Oct. 2, 2002
Rod Jones. Aaron Pierce. Mark Bruener. Ernie Conwell. Cameron Cleeland. Jeremy Brigham. Jerramy Stevens. Kevin Ware? The most recent in the long line of outstanding Husky tight ends, the senior Ware has proven this season that he is more than just a stopgap between NFL first-rounder Stevens and the next great UW tight end. Ware leads all Huskies with three touchdown receptions, including one against Michigan and two against Idaho -- and could have four if not for a controversial out-of-bounds call on a catch in the back of the end zone against San Jose State. While Husky fans in 2002 may be understanding Ware's talents for the first time, the Klein Oak, Tex., native has been preparing for success his entire life. Ware sat down with a GoHuskies.com correspondent for an informative -- and lengthy -- conversation.
GoHuskies.com: Last year you were used primarily to block. Is it fun
to be such a big part of the passing game in 2002?
Kevin Ware:"Of course. You always want to go out there and do the best you can. I thought I played well last year; I just didn't get the ball thrown toward me. This year I'm catching balls and making plays, and hopefully I can continue to do that."
GH: How exciting is that for you personally?
Ware: "It's great. You make a catch, or a touchdown, and you have fans roaring and screaming your name and stuff. It's been real fun this year, I want to keep it going. I want to keep making Washington look good."
GH Are you aware of the fact that you lead the Huskies in touchdowns
Ware: "I didn't know that, but it's nice to know."
gh: In the fourth quarter against San Jose State, the official ruled
that you were out-of-bounds on a touchdown catch at the back of the end
zone, but the replay seemed to show that you got not just one, but BOTH feet
down inside the line. Cody Pickett has said that on the next play, he tried
to get you the touchdown he thought you deserved, but ended up forcing a
throw into traffic that was intercepted. What was your take on that
Ware: "I'm not going to hate on the refs. They try to do the job the best that they can. Of course it hurt, because it was a big play and I felt like I had my feet inbounds. In the huddle, Cody said, 'I'm going to try to get you back because they messed up.' I went out on my route, and as I was coming into the end zone I was swarmed by three or four guys. I watched it on tape and thought, 'Dang, he tried to throw that ball in there?' He tried, and we tried to do the best we could, but unfortunately it got picked off."
GH: How did you end up coming here from Texas?
Ware: "I actually visited Colorado when Coach Neuheisel was there, before he moved here. I knew this was 'Tight End U' and I want to be known as one of the good tight ends that came out of the University of Washington. I could've gone to Texas, but I was ready to get out of the heat. I wasn't wanting to deal with a heat index of 105-plus and play football everyday there at 3:00 p.m. I decided to come here, and I'm very happy with my decision."
GH: "You mention UW as 'Tight End U.' Did you know that the past eight
full-time starting tight ends at Washington have gone pro?
Ware: "Like I said, this is 'Tight End U,' and everybody knows that. Being in this league gives me a good shot, but I'm not worried about that. I'm more concentrated about football here at UW, and getting that done before going elsewhere."
GH: This being the first week of classes, how will school affect your
Ware: "It's definitely going to have an effect, because I'm a guy who likes to go get things done in the morning. I like to work out at least four times a week at 8:00 a.m., but now I've got 8:30 classes so I've got to figure out when I'm going to make time. It's just about adjusting your schedule and figuring out what works best for you."
GH: Did you pick out a special outfit for the first day, maybe try
and impress the girls?
Ware: "There's a lot of girls, but fortunately I've had a girlfriend for over the past two years, so the social thing isn't really a factor in my life. Also, I'm a senior, so I'm like an old man here! It's kind of like I've 'been there, done that,' so I'm just trying to have a good time, go out with my girl, and live up my time here in Seattle."
GH: You're in a fraternity, too. Doesn't that further complicate your
Ware: "They know I've got football, so I get out of a lot of the stuff there. It's cool living there -- no problems keeping my head on my shoulders. My brothers look out for me; it's cool."
GH: You mentioned that you're up early, and I've read that breakfast
is the most important meal of the day . Do you agree?
Ware: "Maybe back in high school it was the best meal of the day, but in college you're always jammed for time. Breakfast takes that time away from you, so I usually skip it."
GH: I heard the special edition DVD of the Britney Spears movie
"Crossroads" is being released soon. Have you already put in your advance
Ware: (laughing) "Umm ... no. I'm not a big Britney Spears fan, so definitely not. I'm not going to go to Best Buy and buy that ... no, not going happen."
contributing to gohuskies.com Steve Hitchcock