There’s good news this year—so far—in Husky Football. That being that Husky
fans are getting to take a look at the future on Saturday’s when the 2nd
and 3rd string players get into the game. That’s not something to
take for granted, considering the fact that during the Tuiasosopo years,
Cody Pickett barely (if ever) saw any snaps due to the continual 4th
This year, after 3 games, the back up quarterbacks are getting some good
Stanback is becoming what Husky coaches had envisioned when they
"I’ve progressed a lot I think", Stanback told Realdawg.com, "Llast year I
was doing a lot of guessing."
When we first covered the recruitment of Stanback on Realdawg.com, the
article, named "The
Story of Isaiah", started like this:
"Have you ever heard the tale of the 14 year old who one day was walking by a
football scrimmage, watching others play, and someone throws him the ball…now
this kid has never played a down of football in his life--But somehow, he takes
the challenge and goes long; while others look on and wow at the precision and
strength at which this ball was thrown. Beginners luck?"
Fast forward to 2003: Stanback is beginning to settle into the
game of college football, and that long ball is still as huge and powerful as
ever, "I’m learning to set back and watch a lot", Isaiah adds, "I stand and make
reads when I’m not in."
"Last year I didn’t really know the plays, and I didn’t know the receivers",
This year, he’s not only a quarterback, he’s also a receiver, which is only
helping his game at quarterback.
Stanback has been putting in time here and there at slot—the biggest reason
from those on staff being that he is so gifted athletically, it’s hard to keep
him off the field.
But the bigger benefit may be that Stanback might get a better feel for the
intermediate passing game, which has been something he’s struggled to improve
since he’s been at Washington.
"Intermediate stuff is the hardest stuff", said Stanback, "Throwing the long
ball is easy--It’s the intermediate passes we spend the most time working on."
That time showed itself as paying off during last week’s game against Idaho.
Sampson got into the game during the 4th quarter on a 2nd
and 12 and completed a perfect toss out right to freshman receiver,
Corey Williams, which kept the chains moving into the redzone for the
Huskies, who scored 5 plays later.
Stanback, while only seeing limited time behind back up
Casey Paus and starter
Cody Pickett, is 2 for 2 in completions, with one reception for 12
yards, and 4 carries for 20 yards rushing.
"I think that the more time I spend in there just getting use to all of the
different things that are going on, the more I learn and the better I get", he
The biggest question will be, who wins the starting job next year?
"I don’t really talk to the coaches about it", Stanback concluded, "I just
keep doing what I do, day in and day out."
During his recruitment, Stanback had a cell phone with one of the more
entertaining voice mail messages we heard in 2002. With his most perfect Bob
Marley imitation, Stanback's voice mail message would say, "EH-LO--DIS IS
Stanback's dreadlocks get longer and longer every year, "I'll never cut them
off", he says with certainty."
Stanback was the MVP at the USC camp the year he was being recruited, a feat
that no other high school quarterback has ever accomplished from the state of
Washington. He finished ranked 6th in the country, and was an All American.
We enjoyed covering Stanback while he was being recruited, and still enjoy
his personable approach to interviews. We broke his commit here on Realdawg.com,
and that night he called and simply said, "Hello Ruth, I'm going to the Dub..."
But what we really enjoyed was Stanback's accessibility. While some prospects
can be terribly hard to get a hold of, even on their cell phones, Stanback
almost always picked up--in fact--one time he picked up during one of his own
football games, and did an interview right on the sidelines....
For more on Stanback, click here to go to his
Roster Bio, and follow the link that says "Prospect
Page" to read his Recruiting Journal.