In the Trenches with Greg Carothers

Sept. 10, 2002

Safety Greg Carothers was forced to grow up fast as a true freshman in 2000,replacing the injured Curtis Williams in Washington's emotional comeback winover Stanford. Since that day, the Helena, Mont., native has made 17 consecutive starts at strong safety, and was the team's second-leadingtackler in 2001. The departure to the NFL over the past two seasons ofveterans Hakim Akbar and Omare Lowe has left Carothers the leader of a youngsecondary comprised of three juniors and one sophomore. Known for hiscrushing hits -- fans will surely remember Carothers separating Purduetailback Montrell Lowe from his helmet in the Huskies' 2001 Rose Bowl win -- Carothers recently sat down with to talk about a collegefootball player's life on and off the field. You're from Montana. Do you ever get a lot of guff orhick jokes on the team because of that?
Greg Carothers: 'All the time. Everyone jokes. It doesn't help that[secondary coach] Bobby Hauck is from Montana, too. Because of that, thecoaching staff thinks they're funny as well.'

GH: Do you ever let that get to you?
Carothers: 'No, it's alright, I can take it. I think that if theywent to Montana to visit, they'd find out that they can have more there thanwe have here.'

GH: You play safety now, but did you ever play offense in highschool? Which side of the ball do you prefer?
Carothers: 'I played offense in high school, but I'm defense --definitely defense. I think I just have more of a defensive mentality, fromthe person I am, to the way I play, to the people I hang out with and thetype of things I do. I'd rather hit people than get hit.'

GH: I notice you have a couple of tattoos. Which is yourfavorite?
Carothers: 'I have a bull on my leg with my Grandpa's initials on it.My grandpa passed away when I was in eighth grade, so that's probably themost important to me.'

GH: You're a pretty big guy with tattoos and a beard -- do you everscare little children when you're at the mall?
Carothers: '(laughs) I hope not. I smile a lot, I don't think I'm ascary person.'

GH: When you're on the field in front of all the fans, and theHuskyTron camera is on you, do you ever just want to turn around and wave atyourself?
Carothers: 'I have to admit that when I make a play, I do watch itsometimes if we have a little extra time in the huddle. I think everybodydoes.'

GH: Who's the most impressive player you've seen or played with?
Carothers: 'The most impressive players I've played with are formerHuskies Derrell Daniels and Curtis Williams. Curt is the most impressiveplayer I've ever been around in a football sense -- some of the things hedid, the way he lifted weights. He wasn't the hardest lifter or thestrongest guy, but he was easily the best player I've ever played with.'

GH: What was the best class you've taken at UW?
Carothers: 'The best class I've taken was American Indian Studies. Itook that this summer and the teacher was really cool.'

GH: Before the interview I was going to go talk to Coach Neuheiselabout taking some reps out there on defense. I'm about 5-foot-6 and 140pounds. Think I've got a shot?
Carothers: 'I think you can. We've got Owen Biddle, and he's not thatmuch bigger than you.'

contributing to Steve Hitchcock

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