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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 10, 2007 at 12:41 PM

Friday practice notes

Washington’s first practice of the day is over — this is the first two-a-day of the season for the Huskies — as is Tyrone Willingham’s daily meeting with the press.
Good news is that UW appears to have made it through its first two full-contact practices without any major new injuries. Willingham said there were a few minor injuries, mentioning a foot injury to Juan Garcia, but said none of them are a big deal.
Blog poster Jordan will be happy to know I did indeed ask Willingham today about using Roy Lewis as a returner and Willingham said he is rethinking it to see “if that is the smart thing to do for the team.”
With the depth at CB being what it is and the Huskies now having a lot of other potential options at returner, Lewis’ days as a kick returner may be numbered. Willingham has mentioned the likes of D’Andre Goodwin, Curtis Shaw and Vonzell McDowell as possible returners, though there is still a lot of time to sort that out.
Willingham talked a bit about the RB competition and said again that Louis Rankin is the unquestioned starter, saying Rankin “may even be better than he was a year ago. He’s more disciplined in his running style yet he still has that explosiveness you want.”
Behind that, however, it appears pretty wide open, with Willingham saying several of the true freshmen could play this season. The ones he seems to reserve the most praise for are Shaw and Brandon Yakaboski, though it’s still too early to rule anybody in or out of that race.
In the one bit of bad news for the Huskies, true freshman PK Erik Folk remains sidelined and hasn’t been able to do any kicking. Folk said today that it’s been diagnosed as a muscle spasm, something he said began to creep up a few months ago.
He said some new medication has appeared to help, but he said somewhat ominously that “it hurts whenever I kick.” The hope is still that he will be ready for the season. But for now, the three competing for the kicking job are Ryan Perkins, Jared Ballman and Cory Rutkowski.
Willingham said today that “Ballman did a pretty good job” in practice the last couple of days.
I also talked to DL coach Randy Hart for a while today, as well, and he said the four projected starters on the line — Greyson Gunheim and Daniel Te’o-Neshiem at ends and Jordan Reffett and Wilson Afoa inside — remain the starters.
Worth noting that Don James was a visitor at the morning practice today meaning three of the past four UW coaches prior to Willingham have all been here in the past three days — Jim Lambright visited Thursday’s workout and Keith Gilbertson was here with the Seahawks Wednesday. Don’t think we’ll see Rick Neuheisel come by anytime soon, however.
This is it for access to the team today other than getting to watch the first 25 minutes of the afternoon practice, so maybe not much more until then. That will be a relatively light practice following the full pads work this morning.
Willingham didn’t seem overly impressed with the practice this morning calling it “okay” and saying the pace wasn’t quite what he hoped it would be.
Also, a reminder that tomorrow is Picture Day. It begins at 1:30 at Husky Stadium. Details here via GoHuskies.com.

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