Self quote self quote in your face, self quote in your face (from the podcast):
Constable Echelon: “If Kavario Middleton doesn’t show up next season looking like a man…which he has not…you know he’s looked like a guy with a lot of talent, but still kind of, maybe, doughy, and still kind of looking like a kid…if he doesn’t look like an NFL tight end next year, I’m going to be very disappointed…”
Fig Jam: “I don’t think he’d play if he did that…”
Not waiting until fall camp, Sark has seen what he was going to see, and Kavario Middleton has been dismissed from the UW football team. Middleton now joins fellow talented not-quite Craig Chambers as a fixture in future “What if he cared?” debates regarding Washington football.
First off, I’m not mad at Craig Chambers and Kavario Middleton. Kavario Middleton signed during a 4-9 season, and debuted for the disastrous 0-12 team. He signed on for a loser. Craig Chambers actually signed before we started losing, as a member of Neuheisel’s final class before he was fired for…whatever it was. Chambers was never coached by Neuheisel and instead endured Keith Gilbertson and then one year of Tyrone Willingham before leaving for a level of competition that aligned with the level of effort he was willing to put in – Montana. Chambers arrived at a directionless program, and wasn’t wired to put his head down and bust his ass in the hopes that everyone else would do the same in a complete vacuum of leadership.
The point is, you can’t make people who don’t want to work, work. It is nobody’s obligation to realize their potential, and it is to be applauded in the rare cases that people do. Fair play to both. They are both average, but by definition so are most. (Shame about that god-given ability though.)
This also got me thinking about another highly touted recruit – Anthony Boyles, and his progression from perceived malcontent to budding contributor after a position change.
This is a good breakdown of three ways a career can develop when a highly touted player doesn’t initially pan out. Under the feckless Gilby-Willingham regimes, Craig Chambers was allowed to play because he was clearly talented, and ultimately showed himself the door. Surely people took him aside and told him how good he could be, but those people changed from year to year. No programmical rudder. He had to let himself go. Noble, actually.
Kavario Middleton did Washington a favor by signing with us. He could have written his ticket for an established winner. Unfortunately before the ink was dry on his letter of intent he had just about given what he was willing to give to the program. Unlike Chambers in the era of dundering coaches, Sark took Middleton aside and explicitly told him what was expected. When Middleton proved unable to comply, he was dismissed. Terrible to lose a talent, but fantastic in terms of establishing a “We could give a shit who the internet said you were” level of accountability.
In contrast, Anthony Boyles licked his wounds, accepted that he had a better chance to crack the depth at db, and went to work to earn himself playing time. He is the type of Husky we need.
And that is how you take three quasi-related things and create a positive arc out of a negative news day. Boom.