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)
I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving. After a one-week break the HuskyNation chat is back. I will be taking Husky football and recruiting-related questions for the next hour, so fire away.
Zach (Boston, MA)
Why do you have to trick me every week? Growing up 15 minutes from Storrs and now living in Boston, and since ESPN is in Bristol, I keep thinking this is a UConn or Northeastern chat. Would you ever name a pet husky dog after a former Washington player as a form of tribute to said player, and if yes, who? I want a husky dog named Kemba so badly (again, Storrs). Thanks.
Mason Kelley (2:03 PM)
Ha! Sorry to do that to you. I get that at least once per chat each week. It's funny you should mention the pet Husky. I actually have a half-Husky, half-Shepherd mix that I named Reggie. However, I didn't name him after a Washington player. I named him after former Indiana Pacers shooting guard Reggie Miller, who was my favorite basketball player growing up.
Hey Mason, I see in the blue chip battle rankings that Reuben Foster is considering UW? Is he actually? None of the other sites have UW listed.
Mason Kelley (2:06 PM)
Reuben Foster has flirted with Washington since this summer. I think he really likes the program. However, I don't think the Huskies will land him. I think the best thing the program will get from the highly touted linebacker are the positive things he's said about the university. That will definitely help the program establish a foothold in SEC territory, but I don't see Foster flipping to the Huskies. I wouldn't be surprised, however, if he ends up taking an official visit.
Jay Davis (Seattle)
How does Turman walking on make a difference with Jack? They that close? I don't think that will sway Jack at all to UW. U?
Mason Kelley (2:09 PM)
I think inviting receiver Ryan Turman (Bellevue, Wash./Interlake) to walk on was a shrewd move by the Huskies. He is excited about the program and he is good friends with both UCLA LB commit Myles Jack and 2014 prospect Bishard "Budda" Baker.However, I don't see this having much of an impact on where either prospect plays college football. There is so much that goes into a decision like this. Both players will go where they feel they have the best fit, not where one of their friends is going. It helps, but I doubt it would push a decision over the top.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What bowl game will Washington play in this season?
Mason Kelley (2:11 PM)
We will find out officially where the Huskies are headed Sunday but, right now, it looks like it's either the Las Vegas Bowl or the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
Tony (Lynnwood, WA)
Has Washington shown any interest in any players in Snohomish County?
Mason Kelley (2:14 PM)
The Huskies have their eyes on a few prospects in the area. The top target is Marysville-Pilchuck sophomore Austin Joyner, who rushed for more than 2,000 yards this season. Washington recently offered him a scholarship. The program is also taking a look at Tomahawks' QB Jake Luton, who has prototypical size and a strong arm.
Where does Danny Mattingly stand with his commitment to ND? It sounds like he's considering quite a few Pac-12 schools.
Mason Kelley (2:16 PM)
Publicly, Mattingly continues to stress he is committed to Notre Dame. However, he does continue to look around. He has visited Washington and UCLA. He plans to visit Oregon. I don't think he is a lock to the Irish. While I'm not sure where he ends up, I think the Huskies remain very much in the mix for his services.
Who else got in-home visits from UW this week. Are their any scheduled for next week that you know of?
Mason Kelley (2:20 PM)
The Huskies have been all over the place. I don't have a complete list of in-home visits, but some of the big names include Mattingly, Joe Mathis, Eddie Vanderdoes, Elijah Qualls, Sean Harlow, Dane Crane, Azeem Victor, Darrell Daniels, Brayden Kearsley and Daeshon Hall, among others. They will visit Patrick Enewally tonight, Sean Constantine tomorrow and I'm sure there is a long list of names for next week that I just don't have yet.
James (Moses Lake)
Mason, give us a name of someone the Huskies are after that is really under the radar.
Mason Kelley (2:22 PM)
I'm sure the Huskies will check in with any Cal commits they were recruiting. However, I haven't heard of any prospects who are thinking about flipping last night. It did come as a bit of a surprise that running back Khalfani Muhammad committed to Cal after the firing, but I'm not sure if Washington will continue to pursue him now that he has announced his decision.
How is UW doing with Eddie Vanderdoes? He had a in home visit from UW? Is he going to go up north to visit?
Mason Kelley (2:23 PM)
Washington is doing everything it can with Vanderdoes. I'm not sure how the in-home visit went, but it does sound like he will take a trip to Seattle for an official visit at some point.
Sounds like UW is making some progress with Kearsley. What is your take on him?
Mason Kelley (2:25 PM)
I think he would be a great get for the Huskies. He has a mean streak that I think will set him apart at the next level. He seems to be very interested in Washington. But there are a lot of schools pushing for his services now. It will be interesting to follow his recruitment leading up to signing day.
Kurt (North Bend)
Who is UW more likely to steal? Jack or Mattingly?
Mason Kelley (2:26 PM)
This is a tough one. At the moment, I would say Mattingly is more likely. But there is a lot left to be decided for both prospects.
Willard Romney (Seattle)
Do you think UW will try to grab another RB for this class? Coleman sounds promising, but do we have a chance to flip Justin Davis and get him too?
Mason Kelley (2:28 PM)
Washington definitely wants another running back in this class. Coleman has posted great numbers this season and should be a good addition, but the Huskies would certainly benefit from more depth at the position. However, I'm not sure where the program stands with Justin Davis right now.
Gabe (Bellevue, WA)
do you expect the Huskies to land a big recruit late? Similar to when Shaq Thompson switched his commitment???
Mason Kelley (2:29 PM)
Yes, I think there is definitely a strong chance that happens. However, as I said in this week's mailbag, that prospect probably won't be identified until late in the process.
Gabe (Bellevue, WA)
are the Huskies in the mix for Alex Redmond??? I feel like UW needs to start by improving depth on both the D and O line
Mason Kelley (2:31 PM)
Washington is certainly working to be in the mix for Alex Redmond. He doesn't seem to be as high on the Huskies as he was before he originally committed to Oregon, but the team will try and win him over. I know he's still a top target for Washington, but I'm not sure how much interest Redmond has in the Huskies.
I see we have some interest from some top level kids but we are on the outside looking in is the feeling I get. Even though we have a chance at 8 wins it still feels like until we win 9-10 a year we will always play second fiddle to USC, Oregon and places like ND and UCLA. Thoughts?
Mason Kelley (2:35 PM)
I think that's an interesting point. Washington has the recruiters that can generate interest for prospects all across the country. And there are two types of kids. There are recruits who want to build programs and their are athletes who want to step into championship contenders. The Huskies will always be able to land program builders. But, to get the kids who want to compete for national championships every year, Washington still has to take another step forward and win 9-10 games each season.
Do you see UW starting to recruit a little more nationally? I've seen some recruits from next year pop up from every where (Va., LA., TN). Was that because of the LSU game or are they making more of a effort?
Mason Kelley (2:38 PM)
Washington was working on its national reputation long before the LSU game. With Tosh Lupoi's reputation and Justin Wilcox and Peter Sirmon spending time at Tennessee, the Huskies have some national connections. The program has done a good job of generating interest from prospects like Reuben Foster, but Washington has yet to reach the point where they can consistently land commitments from prospects scattered throughout the country.
Willard Romney (Seattle)
Aside from Jack, what elite prospects (that aren't already verbally committed) do the dawgs have a chance to pick up?
Mason Kelley (2:40 PM)
There aren't many new names that haven't already been mentioned, but there is one prospect the Huskies are very high on, who has shown a lot of interest in Washington. Azeem Victor (Pomona, Calif./Pomona) received an in-home visit from Peter Sirmon earlier this week and was really impressed. I would pay close attention to his recruitment moving forward.
Idaho Fan (Spirit Lake)
Mason any thoughts on UW picking up Cal rec. after Tedford firing?
Mason Kelley (2:46 PM)
I just realized I answered this question earlier, but clicked the wrong question. This was my answer to that question: I'm sure the Huskies will check in with any Cal commits they were recruiting. However, I haven't heard of any prospects who are thinking about flipping last night. It did come as a bit of a surprise that running back Khalfani Muhammad committed to Cal after the firing, but I'm not sure if Washington will continue to pursue him now that he has announced his decision.
Would Azeem Victor be a elite prospect though? He only has a offer from SDST? I guess i get caught up on the star rating to much. What do you consider "Elite"?
Mason Kelley (2:48 PM)
I actually just updated his offer list last night. I think elite would be characterized as how interested the Huskies are in a particular prospect and I think they would feel like they're getting a steal if Victor commits to Washington. He might not be elite in his star rating, but I've heard great things about his talent level.
Is there any chance Husky Nation goes full public and isn't insider only?
Mason Kelley (2:50 PM)
HuskyNation will remain Insider for the most part. But it's about as inexpensive a pay site as you will find. You can get Insider access and an ESPN the Magazine subscription for $1.66 per month with the holiday special.
Gabe (Bellevue, WA)
Are the Huskies out of the running for Johnny Johnson????
Mason Kelley (2:50 PM)
I think the Huskies still have a chance with Johnny Johnson. In fact, I think they've got an in-home visit with him next week.
Heard some rumors about some current Huskies transferring. Can you give us the scooop on any guys moving on?
Mason Kelley (2:51 PM)
I haven't heard anything about pending transfers. Now, there certainly could be some in the works, but I haven't heard of anything like that, at least not yet.
How are we doing with Stringfellow? Does he seem to be a strong commit to UW? Sounds to me Daniels is pretty strong. UW in pretty good shape at WR.
Mason Kelley (2:52 PM)
If Washington can get John Ross, the Huskies will be in great shape at receiver. Darrell Daniels seems about as solid as it gets. I still think Damore'ea Stringfellow ends up at Washington as well. He is looking around, but I he never wavered in his commitment that I've seen.
How are the Huskies doing with Joe Mathis? He's a one time husky commit (although long time ago, and early in the process). Are we still in good position to pick up a commitment from him?
Mason Kelley (2:54 PM)
Mathis remains one of Washington's top targets. Tosh Lupoi met with the senior for an in-home visit and it looks like the Huskies will still get an official visit, so I would say things still remain favorable.
Gabe (Bellevue, WA)
Are the Huskies still in the mix for Austin Hooper??? I know you wrote good things about him a few weeks ago when he visited
Mason Kelley (2:56 PM)
Hooper continues to have Washington on his short list and he remains one of the Huskies' top targets. I think he's keeping an eye on the Cal coaching situation while he weighs his options.
How will Washington handle taking a full class of 25 with only 11 or so graduating seniors?
Mason Kelley (2:59 PM)
There is a natural purge of players every season that free up a few spots, so that will help. The other thing is, the Huskies can sign a 25-player class even if they don't have the room on signing day. The recruits don't count against Washington's scholarship limit until their scholarships kick in. So, if the Huskies bring in 25 prospects, they will have time to find the room on the roster for all of the kids they bring in.
Mason Kelley (3:01 PM)
That's it for this week. Thanks for all of the great questions. I will be back again next Friday. But, if you have a burning question before that, feel free to send it via Twitter to @masonkelleyESPN or e-mail: MasonKelleyESPN@gmail.com. Thanks again for stopping by.