1. Who would you say is the player most likely to be an All-American at the next level?
Do you mean UW or the entire Pac-12? If it's the entire Pac-12, I'd say Matt Barkley, who will obviously go into the year with a lot of hype as the favorite for the Heisman. If it's UW, I'd say Austin Seferian-Jenkins, in part because of the position he plays. He could quickly emerge as one of the best 2-3 tight ends in the country next year.
2. Who are under-the-radar players from the 2012 class from your region who will make a big impact?
When you say region, I'll assume you mean the state of Washington. I'll also assume the "big five'' recruits that everyone knows about are not who you mean. A couple that were maybe below that level who could really star at the next level are OL Walker Williams, who is headed to Wisconsin, CB Tyler Hasty (Oregon State) and OL Jake Eldrenkamp (Washington). They'd have probably been the next three highest-rated players by most of the services after the top five guys.
3. When you look ahead to 2013, who stands out to you as being the biggest prospect from your region? What are some interesting names to look for, aside from guys like Max Browne and Sefo Liufau?
Browne is head and shoulders ahead of everyone so he's hard to ignore. He's the top player in the state this year if not the West Coast. It's kind of a down year in the state of Washington overall, however, so this state may not get the attention for this class as it did a year ago, when 18 players signed with BCS schools. There could just be 6-8 or so this year. A few gaining early attention are from traditional Washington powerhouse schools --- WR Sammie Long of Lakes and LBs Myles Jack and Sean Constantine of Bellevue.
4. If there's one local player you're rooting for to succeed at the next level because of his success on and off the field, who would it be and why?
I'm not really enough of a recuriting expert to be able to answer that sort of question, sorry.
5. UW struggled to recruit local products. Why do you think that is?
The Huskies did this year. They didn't last year, when they got all five of the top five in-state recruits. As I always caution a little bit, recruiting is so individual to that player that it's hard to make sweeping judgments. All of the guys who got away picked really marquee schools --- Stanford, USC, Notre Dame (and Cal if you throw in Cedric Dozier, whom UW probably lost largely because of their insistence he be a DB and his desire to play WR). Hard to really fret a lot when you lose a good academic kid to Stanford or just about anyone to schools like USC and Notre Dame. But UW obviously felt it could have done a better job as it fired three defensive coaches, including a couple who were in charge of recruiting locally, and hired the likes of Tosh Lupoi and Justin Wilcox, known for their recruiting in this area.
6. Do you expect Kiesau and Tosh to stay at UW for the long run?
What's the long run? These days in college sports, the long run isn't as long as it used to be. If you're a good assistant, you are always in demand, and I would imagine both of those guys have designs on being a head coach someday. When guys want to be head coaches and they get that chance, it's hard to stop that. Both have three-year guaranteed contracts that pay them well. I'd imagine neither would leave for another BCS assistant's job in that time unless they get a better financial deal, and it's not every school that can pay what UW is paying those guys.
7. Do you have a sense of why Sark hired Kiesau? He has a heft salary for someone who won't be calling plays and who has a decent but not spectacular track record as an OC.
I don't have a better explanation than what Sarkisian gave --- Kiesau is already familiar with the basics of UW's offense since it's very similar to what Cal does, so he's a good fit in that way; and he viewed him as a good groomer of QBs and a solid recruiter. Since Sarkisian calls the plays and basically runs the offense, he can maybe look for someone stronger in other attributes than simply play-calling when looking for an OC.
8. What do you look for when evaluating talent?
I'm not really a talent scout --- I cover the Huskies as a reporter for the Seattle Times (I also cover lots of other stuff, such as regular fill-in duty on the Mariners, Seattle's efforts to get an NBA arena, etc.) So probably not reallly a good question for me. I don't scout high school games or anything.
9. How has the recruiting game changed in the time you have spent following it?
Again, I'm not really a close follower of recruiting, so I may not be the best one for this question. But I'd say the way communication has changed --- the internet in general, Twitter and Facebook more particular in recent years ---- is the biggest thing. All of that has really opened the door on a lot of things that were for decades behind the scenes. I'm not sure a lot of what happens in recruiting itself is all that different. Everyone just knows a lot more about it now.
10. What weight do you put on recruit's twitter chatter? Is it all to screw with the media or are they saying legitimate things on there?
It all depends on the player. I think some do the former, most do the latter. I think over time you usually can tell which players are doing which and act accordingly. If a player who you can tell usually seems to be telling it straight announces something on Twitter, I'd give that more weight than someone who seems to be doing the opposite.
11. How is having Leach at WSU going to shift the recruiting power balance between WSU and UW in the Emerald State?
WSU has rarely won a lot of head-to-toe battles with UW for in-state recruits. I imagine Leach will try to do more of that. But the strategy that historically has worked the best for WSU is to try to aggressively pursue the local players UW may be overlooking or is slow to get on. If there's a Seattle-area kid hellbent on going to UW, it doesn't make much sense for WSU to spend a lot of time on that battle, and I'd doubt Leach will do anything much different there. Due to his offense and reputation, Leach may be able to make some inroads with skill guys. But a lot of Seattle-area guys simply want to stay home, which is always UW's biggest in-state advantage. Hard for any WSU coach to really combat that a whole lot.
12. How much have you watched Dozier? What impresses you the most about him?
I haven't, sorry. I wasn't able to get to a Lakes game this year.
13. Does Dozier stand out better at wide receiver (the position he was recruited for) or at cornerback? Did he have any signature moments at Lakes?
See answer above.
14. How would you rate Dozier among all the top Washington recruits in the state this year?
See answer above.