The last of three bye week practices for the Huskies is over, the team working for about an hour and 45 minutes today in the Dempsey Indoor.
The team was in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some hitting. At one point late in the team period, Tim Tucker and Marquis Persley sandwiched Willie Griffin with a hard hit that could be easily heard around the Indoor, causing Griffin to fumble — and forcing him to immediately begin running a lap.
The offense appeared to win the day with Keith Price running for a TD from about 10 yards out or so on one of the last plays, rolling left then turning back against the grain and outracing the defense to the right and into the end zone.
If that sounds like the names of a lot of younger players, that’s for good reason as these three practices were again used to get a lot of the younger guys work — Price and Ronnie Fouch took most of the snaps and guys like Chris Polk, Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar, Donald Butler, Mason Foster and Daniel Te’o-Nesheim were all limited, as well.
But all are fine, and the team appeared to make it through the bye week without any new injuries.
The biggest question marks revolve around DT Cameron Elisara and LB E.J. Savannah, each still out. Elisara hasn’t played since the Arizona State game with a stinger while Savannah has three breaks in his hand, a thumb break being the biggest issue right.
Sarkisian said both could still play again this season but that it’s “not good right now. We’ll give them this rest and look at them Sunday. … I think they both have a chance. With E.J., it’s a pain issue, how much pain he can handle with the thumb. And Cameron it’s a strength issue, how much strength does he have in the shoulder.”
With practices over for this week, the maximum seven coaches will hit the road recruiting this weekend, Sarkisian counting among that number.
And the emphasis this time is on southern California, with playoffs beginning there this weekend.
“It’s a big weekend for us,” Sarkisian said. “We’re headed to southern California and we’ve got to do a great job down there. Our first (bye) week was really focused on the state of Washington and this week we are headed to southern California.”
It’s an evaluation period, meaning the coaches can attend games but cannot talk to players. And the focus isn’t just on players for the class of 2010 but also laying the ground work for future classes.
“We’ll be all over,” Sarkisian said.
IN OTHER NEWS. ..
— Nate Fellner wore red this week but also took part in much of practice Wednesday and Sarkisian said he should be able to play in the Apple Cup.
— Sarkisian on the play of young players this week: “Our young guys are getting better, that’s what we are finding out. The Tim Tuckers, Kimo (Makaula), Talia (Crichton), (Andru) Pulu), Semisi (Tokolahi), Dorson (Boyce). They had one week to play in our system (during the first bye week) and then they had to go back and do some service team stuff, then they’ve had this week. They are doing some good stuff. It’s really encouraging. It’s exciting to think after these two weeks, we’ll be heading into spring ball what our young guys are going to bring us.”
— Former Husky center Juan Garcia was a visitor at practice today. He is living and working in Yakima but has signed to play with the Spokane Shock of the Arena League. He said play begins in March so until then he’s working some youth programs at the YMCA and other organizations in town and working out. He was cut by the Vikings in camp in August. He said the Raiders called him a time or two but he has gotten no other offers since.
All for now.