In case you missed it last night, a few outlets reported that linebacker prospect Kyler Manu changed his mind and decommitted from Boise State, instead committing to Washington. Here’s more on Manu’s decision from the Idaho Statesman.
And here are more links to get your Tuesday started. Remember, practices are now closed to media, but offensive players and coaches will be available to speak after this morning’s practice.
— For our story in today’s newspaper, we wrote about the group of safeties vying for a starting spot in the final days before UW departs for Hawaii. An excerpt from that story:
SEATTLE — With the Fight Hunger Bowl trophy in tow, the Washington Huskies made their way home from San Francisco in December knowing an offseason of change awaited them.
Chris Petersen had been hired to replace Steve Sarkisian as coach. A few assistants had already left to join Sarkisian at USC. And it was no secret that a few more, including defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, were on their way out the door.
Say this for Wilcox, though: he didn’t mail it in. Third-year sophomore free safety Brandon Beaver points to a conversation they had on the flight back home as what he hopes will prove to be a turning point in his football career.
“He was letting me know that the only thing I was missing the whole time was just to be focused about everything,” said Beaver, who made his first career start in the Fight Hunger Bowl as a redshirt freshman. “He said he was pushing for me to play the whole season last year, I just wasn’t focused right. It kind of was true. So just get my focus right, play like I know how to play, and make my plays.”
Someone has to. And so far, Beaver has been a fall camp standout among a group of defensive backs who seem to possess the requisite talent to compete at the Pac-12 level, but for the most part lack any kind of significant game experience.
— It appears as if Chris Petersen has joined Twitter: @CoachPeteUW, though I haven’t seen anything from the school confirming that to be a legitimate account. Also haven’t seen anything to suggest it’s not. We’ll let you know.
— Adam Jude writes about Andrew Hudson’s return for his fifth and final season.
— ESPN.com had its Washington season preview, writing that UW’s best-case scenario in 2014 is an 11-2 regular-season record, and its worst-case scenario is 6-7. ESPN also gives the Huskies a 0.7 percent chance of winning the conference.
— Hawaii athletic director Ben Jay made some news yesterday by saying at a Board of Regents meeting that “there’s a very real possibility of football going away” due to budget shortfalls. Jay backed away from that comment later in a statement released by the school that read, in part: “In no way was I indicating that a decision on program reduction of any sport was under consideration. Rather, I was suggesting that the department’s financial situation required that all possible scenarios be reviewed. Hopefully, going forward, there will be a priority placed on discussing the future financial needs of the UH Athletics Department. President David Lassner has expressed his support and we’ll call upon our many loyal stakeholders to help us ensure that we remain competitive within the future landscape of intercollegiate athletics. We owe that to our student-athletes and passionate fans.”
The Huskies obviously begin the season Aug. 30 at Hawaii. Don’t look for the program to be dropped before then.
— A Colorado safety is trying to take advantage of an opportunity created by injury to a teammate.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple