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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 11, 2007 at 12:32 PM

More on names, other notes

UW’s uniforms will indeed carry names on the backs this season, coach Tyrone Willingham said today.
Players will be wearing the new jerseys at the team’s annual Picture Day at Husky Stadium later this afternoon.
Willingham took the names off the jerseys before his first season at UW in 2005 saying he wanted to make sure his players understood the concept of “team before self.”
He said today he thinks that message has begun to sink in.
“I think we keep growing, we keep maturing, and that’s an important element,” he said. “It is important that we understand that one of the keys to being successful is putting the team before self and when that concept is fully embraced you have a better chance to have success.”
Willingham, however, said he was also making a bow to fans who had complained that it was harder to track the players on the field without the names on the backs of the jerseys.
In particular, Willingham said it’s been harder at UW to avoid having two players using the same number, which he said he realizes is confusing for fans.
“It’s about helping our fans, that’s one, and I couldn’t eliminate double numbers, that’s two,” Willingham said.
“I just know if you are sitting in any stadium in America and you’ve got double numbers, especially at certain positions, how can you tell who is who? I respect that, that’s a legitimate concern I’ve had from day one.”
Willingham said one reason UW has had so many double numbers of late is that certain players simply want to wear a certain number and the coaches try to heed those requests.
“My guys like certain numbers,” he said. “I’m not superstitious, but part of my job is making sure that I’m aware of other people’s superstitions, so you try to help where you can.”
Husky players greeted the news with enthusiasm.
“The players are all pretty excited to have our names on the back of our jerseys this season,” quarterback Carl Bonnell said in quotes relayed through the school’s sports information department. “It gives us all a little bit of a more personal identity and it makes us feel that more strongly, at least individually, about our place at this great university. I know the fans are going to appreciate it. There are so many double numbers, it will certainly be a lot easier for them to identify and relate more closely with the players.”
Added cornerback Roy Lewis: “We love it. We all grew up watching the great Huskies with their names on their jerseys and now we feel that, as players, we need to live up to the standards set by those guys before us. We all recognize that people identify us as University of Washington football players. Now, it will be easier for the fans to connect with us more personally.”
IN OTHER MATTERS, the Huskies apparently held a fairly major full-scale scrimmage this morning (it was closed so we didn’t get to see any of it).
Good news is that UW appeared to get through it without any significant injuries.
Willingham said the only new injury was to walk-on center/long snapper Robert Lukevich who has had a history of knee trouble.
Willingham said Anthony Russo’s pinky surgery Friday went well, saying “everything we hear is very positive” though there is still no set prognosis on his return other than the initial four weeks.
CB Byron Davenport is “moving around better,” Willingham said, but is still not doing anything yet.
Willingham said UW’s quarterbacks “appear to get a little bit better” every day, apparently shaking off the rust he felt was a problem early in camp.
Earning the gold jersey today was WR Corey Williams, whom Willingham said “has put together some pretty good days.” That’s especially important with Russo’s injury.
The Huskies now head Picture Day after having lunch with their families, something that is a change from recent years as Willingham said he wanted to find a way to get player’s relatives more involved in the day. Players and their families will have time alone at Husky Stadium for pictures before the public is allowed in.
The Huskies will be off on Sunday, so there won’t be much more news until Monday, but keep checking as we may throw a couple of other things out here over the weekend.

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