Sept. 15, 2004
Every Husky player is looking forward to Saturday's Pac-10 opener with UCLA, but there's a little extra incentive for junior safety Dashon Goldson. The junior-college transfer, who made his UW debut in the starting lineup against Fresno State, will turn 20 years old on Saturday, and will be looking to celebrate with a Washington victory. After sitting out all of spring drills with a shoulder injury, Goldson has been rock-solid for the Huskies this fall, quickly earning a starting spot and helping to make the Husky secondary as formidable as any in the conference. Fresno State quarterback Paul Pinegar passed for 244 yards against 14th-ranked Kansas State a week ago, but managed just 125 yards passing against the Huskies in the season-opener, the lowest total allowed by the UW since the third game of the 2003 season. A native of Carson, Calif., and a graduate of Coffeyville Community College in Kansas, Goldson talked with GoHuskies.com correspondent Michael Bruscas about a variety of topics, from the transition from junior college, to the quality of rides at the Puyallup Fair.
GoHuskies.com: What has been the biggest difference between junior college and here?
Dashon Goldson: "The biggest difference, to be honest, is the fans, the capacity of the stadium. Other than that, the guys are a little bigger, but that's about it."
GH: How big was the stadium you played in at Coffeyville?
DH:"It wasn't that big. I think it held maybe 14,000. It was a pretty good-looking stadium though, for a junior college."
GH: How have Husky fans welcomed you to the team so far?
DH:"I haven't dealt with too many of the fans yet except maybe for Picture Day. A lot of people came up to me and said they expected big things from me, telling me to live up to the hype (laughs). They expect big hits and all that. I can understand that."
GH: How does it feel to be getting all this media attention now?
DH:"It's new to me. In high school I was making a lot of plays but I wasn't shown to the public a lot like most of the players on our team, so it's kind of new to me."
GH: What brought you to Washington at first?
DH:"I signed in 2002; I came on my visit and I liked it. I liked the scheme they were running on defense; it put me in a position to make a lot of plays and that's what I like to do. But I had to go the JC route and they still stuck with me. Washington showed me a lot of loyalty. This is the place where I wanted to be so I decided to come back here."
GH: Do you feel more pressure now playing at a high-profile school like Washington?
DH:"Kind of, because I was supposed to be here in 2002 and everybody was expecting a lot of things from me. So you could say so."
GH: How did it feel coming into the stadium for the first time?
DH:"It felt good. For the first time I could really say I wasn't nervous coming into my first opening game. I was more excited than nervous. I wasn't nervous one bit during the game, or coming into it."
GH: Did anything about the first game surprise you?
DH:"The only thing that surprised me was how loud the stadium gets. The speed of the game was fast but nothing I couldn't handle."
GH: What's it been like working with the secondary here?
DH:"We have a good chemistry. I'm getting along with everybody. We all enjoy each other and that's what we need. Everybody's on the same page."
GH: Because of the bye week, did you get to watch a lot of the other college games?
DH:"Not really. I don't really like watching football games, to be honest. I watch film, and stuff like that, but I don't really have time to sit there and watch football games. I just play the sport. I watched a couple highlights, I watched a couple snaps, but I didn't really watch a full game."
GH: Was the team encouraged at all by Fresno State upsetting Kansas State?
DH:"From looking at both games you could tell that we did some good things, but obviously we didn't come out with the win like we should have. The bye week hopefully has helped us so we can bounce back on Saturday and come out with a `W'."
GH: Was the team disappointed in having the bye week so early?
DH:"It was real tough because a lot of the guys didn't expect to have a week off after a loss like that. We wanted to come back and show what we can do. We worked hard over the spring, fall camp, and all the workouts we've been doing, so everybody wanted to come out and come back with a win."
GH: What do you know about UCLA?
DH:"I've seen a couple of their players. (Craig) Bragg, I've seen him make a couple plays -- he's good and fast, he can catch. It makes us as a secondary more anxious to go. Everybody says, `Oh, yeah, he's a good wide receiver,' but we've got good corners, too. The game's going to be competitive."
GH: How do you like to spend your free time?
DH:"I just sit back and watch a little TV. I watch a lot of `Law & Order,' a little BET, or a little music. I started watching `CSI' last week -- it's pretty good, I like those kinds of shows. They keep you guessing."
GH: What was the last movie you saw?
DH:"Last movie I saw was Resident Evil 2. It was pretty good. I saw it with a couple of the players -- me, E.T., Kenny James, C.J. Wallace and Louis Rankin went out."
GH: Did you watch any NFL action this weekend?
DH:"I didn't see too much. I went out and hung out with my girl and went to the Puyallup Fair."
GH: Did you go on any rides?
DH:"I went on one, but I don't really like the fair rides. I like amusement park rides, but not the carnival ones."
GH: Which ride did you go on?
DH:"I went on the roller coaster, and then I went on the bumper cars. I played a couple games."
GH: Did you win anything?
DH:"Heck yeah! I won a bear that had to be probably bigger than you. You had to throw a softball and knock over these pins. I got it on my second try."
GH: Well, hopefully that's a sign of good things to come this weekend. Thanks, Dashon! DG: "No problem. Thank you!"