Aug. 14, 2006
SEATTLE - When the Huskies kick off the 2006 football season Sept. 2 vs. San Jose, there will be a familiar No. 8 playing defense for the Dawgs, but in an unfamiliar position.
Senior Dashon Goldson, who has started all 22 games of his Husky career at safety, has moved to cornerback this year and is expected to open the season as one of Washington's two starters at that position.
More than simply a solid player, Goldson has proven to be one of the Huskies' top defenders each of the year two years. Last spring, however, the UW coaches decided that he might be an even better fit at cornerback. Sometimes, players are reluctant to move positions, especially after having enjoyed success, but Goldson never balked at the change.
"It was the coaches' idea, but I had no problems moving," Goldson said. "Whatever it takes to help the football team, I'm willing to do."
Goldson admits that while the move came from the coaches, it wasn't something he'd never thought about, and he's happy to admit the experience could help improve his options at the next level.
"It came into my head a lot, playing corner," he said. "When I would go back home, a lot of family members and friends have always told me I should play corner. I've always kind of done the corner work in practice in case I did have to play."
While not as big a move as some, there are some definite differences between the two spots. Safeties are generally at the back of the defense, able to survey the entire offense, making reads and calling out adjustments. While cornerbacks are also asked to read various things, they're much more on their own. Goldson thinks his experience will be an asset.
"Playing safety has given me an edge," he said, "because it's a more physical position and you don't see that many physical corners. I think having been a safety also makes me smarter."
The top candidate for the other cornerback position is probably Roy Lewis, who transferred to the UW from San Jose State and started eight games last season. Lewis and Goldson grew up together in the same part of Los Angeles and both graduated from Narbonne High School in 2003. Having them play the same position opposite one another at the UW is, at the very least, an interesting novelty.
"We've been friends since junior high," Goldson said of Lewis and himself. "We were playing against each other then in Pop Warner. Then in high school, we played with each other and now again in college."
What's even more interesting is that neither one came to the UW immediately out of high school. Goldson attended Coffeyville Community College in Kansas for a season before joining the Huskies and Lewis, as noted, played a year at SJSU before traveling north.
"Everybody's really happy about that at home, especially our high school coach," said Goldson. "I'm really happy that he came here."
While Goldson says Lewis isn't the type to offer too much in the way of coaching, he's been valuable to Goldson making the transition.
"I learn a lot from him," Goldson said. "I watch him all the time. Roy's a real good corner. I'm watching him all the time, picking up tips."
UW FOOTBALL NOTES: Monday was the first day of true two-a-day practices for the Huskies with a full-squad session in both the morning and the afternoon ... linebacker Dan Howell and defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim wore gold jerseys at the morning practice in tribute to their work during Sunday's practice.