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Originally published November 18, 2009 at 8:27 PM | Page modified November 18, 2009 at 10:31 PM

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UW coaches will keep busy recruiting in Southern California during bye week

The coaches aren't recruiting just for the Class of 2010 but also for future seasons as all they can do is watch games and evaluate right now.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Apple Cup, Nov. 28

WSU @ UW, 3:30 p.m., FSN

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Still angry over their performance Saturday in a 48-21 loss at Oregon State, the Washington Huskies would prefer to be playing a game this weekend.

"I wish we could play right now," said offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. "I think to a man our guys would have loved to gone out the next day and play again, because it leaves a sour taste in your mouth."

Instead, the Huskies have to wait until Nov. 28 to get back on the field for the Apple Cup against Washington State, in the midst this week of their second in-season bye. The Apple Cup was moved back a week largely as a way to give the Cougars and Huskies each a bye during the season and prevent both from having to play 12 games in 12 weeks. UW added another bye when it moved its home game with Cal to Dec. 5.

As they did for their first bye week, the Huskies practiced Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and will now break from work until Sunday night.

UW's coaches, however, won't be resting much as many left immediately after practice Wednesday for Southern California where they will hit the road recruiting. Seven of the team's 10 full-time coaches can be on the road, per NCAA rules, and among those heading out is head coach Steve Sarkisian.

"It's a big weekend for us," Sarkisian said. "We're headed to Southern California, and we've got to do a great job down there. Our first [bye] week was really focused on the state of Washington, and this week we are headed to Southern California."

Sarkisian said it's a particularly good time to see a lot of top players with playoffs beginning in California this week.

The coaches aren't recruiting just for the Class of 2010 but also for future seasons as all they can do is watch games and evaluate — they can't visit with recruits right now.

UW's Class of 2010 is largely completed as the Huskies have 23 commits, according to the major recruiting Web sites.

It's a class ranked No. 14 in the nation this week by both Scout.com and Rivals.com (and second in the Pac-10 in each though Scout has Stanford first while Rivals favors USC). The ratings are based in part on number of recruits, and UW's could drop a little bit as other teams bring in more players. But Sarkisian, who can't comment on individual players until they sign, has said he's happy with the recruiting haul to date.

Schools are limited to bringing in 25 players in each class, but UW figures to take commitments from more than that and work out the numbers later (two players, for instance, have indicated they may enroll early and could count against the Class of 2009).

While the Huskies are in the midst of a four-game losing streak and assured of going without a bowl for the seventh straight season, Sarkisian said the Huskies can sell the improvement seen this year, such as the win over USC in September.

"It just shows that we are a program on the rise and headed in the right direction," he said. "Any time you get landmark wins like that you are able to use it to your advantage in recruiting, whether it's in Washington or California or Hawaii or anywhere else."

Notes

• UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt was listed by the Las Vegas Review-Journal as one of about a dozen potential candidates for the head coaching job at UNLV — he served three years there as an assistant from 1987 to 1989. A UW official said Wednesday there had been no official contact asking for permission to talk with Holt, who has a three-year deal at UW worth $2.1 million should he stay all three years.

• Former UW coach Tyrone Willingham was also mentioned as a candidate at UNLV, and one report also listed him as a possibility at San Jose State.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com

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