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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 13, 2009 at 7:08 PM

Fall camp wrapup — Day Four

A rainy day four in the books. …
In fact, here’s how it looked near the end, with the remaining fans mostly huddled in the upper reaches of the stadium.
husky pictures aug 13 003.jpg
WHAT HAPPENED
UW held its fourth practice of fall camp in front of a hundred or so fans that rapidly diminished as the rain began to pour in the final 30 minutes or so.
Coach Steve Sarkisian, however, said he didn’t think about taking the team indoors saying it was a good opportunity to play through the elements. He said there will be times when the team will go indoors in inclement weather when maybe there are some specific things to work on that would be helped by being dry. But he said in general he’d prefer to stay indoors.
THE BIG STORY
The biggest news, as referenced in the earlier entry, is the apparent loss of JC CB Dominiqiue Gaisie, who will be one of three junior college players who apparently won’t make it in this year out of six UW signed.
Gaisie loomed as a guy who could contend for playing time at least in nickel situations, it not more, and as a returner. Now, UW is apparently ready to go on without him, as well as DT Johnny Tivao and OL Daniel Mafoe.
This continues a trend of UW struggling to get JC kids into school, whether for reasons specific to UW’s entrance requirements or the Clearinghouse or whatever. Frankly, details on these things are always a little hard to get so unclear exactly all the issues on this one yet.
However, Sarkisian has already said he doesn’t intend to make JC players a staple of recruiting meaning this is a setback for now but not necessarily something that derails how he wanted to take this program longterm.
Still, it’s a hit as UW has some depth at cornerback but not a lot of experience and was hoping Gaisie could add a little of both.
STAR OF THE DAY
Not as obvious today through the rain as it was Wednesday when James Johnson and Greg Walker stole the show with a flurry of big plays.
The team spent a lot of work on third-down conversions and an unofficial media tally had the offense hitting on just 4-11. Those included about a 35-yard run by Jake Locker when he took off on a passing play that broke down.
Locker earlier hit Jermaine Kearse for a 50-yard pass (not in the third-down drill) and was unofficially 7-10 for 105 yards in the final team period when the Huskies go 11-on-11. Sarkisian cited Kearse for having “an amazing day” except for one play when he dropped what might have been a 48-yard TD pass from Locker, who hit him in stride after he had broken wide open behind safeties Greg Walker and Victor Aiyewa (both of whom were made to do pushups afterward). Aiyewa got a lot of work with the first team with Nate Williams out with a minor knee injury, as did David Batts. (Likewise, with Darrion Jones out with a hand injury, Kalani Aldrich got a lot of work with the ones.
“I felt our offensive players made plays today,” Sarkisian said. “Jake made plays and Ronnie (Fouch) did some nice things (he was unofficially 7-8 for 71 yards). I like what Johri (Fogerson) brought, what Chris Polk brought, and up until that last play I thought Jermaine Kearse had an amazing day.”
In fact, he said he liked most of what he saw from the offense.
“I thought our defense brought the intensity the first day with shoulder pads on and I thought the offense came back and brought the intensity (today) and made plays, and that’s how it should be,” he said.
NOTES, QUOTES AND RANDOM THOUGHTS
— Former UW coach Jim Lambright was a visitor at practice today. I talked with him for a little while and made that the focus of the lead note of my story for tomorrow’s paper, which you can find here.
— Sarkisian afterward clarified which coaches will be where on gameday. He said DC Nick Holt, LB coach Mike Cox, DL coach Johnny Nansen, CB coach Demetrice Martin, OL coach Dan Cozzetto, WR coach Jimmie Dougherty and RB coach Joel Thomas will be on the field. OC Doug Nussmeier, safeties coach Jeff Mills and graduate assistants Brent Miller and Mike Anderson will be in the booth. Sarkisian said Holt has always coached from the field and prefers it there.
— Sarkisian said he has been impressed by the play of the team’s three true freshman defensive linemen — ends Andru Pulu and Talia Crichton and tackle Semisi Tokolahi. “I like our future at that spot with those three guys,” he said. “They have all done some nice things. They’ve got a lot to learn. But they play hard and they are starting to learn from the older guys how we want them to play. They are adding great depth and I really like our future with them. … I really like it on the line. We’ve got a solid two-deep with even a sprinkle beyond that. … We’re getting some depth on the defensive side of the ball, especially up front, which is much needed.”
— PK Erik Folk was 3-5 kicking into the wind and rain. He made his first three from inside 32 yards but was wide right from about 39 and then short from 52.
— P Will Mahan also continues to impress. One of his punts easily went 50 yards sending Fogerson, who is apparently getting a look as a returner, scurrying to get back.
— As Sarkisian noted, Fogerson had a few noteworthy plays, picking up one first down during the third-down drill on a catch and run that was about a 13-yard play overall.
— Sarkisian said the team isn’t zeroing in on LSU just yet. He said parts of practice each day feature elements that will be in the game plan for the Tigers but it will be a little while yet before the team begins to put in fully the game plan for that contest.
— The play of the day might have been a long pass from Fouch to backup FB Tobias Togi out of the backfield that went for 75 yards or so. Togi got a lot of work with Paul Homer out with a hamstring injury.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Sarkisian on what UW wants to get accomplished tomorrow when full pads come on for the first time: “We’re not trying to kill one another. We’re trying to continually get better. Things we need to see in practice are one, we’ve got to see how we tackle.We’ve got to teach tackling because we really haven’t been tackling yet so we need to takckle. And two, our offensive line, being able to cut block now and are they athletic enough to do it. And we have to get off cut blocks on the defensive line. The key for me is that we can be able to keep playing at the intensity level we are playing at right now.”
WHAT’S NEXT
UW will hold its first full pads practice tomorrow at 3 p.m . at Husky Stadium.

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