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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 12, 2007 at 8:09 PM

Week one status report

Monday marks the beginning of the second week of UW’s fall camp. Here’s a position-by-position look at where things stand.
QUARTERBACK: UW coach Tyrone Willingham sounds more enthusiastic about this position than ever. Jake Locker continues to run No. 1 but Carl Bonnell has come to camp in better shape than ever and continues to push Locker, and true freshman Ronnie Fouch appears as ready as a guy in his position can be. UW is scheduled to hold a scrimmage open to the media next Saturday when we’ll get our first real look at whether Locker really has improved his accuracy from last spring.
RUNNING BACK: Louis Rankin has earned raves from coaches for his conditioning and play and is a solid No. 1. And the depth appears better than in years with four incoming freshmen, several of whom figure to play. Speedy Curtis Shaw appears to be the No. 3 back after Rankin and J.R. Hasty while Brandon Yakaboski has been one of the surprises of camp and may earn PT this season. Again, scrimmage play figures to tell a lot about which freshmen will really get on the field.
RECEIVER: One of the big disappointments of the first week was the pinky injury to Anthony Russo that is likely to hold him out a few more weeks. Good news is that Corey Williams appears to be having a strong camp, picking up where he left off in the spring, and may finally be ready to fulfill the potential he flashed as a freshman in 2003. True freshman Alvin Logan is also opening up some eyes and may be capable of providing depth if needed this season. The tight end position appears to remain up for grabs among the three returners — Michael Gottlieb, Johnie Kirton and Robert Lewis, with all three expected to play substantially this season.
OFFENSIVE LINE: This unit has been one of the big stories of camp with the lineup shakeup. The longer that goes on, the greater possibility a few of those could be permanent (one caveat to this report is that we didn’t get to see Saturday’s scrimmage and it’s unknown whether the new-look O-line ran as the No. 1). Undoubtedly, some of those new players are earning the chance to play a lot this season and I don’t think there’s any question we’ll see more rotating this season, especially at those three positions. What we know for sure is that Juan Garcia at center and Chad Macklin at right tackle are set at those two spots.
DEFENSIVE LINE: So far so good with what could be one of the real team strengths this year. The four starters seemed set heading into camp and it sounds as if all arrived in good shape and are playing well so far. This position seems more stable than it has been in years, and with some quality depth as well.
LINEBACKER: E.J. Savannah’s eligibility issues, whatever they are, are the big story here. Sounds as if he will probably be ready to go by the season, but until then, Chris Stevens is running as the starter at WLB along with Dan Howell and Donald Butler at the other two spots. Butler missed a day due to swelling in the knee on which he had off-season surgery — something nobody knew about outside the team until it was revealed — but all involved insist that’s not a serious issue.
SECONDARY: The other big story of the camp to date with Jordon Murchison’s legal problems and Byron Davenport’s hamstring injury hurting the depth. UW needs to get Davenport healthy and ready to go. The next two weeks will also be critical for prepping some of the younger players who are almost certainly going to have to get some time. The intruiging story here is walk-on Cory Nicol who sounds as if he is competing for legitimate playing time. Despite the depth problems at CB, Willingham says the Huskies aren’t likely to make any position switches and will try to make do with what they have here.
KICKERS: One of the other disappointments has been the inability of Erik Folk to kick due to a recent back injury. Kicking obviously doesn’t require the kind of learning as other positions do for a true freshman, but the longer he’s out, the more likely someone else is going to win this job. The scrimmage Saturday will tell us a lot. Jared Ballman appears to be getting steadier at punter but that position is still open for competition, as well, as Ryan Perkins (who is also in the running at kicker) is beginning to shake off the rust after missing last year due to injury. Walk-ons Kiel Rasp (punter) and Cory Rutkowski (kicker) are also making an impact here.

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