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Originally published Wednesday, September 28, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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UW notebook: Ex-Husky's son grabs on at UCLA

Joe Cowan is happy to be at UCLA and happy to leave it at that. But the fact that the junior receiver for UCLA — a starter and the...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Joe Cowan is happy to be at UCLA and happy to leave it at that.

But the fact that the junior receiver for UCLA — a starter and the Bruins' third-leading receiver — is the son of former UW quarterback Tim Cowan, who still lives in the area, raises the obvious question.

Why isn't Joe Cowan at UW?

His father, who still holds the UW school record for passing yards in a bowl game (350 in the 1982 Aloha Bowl against Maryland), has a ready answer.

"He had an opportunity to go here, but when it was all said and done, he didn't fit the kind of profile of the kid that [then-UW coach] Rick Neuheisel was recruiting at the time," said Tim Cowan. "My personal feeling was that Rick was recruiting a kid that fit his personality, and I don't think he was necessarily recruiting kids that met the needs of the team."

It wasn't as if the Huskies weren't looking at receivers at the time — Cowan was a member of the Class of 2003, when the UW signed seven receivers.

Joe Cowan, his father said, is a reserved person who doesn't often show a lot of overt enthusiasm. He said Neuheisel took that for a lack of interest in UW during his official recruiting trip.

'I told Rick, 'He's a quiet kid, and you're trying to re-sell a program to a kid who's been around it all his life,' " Tim Cowan said. "Rick could have done a better job recruiting him, but as it turns out, he's in a pretty good situation."

Asked if he might be a Husky if Neuheisel had shown more interest, Joe Cowan said, "It's hard to say what would have happened. But I like that I'm here and at UCLA."

He's fitting in well this season with seven catches for 87 yards in three games. And he likes Southern California, where he went to high school in Pico Rivera after the divorce of his parents. Tim continues to live in Seattle, where he works in insurance.

Joe Cowan was joined at UCLA a year later by his younger brother, Patrick, now the fourth-string QB as a redshirt freshman. Patrick also had some initial interest in UW, but Tim Cowan said then-coach Keith Gilbertson told him up front that the team's No. 1 QB in that recruiting class was Woodinville's Matt Tuiasosopo, who signed with the Huskies before deciding to play baseball with the Mariners.

Tim Cowan said Gilbertson had a chance encounter with UCLA coaches and let them know that Patrick Cowan was still available, which led the Bruins to take another look at him and offer a scholarship.

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"I really appreciated how Gilbertson and [former UW offensive coordinator] John Pettas dealt with Patrick," Tim Cowan said.

Come Saturday, Tim Cowan, who also scored a TD in UW's 1981 Rose Bowl win over Iowa, will have no divided loyalties.

"I've got to go with the Bruins," he said. "For the next few years I can live with that."

NOTES

• FSN will replay the "Whammy in Miami" — UW's memorable win at Miami in 1994 — on Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. The replay had been planned for last Thursday before FSN suffered technical problems relating to Hurricane Katrina.

• Willingham, who meets the media before practice, said CB Matt Fountaine was questionable to practice yesterday. Willingham said there was little change in the likes of injured players Jordan White-Frisbee, Dash Crutchley and Carl Bonnell. White-Frisbee still has a redshirt year left and Willingham said it will soon be time to start making decisions on which players will redshirt.

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