Sept. 29, 2006
By Joshua Mayers
After a dominating performance against UCLA, senior punter Sean Douglas was awarded Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week Monday. The nation's leading punter with a 48.8 yard per kick average, Douglas is a leading candidate for the Ray Guy Award for the nation's top punter. He had two 80-plus yard punts earlier this season against Oklahoma, and coach Tyrone Willingham said he has "the ability to potentially be the best punter in the country."
We caught up with Douglas on Tuesday to ask him a couple questions.
What is it like winning Pac-10 Player of the Week for the first time and what was your first reaction when you found out?
"I wasn't really excited, just because I've had better games this season, and I didn't really think that I had that great of a game. So I was like,"How did I win it for this?' when I looked back and I had a couple better games earlier. But it's good to get awards and get recognized for things, you just wish you had a better game."
"He's been putting that into my head this whole offseason. Every time we work out he's like,"There's no reason you can't be the best punter in the country.' That's one of my goals, to be the best in the country. It means a lot coming from him because he's not gonna to you something if he doesn't really believe it. Whenever he tells me that, it makes me feel good but it's not going to work easy, I'm going to have to work at."
What's your favorite: An 80-yard punt over the punt returner's head or pinning the opposition inside the one-yard line?
"Pinning them inside the one. It's nice to get those long ones, the crowd loves those, but if who get them down to the one usually they're not getting out of there. They're going to go three-and-out and going to punt the ball out of their own endzone, so it's a lot better for the team. We'll have a chance to score right away whereas a good 80-yard bomb might go out of the endzone or result in a big return that doesn't put us in a great position."
Last week, the program still said the longest punt in school history is 80 yards. You sent that down to third place in one game. What was that like?
"My sophomore year I hit a 78-yarder against WSU, and I was a lot more excited in that game because I'd never hit a ball that far before. I had hit only one or two during the year in practice like that so when I did it in the game it was nuts. But this camp, it's not normal to hit it 80 yards, but I've been hitting some long ones in camp pretty consistently. So when I it happened in the game, I kind of expect that to happen now."
In your four years here at UW, what's been your favorite memory on the field?
"My freshman year when we played WSU at home, one of my best friends on the team, Corey Williams, caught that touchdown pass as a true freshman. That year we were ranked pretty high, had a couple Heisman hopefuls on the team, but we didn't turn out to do as well as we should have. So that was the last game of the year, my first rivalry game, the stadium was packed, we were losing and then he caught that pass and the crowd went nuts. I couldn't hear anything, my ears were ringing, it was just really exciting. The crowd rushed the field afterward and we couldn't move out there -- it was really fun."
This being your last year in school, what's your favorite part about college football and playing here at UW?
"My dad and I talked about how he's happy that I came to the Pac-10. You look at the players that I have gotten to watch and play against -- Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, all these big-name guys. I've got to play with Reggie Williams, the ninth pick overall, and Cody Pickett. I just love coming out and getting to see the games from the field."