appears to be junior Evan Knudson, untested but ready. Punter Derek McLaughlin is leaving on a Church Mission and will not be available this season, leaving the job open. Kick protection will be a must for this new group and it is something that the Huskies have lacked the last couple years. Charles Frederick is going to provide return instincts on both kinds of kicks that are honed an extra year. That should make their overall return game improve on 2002's meager averages of 34.3 net yards per punt and 18.6 yds per KO return. This aspect of the Huskies overall game could cost them a few games unless sewn up by fall.


It will be interesting to see how the offense, especially Cody Pickett, handles the loss of Neuheisel. He was a mentor and a friend to Pickett, and his absence might take a psychological toll...Nobody has taken charge of the running back duties yet. Last year's starter Rich Alexis, and prime competitor Kenny James, both sat out the spring due to injuries. Shelton Sampson and Chris Singleton received the bulk of the carries in their absence, but neither did anything to create hope. It's imperative that the Huskies put the ball into the hands of at least one capable back, who can attract enough attention away from Pickett and Williams, to keep defenses honest and further mobilize this offense. There is also worry regarding the playing status of FB Zach Tuiasosopo, who faces possible felony charges… Backup QB Isaiah Stanback put on a display of athletic talent this spring, bringing to mind the possibility of utilizing him as a receiver this fall. He and Casey Paus have battled for the second spot, but Stanback's versatility and elusiveness must find its place somewhere other than the sidelines… An early name to throw out at WR - Craig Chambers. He's 6'5", 190 lbs., and can move. This guy can play, and the coaching staff would be wise to see that it happens.

CB Roc Alexander had a great spring, climaxed by the 45- yard INT return in the spring game. He and Derrick Johnson are the sole starters at those corner positions, after Nate Robinson left the team this spring to concentrate on his basketball career… The front four played well this spring, especially Jerome Stevens and Manase Hopoi. Hopi should accomplish Pac 10 honors this season as a feared rush end… ILB Scott White has heightened into a genuine article at linebacker and will push for a starting spot heading into the fall. Another guy to keep an eye on (at LB) is Notre Dame transfer Corey Jones. The hope that Greg Carothers would evolve into a sturdy linebacker was harvested into reality this spring, easing the burden Huskie coaches face at compensating such a depleted group. Also converting to OLB from the secondary is senior Domynic Shaw, who will help bring speed to the corps this season.

Kicker Evan Knudson was fantastic this spring, showing deadly accuracy and inspiring range, notching a few from beyond 50 yards. The real problems lie in the punt team. There was a three-man competition between Garth Erickson, Jeffrey Clay and Isaak Woldeit - nobody inspired any confidence, combining for a 28-yard average. These numbers will give incoming freshman Sean Douglas a great shot at starting. Roc Alexander and Charles Frederick look to be the prime return men this season. Alexander took a 92-yard KR for a score in the spring game.