Don Dow is a former University of Washington offensive tackle from the Don James era who became a super salesman in his life after football.
For decades, he's sold events, put people together, made things happen.
Sponsorships for the Masters. U.S. Open. Ryder Cup. Super Bowl. Final Four. Olympics games. NBA All-Star Game.
Dow really likes what he sees coming out of his alma mater in this vein — which is marketing itself to ready-made players in the transfer portal who have left blue-blood programs.
The Huskies have been as assertive as any school in picking through the virtual treasure trove of veteran talent and gaining commitments.
Cornerback Brendan "Bookie" Radley-Hiles comes to the UW from Oklahoma, preceded by Texas A&M edge rusher Jeremiah Martin, Texas Tech wide receiver Ja'Lynn Polk and Colorado State and Nebraska quarterback Patric O'Brien.
"This whole free agency thing in college football is here to stay," Dow said. "I think it's incredibly smart of us to be out there shopping all of the time. You have to be, to be competitive these days."
In recent weeks, more than a handful of Husky fans have complained that second-year coach Jimmy Lake has been delinquent in maintaining a high level of football talent on campus.
They've groused over and over that the coach has failed to land the higher-profile high school names and that he's been unable to stem the flow of players leaving his program.
Dow, however, considers Lake the ideal coach to deal with college football's changing state of affairs, all measured by a spinning turnstile.
"With Chris Petersen leaving and Jimmy Lake taking over as head coach, it might have been perfect timing in this new world of the transfer portal," he said. "This is the total antithesis of the way Coach Petersen would do it. He wants his kind of guys, to bring them in and nurture them."
While Lake surely will continue to pursue the best high school players that he can find, it's clear that he's not willing to wait forever for everyone to gradually mature and develop on the college level, that's he more than open to picking up experienced talent.
After all, just look at the flowing beard of Oklahoma's Radley-Hiles, who comes to the Huskies as a three-year starter with two seasons to play, plus his degree already completed while in Norman. He's a mature, battle-tested player who was once a 5-star recruit.
You can't find a guy with that kind of football talent and completed college education at a high school somewhere.
It's meant to convey to his new and old players that the time is now to be winners on the field.
"Jimmy Lake is so aggressive and so focused," Dow said, "he can go out and prove to these guys that they can be successful."
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