Coach: Rick Neuheisel
26-10-0, 3 years
2001 Record: 8-4
at California WON 31-28
at UCLA LOST 13-35
at Arizona State WON 33-31
at Oregon State LOST 24-49
at Miami FL LOST 7-65
Texas LOST 43-47

2001 Final Rankings
AP-19,   Coaches-19, BCS 15

At 6'4 with 4.4 speed, sophomore Reggie Williams represents the next generation of legendary receivers.
2002 Outlook

Calling out a front-runner for the Pac Ten Conference at this point is quite a stretch. Any number of teams can qualify for those preseason bragging rights as the league is as even as any other year if not more. Washington is one of them. Looking at the Huskies offensively, no reason exists where this 2002 club can't be as good, if not better, than the Tuiasosopo led 2000 team. For Washington to be successful, Cody Pickett will have to continue to improve his game. The receiving unit is as good as it comes out west. True sophomore Reggie Williams looks like he may turn out to be one of the greatest receivers in history with his 6'4 and sub 4.4 forty speed. The tailback position may not be as extremely deep as last year, but the numbers at the position are still rich. With a large number of offensive linemen coming back, the Huskies are poised for a solid season. The same does not apply for the defense. There are key losses everywhere as the Husky defense will be the do-or-die portion of the formula. If an award for injuries were given out, this team would be at the front of the line. The spring was just riddled at almost every position by shoulder surgeries, knees, etc. Frustrating as that may be, many of the walking wounded are anticipating a return in August. Coaches and fans will hold their breath till then. A common sight this preseason in many of the polls is seeing the Dawgs as regulars in the Top 10. Many Husky fans will be the first to tell you that may be a kind estimate with the competitiveness of the Pac 10 for 2002. They will have to play better defense period. For now the offensive numbers are pulling the weight. If Washington can get by in the opener at Ann Arbor, the next five games show the Huskies as heavy favorites. The ball could start rolling.

Projected 2002 record: 10-3

The Huskies had 16 players sit out the spring game for a variety of reasons, mostly injury-related. Most, however, were held out for precautionary reasons. UW suffered no new injuries during the spring, and the biggest question mark is the health of OLB Kai Ellis, a projected starter at the team's designated pass-rush position. Ellis had surgery on both knees last season and suffered a recurrence early in the spring and was held out the rest of the way. Coaches hope he will be OK in the fall.
QB - 4 DL - 2.5
RB - 3.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 5 DB - 2.5
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Cody Pickett, 169-301-14, 2403 Yards, 10 TD's

Rushing: Rich Alexis, 125 att., 391 yds., 5 TD's

Receiving: Reggie Williams, 55 rec., 973 yds., 3 TD's

Scoring: John Anderson, 14 FG, 34 PAT, 76 pts.

Punting: Derek McLaughlin, 52 punts, 41.2 avg.

Kicking: John Anderson, 14-22 FG, 34-37 PAT, 76 pts.

Tackles: Ben Mahdavi, 85 tot., 40 solo

Sacks: Ben Mahdavi, 5 sacks

Interceptions: Roc Alexander, 4 for 1 yd.

Kickoff returns: Roc Alexander, 19 ret., 29.2 avg.

Punt returns: none


OFFENSE: Ken Walker-FB, Willie Hurst-TB, Todd Elstrom-WR, Kyle Benn-C, Jerramy Stevens-TE (NFL)
DEFENSE: Marcus Roberson-DE, Larry Tripplett-NT, Jamaun Willis-ILB, Sam Blanche-OLB, Omare Lowe-CB, Wondame Davis-FS

By: University of Washington, Official Athletic Site

Washington's offense appears to have all of the weapons to be one of the most formidable units in the country. Led by junior quarterback Cody Pickett, freshman All-American wide receiver Reggie Williams, and senior wide out Paul Arnold, the Huskies have the capacity to go to the air for big play production. "A year ago I was really concerned with replacing four starters on the offensive line," Neuheisel says. "There was a lot of attention paid to the 2002 Washington Football quarterback position and Cody Pickett taking over for Marques Tuiasosopo, but I felt all along he would be fine, and he was. It was the offensive line that pleasantly surprised me. We need to get better in our running game and more consistent in our passing. We cannot afford some of the turnovers we had last year."

Washington returns all three of its quarterbacks, including Pickett, the starter, backup Taylor Barton and redshirt freshman Casey Paus. Last season Pickett demonstrated why he has the tools to be one of the Huskies' greatest signal callers. He passed for 2,403 yards, the third highest single-season mark in UW history. He accomplished that despite playing the final seven games of the year with a painful separated right (throwing) shoulder he suffered against USC. He set a handful of UW passing marks.

Running Back
Last season a shoulder injury kept Rich Alexis from participating in spring drills and he was not able to capitalize on a freshman season that saw him rush for 726 yards and average 6.2 yards per rush. Last year Alexis productivity dipped to 391 yards and an average of 3.1 yards per carry, despite rushing the ball eight more times than he did as a freshman. Helping to fill Hurst's void will be senior tailback Braxton Cleman, who missed all but one game last year due to a broken collarbone. Cleman has been a very steady performer as a rusher and receiver. Neuheisel moved outside linebacker Zach Tuiasosopo to fullback for the spring in hopes of generating more offense from the position.

Wide Receiver
Washington's wide receiving corps has the makings of one of the best groupings in the nation. Wilbur Hooks, who will miss spring drills due to a shoulder injury, returns after making 21 receptions over the past two years. How good is Reggie Williams? All he did last year was compile the most receiving yards by a freshman in Pac-10 history. His 55 receptions were a conference record. Williams never had less than three catches in a game. While Williams was grabbing most of the headlines, Arnold also made a great debut as a Husky receiver. After playing tailback his first two seasons at Washington, Arnold caught 43 passes for 649 yards as a junior. He demonstrated outstanding speed and open-field running skills while recording touchdown receptions of 62 and 78 yards.

Tight End
The Huskies lose three tight ends from last year's squad, but return Kevin Ware, who started eight times in 10 games due to an injury to Stevens. At 6-3, 275 pounds, Ware gives Washington a solid blocker on the offensive line and he demonstrated he can be an effective pass catcher. "We really took a hit at this position with three of our top four players gone," Neuheisel says. "We'll need some younger players to step up here."

Offensive Line
With four starters back, Neuheisel has to do a little shuffling to fill out the Husky offensive line. "A year ago the offensive line was my biggest concern," Neuheisel says. "Four fifths of our offensive line had not played. To win seven of our first eight games, with that, was somewhat amazing. "I think we can really go places with our offensive line," Neuheisel says. "Through our recruiting, I think we'll be able to keep the offensive line a strength. That area is always going to be the cornerstone of the offensive side of the football team. What they can do will dictate what you can do on offense. I feel really good about where we are."

Senior John Anderson returns to handle the placekicking duties for the Huskies and will be a strong candidate for the Groza Award. He was a second team All-Pac-10 selection as a junior and enters his final year at UW with 39 career field goals to rank third on the Huskies' all-time list


Returning Starters in Bold
QB Cody Pickett-Jr Taylor Barton-Sr
FB Zach Tuiasosopo-So Adam Seery-Jr
TB Rich Alexis-Jr Braxton Cleman-Sr
WR Reggie Williams-So Wilbur Hooks-Sr
WR Paul Arnold-Sr Patrick Reddick-Sr
TE Kevin Ware-Sr Joe Toledo-Fr
OT Khalif Barnes-So Ryan Brooks-So
OG Nick Newton-Jr Jason Simonson-Jr
C Todd Bachert-So Dan Dicks-Fr
OG Elliott Zajac-Sr Aaron Butler-So
OT Andre Reeves-Jr Robin Meadow-Fr
K John Anderson-Sr ..



By: University of Washington, Official Athletic Site

When fourth-year Washington football coach Rick Neuheisel sits down to discuss the Husky football squad, he seems to be a bit defensive. That is to say, he seems to be constantly talking about Washington's defense. Despite posting an 8-4 record last year, the Huskies were outscored 323 to 310 during the regular season. That included late season losses to Oregon State and Miami where the UW defense gave up 49 and 65 points, respectively. Washington's Holiday Bowl matchup with Texas resulted in a 47-43 setback, after the Huskies had built a 19-point lead. Five starters, and several key reserves, return for the Husky defense in 2002. During the off-season Neuheisel admits to thinking about moving the Huskies away from the 3-4 (Eagle) defense Washington has employed during the past three seasons. Instead of an overhaul, he opted to make some small changes to the scheme and instead, emphasize the team's speed at linebacker.

Defensive Line
The defensive line is young and just needs an identity. The Huskies will look to find replacements for defensive tackles Larry Tripplett, an All-American in 2001, and Marcus Roberson, a two-year starter. Junior Jerome Stevens is the lone returning starter up front. Playing primarily at defensive end last year, Stevens totaled 20 tackles and had three for loss. Stevens will probably see more time at nose tackle this year.

Linebacker is going to be the cornerstone of the defense. There are some very exciting players there, including two-time MVP, Ben Mahdavi. The challenge is to get the right people on the field. Washington has an abundance of talent at its inside and outside linebacker position. Senior inside linebacker Ben Mahdavi will miss spring drills due to a shoulder injury. He led Washington in tackles last season with 85, including 10 tackles for loss and five sacks. Last season Cooper appeared in all 11 games and recorded 34 tackles. The Huskies have a number of experienced players at the outside positions. Senior Kai Ellis returns at the rush end backer position. His transition from the junior college ranks to the Huskies was slowed last year due to surgery on both knees during the season. He appeared in nine games and totaled 39 tackles but failed to record a sack. Senior Anthony Kelley, who has played in 33 regular-season games and started seven times, also returns at the position. He has 71 career tackles, including 14 for loss and six sacks.

Defensive Backfield
Washington has a solid corps of cornerbacks and safeties to build its defensive backfield. The Huskies are hoping for improved play in that area, which was impacted severely by injuries last season. "We need to get some guys healthy and ready to play again," Neuheisel says. "It will be fun to have Derrick Johnson back. He allows us to do some nice things in the backfield. We'll miss Roc (Alexander) and Greg (Carothers) this spring, but we know what they can do. I think Sam Cunningham played very well last year as a freshman and expect to see him improve this spring. "We're going to have some new faces out there competing and I'm anxious to see what they can do. Who is going to step up and take on a bigger role? That's the question for this group." While junior Roc Alexander will miss spring football due to a shoulder injury, he figures strongly into the Huskies plans at cornerback. Last year he started four times in 11 regular-season appearances. He used his quick closing skills to come up with four interceptions and 11 pass deflections, the third best mark in UW history. With Davis gone as the starter at free safety, it will provide ample opportunities for less-experienced players to compete for playing time.

Sophomore Derek McLaughlin will again handle the punting duties. A second-team freshman All-American, McLaughlin averaged 41.2 yards per punt and set a school record with a 74-yard boot at California. His punting average was the best by a Husky in 15 seasons.


Returning Starters in Bold
OLB Kai Ellis-Sr Anthony Kelley-Sr
DT Manase Hopoi-So Graham Lasee-Fr
NT Jerome Stevens-Jr Josh Miller-So
DT Terry Johnson-Jr Tui Alailefaleula-So
OLB Jafar Williams-Sr Ty Eriks-Fr
ILB Ben Mahdavi-Sr Tim Galloway-So
ILB Joseph Lobendahn-So Marquis Cooper-Jr
CB Roc Alexander-Jr Sam Cunningham-So
CB Derrick Johnson-So Chris Massey-Jr
SS Greg Carothers-Jr Evan Benjamin-Fr
FS Jimmy Newell-So Owen Biddle-Sr
P Derek McLaughlin-So ..
Last season Pickett demonstrated why he has the tools to be one of the Huskies' greatest signal callers while passing for 2,403 yards.