Huskies For Life
Oct. 24, 2008
by Michael Jeremiah
Jordan White-Frisbee and Casey Bulyca both grew upwatching the prestigious linemen that were the trademarksof Washington football teams during their childhoods. HuskyLegends such as Lincoln Kennedy and Steve Emtman were theultimate of physically dominate linemen, and were a sight tosee for any fan, much less future Pac-10 prospects watchingat home.
White-Frisbee and Bulyca both hail from the Puget Soundregion, and seemed destined to wear purple-and-gold from ayoung age. In Bulyca's case, the decision to become a Husky isstill as clear as day -- even more so a decade later.
'I was born and raised in Woodinville. I grew up and alwayswanted to be a Husky,' said Bulyca. 'I came here in fourthgrade on a field trip. My teacher's husband actually playedfootball here. I basically told my mom that I wanted to playfootball at the University of Washington, and I always knew thatI wanted to play here.'
The road from a fourth-grade field trip to Montlake was filledwith a number of high school football accolades, as Bulycawas named to numerous all-area teams during his high schoolcareer, adding a nomination to the Seattle Times all-state teamas a senior. He was in the top-50 offensive lineman nationally forhis class according to Scout.com, and although other schools inthe Northwest were interested in him, Bulyca stayed true to hisearly desire to play Husky football.
Bulyca first saw playing time in 2006 on Montlake as aredshirt sophomore. Last year, Bulyca started 11 games atright guard. He entered his senior season as the starter at rightguard for the Huskies.
White-Frisbee was another highly touted recruit from theSeattle area. An imposing two-way lineman, White-Frisbee wasa member of numerous Seattle all-area teams and an all-stateselection during his playing career at Inglemoor High School inKenmore. Schools from all over the Northwest contended forWhite-Frisbee's services, but similar to Bulyca, he knew thatWashington was the only place that he wanted to be.
'I didn't really take any official visits,' said White-Frisbee. 'Iknew I was going to go here because I grew up in this area andI always wanted to Dawg.'
Defense seemed to be in his future, as he was ranked amongthe top-50 defensive linemen nationally according to Scout.com.In fact, White-Frisbee saw significant time on the defensive sideof the ball during his freshmen year. Starting eight games atdefensive tackle as a true freshman, White-Frisbee recorded26 tackles and made The Sporting News' 2004 Pac-10 All-Freshman team.
His bright career on the defensive side of the ball startedto grow dim, though, after White-Frisbee broke his foot thefollowing spring. The injury forced him to redshirt the 2005season, and things just got worse from there, as the samefoot continued to break. After breaking his foot three times,the injury-riddled White-Frisbee was forced to switch from thedefensive side of the ball to the offensive line, which he was nothappy about initially.
'At first I didn't really deal with it well at all,' said White-Frisbee. 'I injured myself the first time when I was young andstupid and I just kept playing on it. They tried to put me on O-lineanyway, and I said no and just kept doing what I had to do. Andyou know, I broke my foot three times and so God said, `Go playo-line.''
The transition to offensive line was not an easy one for White-Frisbee, but he worked hard enough to be on the field goal unitin 2006. In 2007, White-Frisbee started in Washington's victoryover California that was marked by a strong rushing attack forthe Huskies.
Coming into this year, the two were the Huskies startingoffensive guard tandem. Their senior year was supposed to bemarked by strong offensive line that they would help to lead.However, Bulyca struggled with a shoulder injury early in theyear, and just last week had surgery to repair an injured knee.The fifth-year senior will likely miss the rest of the season.While the season has not went as well as the guard tandemhad hoped, both White-Frisbee and Bulyca think that the linecan turn it around for the rest of the season, starting with theIrish this week.
'We have to forget about all the hype and put all that stuffbehind us and put our hard hats on and go to work,' said Bulyca.'We want to let the team to be able to lean on us.'
Said White-Frisbee: 'We pumped our chest out way toomuch and got humbled that very first game. I think from thenon, as a team, we have kind of split. The key to the rest of theseason is coming back together and have some confidence inourselves knowing that we have good players.'
Personally, White-Frisbee said that he hopes to prove himselfthroughout the rest of the season as a physical player who isrespected by his opponents and others who see him play. Regardless of what happens for the rest of the year, bothWhite-Frisbee and Bulyca will have their Washington playingcareers end this season. After almost five years and 52 gamesat Washington, favorite moments are bound to arise.
For Bulyca, the memory of the 35-32 victory over WashingtonState in the 2006 Apple Cup takes the spot as his favorite Huskymoment. White-Frisbee's favorite Husky moment happenedalmost five years ago, when he was still on the defensive sideof the ball.
'My first real big play was against UCLA,' said White Frisbee,referring to the valiant effort he made on defense before theoffense fell short on the final drive to lose to the Bruins 37-31in 2004. 'At the goal line, we made them kick a field goal to putus in a spot where we could win. We almost did too. We missedit by about a yard.'
Whether or not their football careers continues after thisseason remains to be seen. Both players have the size that NFLscouts drool over. No matter what happens, they know theywill take something they learned from their days playing Huskyfootball with them throughout their lives.
'Definitely to be able to fight through adversity as far assome of the things we went through,' said Bulyca, an AmericanIndian Studies major who someday hopes to coach offensiveline. 'We haven't won a lot of games but I think it helps buildcharacter for the future. I mean, if you can fight through this, youcan fight through anything.'
After careers filled with obstacles and adversity, it would seemfair for remorse to creep into the back of their heads. However,nothing could be further from the truth. The commitment thatWhite-Frisbee and Bulyca have held for the Huskies from ayoung age transcends any disappointment that they have facedon the field.
'I don't regret coming here, regardless of how the wincolumn has been,' said White-Frisbee. 'For me, since the day Iwas born I started thinking that this is a good program. This isa good spot to be in athletically. It is a good institution with a lotof pride and tradition.'
Even Bulyca, on crutches with fresh incisions on his kneesdue to his gutty dedication to a team that needed him, is proudto have had the opportunity to be a part of the program that hehad idolized since he was a boy.
'I'll always have fond memories because I have made somany great friends and met so many good people,' said Bulyca.'I wouldn't trade any of it for anything in the world. I'll alwaysbe a Husky and I'll always love this place no matter what.