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)
After a one-week break, it is time to talk Washington recruiting. I will be chatting for the next hour, so send in your questions.
ROBERT (RENO NV)
Do you think with the season Romar's team is having will make them lose out on Aaron Gordon?
Mason Kelley (2:05 PM)
Based on everything I have heard, there is currently a four-team race for Aaron Gordon, who is rated the No. 4 prospect in the ESPN 100. Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Kentucky are all in the mix to land Gordon. I would expect the Huskies to remain in the running for Gordon, despite the way things have gone this season. Washington is bringing in some very good prospects and Gordon would very impressive addition.
Ken Franek (Charlotte, NC)
My question involves Van Winkle the PK. I know you've watched him play HS ball. Tell me, is this kid REALLY as good as advertised? Can he hit the 45 FG in the clutch, kickoff and punt? Many have him displacing Coons.
Mason Kelley (2:09 PM)
I have watched Cameron Van Winkle kick a lot. He has a strong, accurate leg and performs well under pressure. He made 39 field goals in 46 high school games to set a state record. I think he has the talent to earn a starting job as a freshman. It will help him to enroll in time to get some work in the spring. I would expect Korey Durkee to earn the punting job next season, so I don't see Van Winkle doing everything. But he has a realistic chance to become Washington's kicker as a freshman.
Did Sark hire another OC to call plays this year?
Mason Kelley (2:13 PM)
No. Because of several coaches moving to take new jobs, Washington did hire Marques Tuiasosopo to become the quarterbacks coach. Offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau is now coaching receivers and Jordan Paopao went from a graduate assistant to tight ends coach. However, it doesn't sound like there is a plan to chance the way the program calls plays next season.
If you had to pick one of Aaron Gordon's four as of right now where do you think he goes?
Mason Kelley (2:17 PM)
This is a tough question, because Gordon hasn't given much away as far as a favorite right now. Oregon has become an interesting player recently. Gordon eliminated the Ducks early in the process before reaching back out to the program. I don't feel comfortable making a prediction, because it still seems like all four teams are still in the running at this point.
UW WR Darrell Daniels recently tweeted he knew where 2014 running back Joe Mixon was going to college. Was he implying he is going to UW?
Mason Kelley (2:23 PM)
Since they were high school teammates, Darrell Daniels and Joe Mixon are very close, so it would make sense that Daniels would know where Mixon plans to go before anyone else. However, with more than 30 scholarship offers so far, I don't think Mixon has made a decision yet. He is one of the hottest prospects in the country right now, earning offers from power programs, including Ohio State, Oklahoma and Michigan, among others. Washington will be in the mix throughout the process -- I would consider the Huskies one of the favorites -- but with so much interest recently, I don't think he's made a decision.
In your honest opinion would you say that UW has a chance to knock off Oregon in FB this year or is the program just not at that point yet?
Mason Kelley (2:27 PM)
Talent-wise, I think the Huskies have taken strides to close the gap in their rivalry with Oregon. This year's game will be at a renovated Husky Stadium and the Ducks are going through a coaching change with Chip Kelly moving to the NFL. All things considered, Washington should have its best opportunity in recent years to beat the Ducks. If that happens, it would be an impressive statement, further proof the Huskies are ready to take the next step toward becoming one of the top programs in the Pac-12 conference.
Would you feel confident saying that after ASJ and Kasen Williams, Damore'ea Stringfellow will be UW's third leading receiver next year?
Mason Kelley (2:32 PM)
Based purely on potential, Stringfellow has the ability to have that kind of a freshman year. However, after redshirting last season, James Johnson could also become that No. 3 receiver. And don't forget about Jaydon Mickens or incoming freshmen Darrell Daniels and John Ross. I expect Stringfellow to make an impact right away, but he will have plenty of competition from others working to become the Huskies' No. 3 receiver.
Mr. Triangle (Trapped in a glass case)
I believe that in eight years from now there will not be any more kickoffs in college football. Do you agree or disagree with me?
Mason Kelley (2:37 PM)
The kickoff is such an important part of the game, I can't imagine watching football without it. It is certainly possible. If enough people think the game would be safer without a kickoff, there could come a day when it is eliminated. Personally, I have a hard time seeing the game that way but, again, when it comes to making the game safer, I think anything is possible.
Do you think UW has a chance to land Budda Baker?
Mason Kelley (2:46 PM)
If there is a must-get local prospect in the 2014 class, it's Bishard "Budda" Baker. He is a special talent and, despite all of the scholarship offers he is pulling in, Baker is a recruit Washington needs to land. The Huskies will have a good chance to keep him home. I think he has enough local connections and enough reasons to sign with Washington. The program has pulled out all the stops with Baker so far and I think it will be enough to make him one of the key pieces to the program's 2014 class.
Besides Baker. Who are the other top high school players in Washington next year.
Mason Kelley (2:53 PM)
There is are some big names coming out of Washington next season. Here are a few to keep an eye on: DL Marcus Griffin (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue), Kaleb McGary (Fife, Wash./Fife), RB Isaiah Brandt-Sims (Wenatchee, Wash./Wenatchee), RB Devante Downs (Mountlake Terrace, Wash./Mountlake Terrace), S/QB Keenan Curran (Federal Way, Wash./Federal Way), LB Brett Carter (Tacoma, Wash./Franklin Pierce). There are other potential Division I talents in the 2014 class, but that's a good starting point.
Mason Kelley (2:59 PM)
Well, I'm out of questions, so that wraps up this week's HuskyNation chat. Thank you for all of the submissions. Have a great weekend.