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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 1, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Huskies to look more to tight ends

Fans who watched Monday’s practice saw a few nice catches from tight ends Kavario Middleton and Chris Izbicki, something that could become a fixture as the Huskies go forward.
The USC offenses under Steve Sarkisian often made liberal use of the tight end, such as 2007 when Fred Davis caught 62 passes.
UW’s tight ends probably won’t catch that many passes this year. But there’s a good chance they get more than the combined 27 out of the position last season.
“It’s more of a pro-style offense so they are in the scheme more,” said quarterback Jake Locker following Monday’s practice. “There’s a lot of play-action stuff where they are released and they are a viable option in the progression. You’ll see more production out of the tight end definitely than they have the last couple of years.”
That’s good news to the tight ends in question, particularly Izbicki, who had a lost season in 2008 after being arrested on two misdemeanor chargers over the summer, which landed him in the doghouse of coach Tyrone Willingham. Izbicki, regarded as the top catch in UW’s Class of 2007, never saw the field in his redshirt freshman season.
“You could pretty much put it like that (that he was buried on the depth chart after the arrest),” Izbicki said.
The coaching change, Izbicki said, “is a best-case scenario for me” to get a new opportunity.
It was just one day, but on Monday he appeared to be making the most of it with a couple of good catches during the team period that drew the notice of Sarkisian.
“It was amazing out there,” Izbicki said. “A ton of fun.”
With UW having just two healthy, scholarship tight ends at the moment — Middleton and Izbicki — each will get a lot of turns this spring.
“We are taking a lot of reps so we will both get that much better,” Izbicki said. “It’s a good opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to it.”
He also said he’s in the best shape of his career, saying he’s 6-3, 245.
“I lost six percent body fat in the winter workouts,” he said. “A lot of hard work in the off-season.”

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