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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 8, 2009 at 9:59 PM

On extra running and grayshirting

My story for tomorrow’s paper is on-line already and addresses two main points from events today — the scuffle that broke out during the team period and the possibility that Nathan Fellner and Will Shamburger might end up grayshirting this season to make the scholarship numbers work out.
Not much more to add on the scuffle other than what’s in that story and in the earlier blog entry. And to make clear, everyone realizes fights happen in practice all the time and rarely are very newsworthy. But as this is just the fifth practice of the Steve Sarkisian era, everything that happens takes on a little more import and I thought his on-field response to it and what he said afterward was interesting in the vein of getting to know what he’s about as a coach. It was a very direct and controlled response that restored order pretty quickly and as the comments from Nate Williams afterward indicated, he got his point across — that actions carry consequences (in this case a little extra running).
“I think we all learned our lesson after today and hopefully it won’t happen again,” Williams said. “We all love each other. We’re all a team. So it’s all good.”
As for Fellner and Shamburger, I spoke with Fellner earlier in the week and he said that he has been told by the coaches that he may have to grayshirt this year to make the scholarship numbers fit — with 70 currently on scholarship and 19 coming in, UW could be four over the number in the fall if everyone stays and gets qualified academically.
Fellner, a safety from Clovis West High in Fresno, said he was “kind of surprised” when initially approached about it a week or so before signing day. He hinted it might have changed his decision on signing with the Huskies had he known earlier saying “it just kind of came as a shock because I had all these other offers. I love Washington, so it was a good choice. But it was like it caught me off-guard. But it’s all good, I guess.”
He said he has been in regular contact with UW coaches and has been told to “be patient” and that a lot of it depends on what happens with other players, specifically if all six of the JC players UW signed get academically eligible.
Fellner said he has already been admitted to UW so he’ll be ready go to at late notice if need be. If he doesn’t enroll at UW, he said he will take classes in the fall at a local JC (though not enough to become a full-time student since then his eligibility clock would begin) and work out.
“I’m just going with the flow,” he said.
Sarkisian said today that asking Fellner to potentially grayshirt is simply part of the numbers game to try to fit all the scholarships in — the Huskies took a few JC players late in an attempt to get some immediate help. “Nip and tuck,” he said. “But he understands it.”
Sarkisian also said that Shamburger has an injury (I didn’t get the details on it) and also could be a grayshirt candidate. He also said that some of the JC signees don’t have all their academic work done yet so it’s too early now to know what may be required.
“It’s just a numbers game right now so we’ll see what happens,” he said.

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