Greetings from the Salt Lake City Airport. I am en route to San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl. So obviously the football posts will pick up considerably in the coming days. Some apologies for not having any content yesterday. Like most guys, I waited till Christmas Eve to do my shopping and had to spend some considerable time deciding on my holiday meal – touch choice but it was Tombstone over DiGiorgno.
Anyway, let’s get to a little football reading, starting with my big feature on wide receiver Jermaine Kearse. Yes, he’s had some drops over his career. But he will leave UW after four years as one of the most prolific pass catchers in school history.
I think he’s been a little under appreciated. He’s made some huge plays. And more importantly his work ethic and attitude and leadership have been a big part of the Huskies transition.
When it does end, Kearse will leave Montlake second in school history in career catches (he currently has 175), yards receiving (2,673) and touchdown catches (28). If he were to catch a pair of touchdowns in the Alamo Bowl, he would tie Mario Bailey’s school record of 30.
Kearse holds the school record for touchdown catches in a game with four. He earned second team all-conference honors as a sophomore and a junior. He has played in every game since coming to UW from Lakes High School.
“If you do look at numbers, he has had a tremendous career here,” Huskies receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty said. “People are going to look back and say he was one of the all-time great receivers here.”
Kearse’s stellar numbers often get overlooked for one simple reason: dropped passes.
It’s been a bugaboo that has dogged Kearse throughout his career.
“There’s been times it’s been frustrating, where you can say he should have made this play or that play,” Dougherty said. “I think he’ll be the first to tell you he has been frustrated at times with the way he has played.”
Kearse has often admitted his faults.
“I can’t get them back,” he said of the drops. “I can only work hard to make sure they don’t happen anymore.”
But the criticism is still there.
“People hammered me about it, but they have their opinions,” he said. “It’s a part of real life; you’re going to get criticized. It’s how you deal with that criticism.”
Kearse has never allowed himself to take it personally.
“They love you when you do good and they hate you when you do bad, so that’s life and you just learn to deal with it,” he said.
Did you know that:
The winning coach of the inaugural 1993 Alamo Bowl game, between California and Iowa, was once and future Huskies coach Keith Gilbertson. Cal’s 37-3 victory represented the pinnacle of Gilbertson’s four-year career in Berkeley. Despite finishing that season 9-4 with a No. 24 national ranking, Gilbertson was fired the following year, after producing only one winning season.
Columnist John McGrath has that little factoid and 18 more in his column about the Alamo Bowl. It’s some interesting reading.
From the San Antonio Express, Jerry Briggs writes that Chris Polk and controlling the ball could be the best way to stop Robert Griffin III. And there is this story on Sark rebuilding the program.
From the Coach Sark Blog, there are some pictures of the Huskies having some fun at Sea World.