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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 11, 2007 at 9:33 AM

Your questions, and more

A few more good questions came this way in the last day or so, so I’ll try to answer those.
I’ll also point you to my story today on the interesting battle at punter between Jared Ballman and Ryan Perkins, each of whom is attempting to overcome some adversity, though Ballman’s ovbviously much greater, as the story explains.
Now to your questions:
QUESTION: With Jake Locker as the No. 1 QB, will the Huskies go with the spread option offense like Utah and Oregon?
Answer: If you look, the Huskies have already been doing a lot of that the last few years. Those plays in the shotgun where the QB has the option to hand off or run are right out of the spread option, and were a regular staple of the offense last year. The 77-yard TD run Locker had in practice on Monday was a similar play.
But I don’t think the Huskies will commit to it as much as Oregon as Tim Lappano’s background is wedded in the one-back offense. I think the Huskies will continue to try to be as diverse as they can, though if something starts working really well, they’ll go with that more. Offenses always evolve through a season as the coaches figure out what the personnel can do best.
QUESTION: Have the coaches mentioned which incoming freshmen are likely to play this season?
Answer: The coaches typically don’t get so specific that they ever say that “so-and-so” is sure to play this season, and I haven’t heard any of them mention any names for certain.
However, there are a lot of obvious candidates. Kicker Erik Folk was certainly recruited with the idea that he would play immediately. MLB Austin Sylvester, by arriving in time for spring ball via prep school, will have a leg up on everyone else, (as will QB Ronnie Fouch, though his position situation is different so he’s not expected to play right away).
Then there are the positions of need — secondary, running back — where two or three guys will be needed to step in right away, so guys like cornerback Vonzell McDowell and safeties Quinton Richardson and Victor Aiyewa will have a chance, as will any of the five RBs (though the most likely would seem to be Curtis Shaw, Willie Griffin and Brandon Johnson).
All three receivers may also be good enough to step in right away, especially Anthony Boyles. But it was interesting talking with new receivers coach Charlie Baggett about that yesterday. He said in his career he had only one true freshmen he thought was really ready to play immediately — Andre Rison when he was at Michigan State. “People don’t realize how hard it is to do that,” he said.
And as the coaches have showed the past two years in redshirting the likes of J.R. Hasty and Locker (and playing just two true frosh a year ago) they tend to lean toward redshirting.
QUESTION: Did Mesphin Forrester, now listed as the starting strong safety, play strong safety last season, or free safety?
Answer: Forrester played a little all over the place in the secondary a year ago, including some cornerback in one game. He was often used as a fifth defensive back, as well. But he was listed as the backup strong safety all season and did see some significant time there. He had two interceptions on the season but they came in back-to-back games early in the year against Fresno State and UCLA. I
The philosophy of secondary coach J.D. Williams is to prepare all safeties to play both spots, so they all spend a lot of time in practice working at both free and strong safety. So Forrester should be more than ready to step in at that spot this season.

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