In the Trenches with Joe Toledo

Oct. 19, 2004

From Dave Williams, to Aaron Pierce, to Jerramy Stevens, the Huskies have a long tradition of success at the tight end position. Joe Toledo arrived on campus in 2001 as the heir apparent to the coveted tight end spot, his 75 career receptions and 1,792 career yards at Encinitas (Calif.) High School a testament to his soft hands and quick feet in the open field. After a redshirt freshman season in which he earned the team's Most Outstanding Freshman Award, Toledo entered the 2003 season primed to climb the Huskies' all-time tight end rankings, but a back injury limited the talented sophomore to just five catches in three games. Now fully healthy again for the first time since 2002, Toledo has charged back on to the field in 2004, and last weekend earned his first-career touchdown catch, his sprawling grab in the back corner of the end zone completing a 24-yard hookup with quarterback Isaiah Stanback. Toledo sat down with reporter Jesse Hulsing on Monday to discuss the catch, and the UW's upcoming matchup with top-ranked USC. That touchdown catch was pretty amazing. With all you've been through, it must have been great to finally get into the end zone.
Joe Toledo: 'Well, it felt good. It's been a long time coming. Its my junior year, and I never expected for my career to have so many injuries. It's bittersweet, though -- I caught the touchdown, but we lost.'

GH: To what do you attribute the loss against Oregon State?
Toledo: 'We played well as an offense -- we moved the ball down the field. But when you have seven turnovers, nine times out of ten you are not going to pull off a win.'

GH: The challenge will be even steeper this week against USC, which has one of the nation's top-ranked defenses. What will you change, if anything, to be more successful this weekend?
Toledo: ' The most important thing is limiting turnovers. We also need to move the ball and have some control over the flow of the game. They have good athletes, but so do we. We stayed with them last year for a half. In every one of our games we have played hard. It's important for us to keep that up.'

GH: Is it difficult at all to adjust when a new quarterback comes into the game?
Toledo: 'All of our quarterbacks are great, and they all bring something to the table. Isaiah (Stanback) came out there and created a spark for us and did a good job. But it really doesn't matter who our quarterback is. We just have to play hard for them and try to get the win.'

GH: As a team, what are your goals for the rest of the season?
Toledo: 'We just have to go out and get the wins. Every week we come out and play hard. If we keep that up, hopefully the ball will start to bounce our way.'

GH: Thanks for your time, Joe.
Toledo: 'No problem.'

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