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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 10, 2009 at 7:36 PM

Day one wrapup

Day one is in the books, as are my stories for the main paper. I’ll share some additional notes and observations here on the blog each night, as well, so away we go. …
About 300 people attended UW’s first practice of the fall at Husky Stadium. Per NCAA rules, the team was not in full pads and won’t be until Saturday.
The big news was obviously the addition of Marques Tuiasosopo to the strength staff. I have that covered in a story you’ll be able to find here. As mentioned earlier, he can’t do any on-field coaching but he can be help with conditioning drills, and obviously he’s around so he can be a sounding board for guys. But he also made it clear he still wants to play in the NFL and if someone comes calling he’ll be gone, which the powers that be at UW understand.
— UW coach Steve Sarkisian had this assessment of the first practice: “It was a lot better than our day one in spring, I can say that, just from an execution standpoint on both sides of the ball,” he said. “We were playing faster, and you can tell we studied and prepared all off-season. Was it perfect? No, But we did things really well that jumped out at me.”
— In particular, he said he was pleased with the play of the team’s receivers, defensive backs and quarterbacks. “You look at our wide receiver play today, there were some guys who were hungry to get the football and make plays. Our defensive backs, we were rolling guys through there at safety and the corner spots, and up front on the defensive line rolling guys through. So I’m anxious to look at this film because I think you are going to see a lot of guys doing things well.But there are also a lot of things to get cleaned up. But I was very encouraged by our quarterback play today. All three of those kids — Jake (Locker’s) progression is there. Ronnie (Fouch), this would have been his best day today of the spring and he did it in fall camp, which is what you like. And (Keith) Price really impressed in his first college practice. I liked the way he handled himself, He had good huddle presence and nice footwork.”
— He also had some good words for the three JC position players saying that Dorson Boyce had some good moments but that “I’m anxious to watch him get in shape. He hasn’t been with us that long, four weeks now, so I’m anxious to watch him get in shape. (David) Batts, was still feeling his way on defense today but there were some things you saw him do and went ‘wow’ and he showed what he’s all about. And (Dominique) Gaisie., I thought today for his first tine in the system at corner, he showed some things as well.”
— One person close to the program told me that he’d be “shocked” if Batts wasn’t a starter by the beginning of the season. He showed some impressive closing speed. Gaisie worked with the No., 2 defense at times and also appears to have a chance to make an impact as a returner.
— Of the true frosh, WR James Johnson might have been the most impressive today, making a slew of catches, including a really nice fade route from Locker for about a 30-yard gain or so that might have been the play of the day. “I saw James flash on a couple of things that looked pretty good,” said offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.
— The loss of Chris Robinson and Will Shamburger to injury leaves 11 healthy true freshmen (assuming Desmond Trufant makes it back soon). Johnson seems sure to play but hard to tell right now if any others figure in as position players this season — a few figure to get on special teams. Kimo Makaula seemed to get a lot of action at fullback and Andru Pulu had some nice moments at defensive end, swatting a pass away at one point. And the size of DT Semisi Tokolahi (6-2, 340) indicates he could help this year, as well.
— For those who may have seen Chris Polk leave for a little while, he said he was having some issues getting comfortable with the tape on his ankles — he still has some tenderness in his ankles dating to the injury last spring. But he returned and had a couple of nice runs.
— I talked to Jason Wells for a while afterward and he said he made it through just fine. For now, however, he isn’t placing really high expectations on where he’ll end up in the lineup saying he’s just happy to be out on the field right now.
— TE Kavario Middleton had a nice day making a one-handed catch of a pass thrown behind him a little bit at one point and snaring another ball over the middle in heavy traffic.
— PK Erik Folk was 3-5 on field goals, hitting his first three from 27, 27 and 32 and missing just wide from 32 and 42.
Johri Fogerson had a couple of nice runs (he’s now wearing No. 23 for those who may have been out there and wondered). Said Sarkisian: “He’s excited, hungry to show us what he can do back there. There’s really healthy competition at the running back spot, which is nice. But for Johri, he’s back in a little bit of a comfort zone where he can show what he is all about.”
Polk, talking about the difference between this year and last year: “I feel way more comfortable. I actually believe the plays we call, the schemes we do, I actually believe they are going to work. Last year, I was guessing like ‘man this is not going to work so I’m just going to try to do my own thing.’ That’s something I never did before. But now it’s like what they are telling us, if we do it correctly it will work. So it’s good. We actually believe in what we are doing now.”
UW will have another practice Tuesday, open to the public, at 3 p.m. at Husky Stadium.
All for now.



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