In the Trenches with Kevin Ware
Oct. 2, 2002
Rod Jones. Aaron Pierce. Mark Bruener. Ernie Conwell. Cameron Cleeland.Jeremy Brigham. Jerramy Stevens. Kevin Ware? The most recent in the longline of outstanding Husky tight ends, the senior Ware has proven this seasonthat he is more than just a stopgap between NFL first-rounder Stevens andthe next great UW tight end. Ware leads all Huskies with three touchdownreceptions, including one against Michigan and two against Idaho -- and couldhave four if not for a controversial out-of-bounds call on a catch in theback of the end zone against San Jose State. While Husky fans in 2002 may beunderstanding Ware's talents for the first time, the Klein Oak, Tex., nativehas been preparing for success his entire life. Ware sat down with aGoHuskies.com correspondent for an informative -- and lengthy -- conversation.
GoHuskies.com: Last year you were used primarily to block. Is it funto be such a big part of the passing game in 2002?
Kevin Ware:'Of course. You always want to go out there and do thebest you can. I thought I played well last year; I just didn't get the ballthrown toward me. This year I'm catching balls and making plays, andhopefully I can continue to do that.'
GH: How exciting is that for you personally?
Ware: 'It's great. You make a catch, or a touchdown, and you havefans roaring and screaming your name and stuff. It's been real fun thisyear, I want to keep it going. I want to keep making Washington look good.'
GH Are you aware of the fact that you lead the Huskies in touchdownsright now?
Ware: 'I didn't know that, but it's nice to know.'
gh: In the fourth quarter against San Jose State, the official ruledthat you were out-of-bounds on a touchdown catch at the back of the endzone, but the replay seemed to show that you got not just one, but BOTH feetdown inside the line. Cody Pickett has said that on the next play, he triedto get you the touchdown he thought you deserved, but ended up forcing athrow into traffic that was intercepted. What was your take on thatseries?
Ware: 'I'm not going to hate on the refs. They try to do the job thebest that they can. Of course it hurt, because it was a big play and I feltlike I had my feet inbounds. In the huddle, Cody said, 'I'm going to try toget you back because they messed up.' I went out on my route, and as I wascoming into the end zone I was swarmed by three or four guys. I watched iton tape and thought, 'Dang, he tried to throw that ball in there?' He tried,and we tried to do the best we could, but unfortunately it got picked off.'
GH: How did you end up coming here from Texas?
Ware: 'I actually visited Colorado when Coach Neuheisel was there,before he moved here. I knew this was 'Tight End U' and I want to be knownas one of the good tight ends that came out of the University of Washington.I could've gone to Texas, but I was ready to get out of the heat. I wasn'twanting to deal with a heat index of 105-plus and play football everydaythere at 3:00 p.m. I decided to come here, and I'm very happy with mydecision.'
GH: 'You mention UW as 'Tight End U.' Did you know that the past eightfull-time starting tight ends at Washington have gone pro?
Ware: 'Like I said, this is 'Tight End U,' and everybody knows that.Being in this league gives me a good shot, but I'm not worried about that.I'm more concentrated about football here at UW, and getting that donebefore going elsewhere.'
GH: This being the first week of classes, how will school affect yourschedule?
Ware: 'It's definitely going to have an effect, because I'm a guy wholikes to go get things done in the morning. I like to work out at least fourtimes a week at 8:00 a.m., but now I've got 8:30 classes so I've got tofigure out when I'm going to make time. It's just about adjusting yourschedule and figuring out what works best for you.'
GH: Did you pick out a special outfit for the first day, maybe tryand impress the girls?
Ware: 'There's a lot of girls, but fortunately I've had a girlfriendfor over the past two years, so the social thing isn't really a factor in mylife. Also, I'm a senior, so I'm like an old man here! It's kind of likeI've 'been there, done that,' so I'm just trying to have a good time, go outwith my girl, and live up my time here in Seattle.'
GH: You're in a fraternity, too. Doesn't that further complicate yourtime commitments?
Ware: 'They know I've got football, so I get out of a lot of thestuff there. It's cool living there -- no problems keeping my head on myshoulders. My brothers look out for me; it's cool.'
GH: You mentioned that you're up early, and I've read that breakfastis the most important meal of the day . Do you agree?
Ware: 'Maybe back in high school it was the best meal of the day, butin college you're always jammed for time. Breakfast takes that time awayfrom you, so I usually skip it.'
GH: I heard the special edition DVD of the Britney Spears movie'Crossroads' is being released soon. Have you already put in your advanceorder?
Ware: (laughing) 'Umm ... no. I'm not a big Britney Spears fan, sodefinitely not. I'm not going to go to Best Buy and buy that ... no, not goinghappen.'
contributing to gohuskies.com Steve Hitchcock