A UW Huskies recruiting problem won’t stay fixed if Jimmy Lake replaces Tosh Lupoi as Alabama DC

Jan 17, 2019, 12:41 PM
UW Huskies co-defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake may be on Alabama's radar. (AP)...
UW Huskies co-defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake may be on Alabama's radar. (AP)

Former UW Huskies defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi left his post as Alabama defensive coordinator to join the Cleveland Browns coaching staff, which at first seemed like a reason for Husky fans to breathe a sigh of relief.

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Lupoi is known as a strong recruiter and has maintained a hold in the Pacific Northwest since leaving Washington, so with him jumping to the pros that is one less thing for Chris Petersen and company to worry about on the recruiting trail.

Here’s where the story takes a twist.

Among the names being bandied about that could replace Lupoi at Alabama is Jimmy Lake, one of Washington’s current co-defensive coordinators. And according to 710 ESPN Seattle host and ESPN college football analyst Brock Huard, losing Lake to Alabama would pose the same problem that UW had before when Lupoi was still with the Crimson Tide.

“The No. 1 recruit in America is gonna be a junior at Eastside Catholic (J.T. Tuimoloau). He is a game-changing defensive lineman, a freakish 285-pound pass-rusher that this conference doesn’t produce. You just don’t get many of them,” Huard said. “Tosh Lupoi very much by all accounts had him going to Alabama. Tosh leaves (and) Jimmy Lake is going to be sought after; there is no question in my mind he’s been reached out to.”

So, would Lake would take a job with Nick Saban’s team?

“If he gets paid three times the amount, if basically every coordinator worth his salt gets a head (coaching) job off of that position there at Alabama – (Georgia’s) Kirby Smart, (Tennessee’s) Jeremy Pruitt – I think it could be attractive, and Jimmy Lake’s gonna have a decision to make,” Huard said.

Lake is the most brash of Petersen’s current assistant coaches – just revisit his comments after the Huskies’ Apple Cup win that didn’t sit well with WSU die-hard Jim Moore – and losing that element could hurt an otherwise straight-laced Washington staff.

“His recruiting and his coaching and his developing – he’s just a little bit different,” Huard said of Lake. “If you’re around that program, as I get the chance to be, there’s Chris Petersen, just straight and narrow, buttoned-up, an absolute pro … (co-defensive coordinator) Pete Kwiatkowski, very much the same … and there’s Jimmy, who’s willing to mix it up. You have to have some edge in your program, and I think largely he’s brought that.”

You can hear the full discussion in the Blue 42 segment from Thursday’s edition of Brock and Salk.

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A UW Huskies recruiting problem won’t stay fixed if Jimmy Lake replaces Tosh Lupoi as Alabama DC