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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 8, 2010 at 6:53 PM

Thursday practice report

On what turned out to be a surprisingly nice afternoon, the Huskies headed indoors for a two-hour, full pads practice, the fifth of the spring.
“I just try to pay attention to all these really smart weathermen out there and they kept telling me there was going to be a big storm today and so we just tried to beat the storm and come inside,” said UW coach Steve Sarkisian. “And I kept looking out those doors, and it looks pretty sunny and the lake looks good, so we might have missed it today.”
That’s not all that was missing. So was Clarence Trent, a forward on the basketball team who walk-on to the football team last week and took part in four practices, but told Sarkisian Wednesday he wanted to just stick with hoops.
“It just wasn’t for him,” Sarkisian said. “He wanted to focus back on basketball and his school work and I can respect that.”
Defensive coordinator Nick Holt said that Trent wasn’t around long enough to be a factor, so it was hard to gague what his loss means to the team. Asked why Trent left, he said “you’d have to ask Clarence. It’s really hard to ask a kid that hasn’t played in so long. We were hoping it would work out, but hopefully he has a great basketball career.”
Maybe the most notable personnel move was that Cameron Elisara spent almost the entire practice at defensive end. It was something he first dabbled in on Tuesday. Trent’s departure lessens the depth at defensive end that much more, and De’Shon Matthews is also out right now with a sore Achilles.
“We’re just looking for some bodies that can do it,” Sarkisian said. “It can help us for the fall. I don’t anticipate Cameron being a full-time defensive end, but in some situations against some more physical teams, for him to have some experience now doing it, it’s an easy transition for him in the fall.”
Sarkisian said he’s liked what he’s seen out of Elisara at end so far.
“I think he’s still active,” Sarkisian said. “Sometimes when you move a bigger guy from inside to outside he’s not quite as active because of the speed. But he’s staying active, so there is some benefit there for him to get on an edge and rush on one guy. But in a perfect world I’d love to have him back at three technique (defensive tackle) and have him disruptive because for me that’s the most important position on our defensive line. But it’s good for him to have the versatility. It’s similar to Daniel (Te’o-Nesheim.) We used him at both spots and he was effective, so I think it will be good for Cameron as well.”
— In another position experiment, Demitrius Bronson spent about half of his plays in practice working at fullback. Said running backs coach Joel Thomas: “Today he was about 50-50 his fullback and tailback reps. He’s only played one year of college football from as we sit here today. He’s still learning a lot of our offense and the little nuances so just trying to find a way to get him rolling and keep him involved in what we are doing. … I try to keep it in moderation so it’s not too much because you are learning two positions, really. Don’t want to overwhelm him too much.” Bronson has been used a little bit at that spot the last couple practices, as well, but today appeared his most extensive use there.
— Safety Nate Williams sat out much of practice after he “banged his head a little bit,” Sarkisian said, adding “it’s nothing serious. Our young safeties need the work anyway so to get those reps is good for them.”
— Taking Williams’ place much of the team period was redshirt freshman Will Shamburger, who sat out last year with a knee injury. Sarkisian said he thought Shamburger had a good day. “He’s been coming on, been getting more comfortable,” Sarkisian said. “I’m anxious to look at this film where we did some live stuff today where he had to fit up and tackle and see what it looks like.”
— Another reason the team can use Elisara at end is that freshman Chris Robinson is coming on at tackle, adding depth to that spot. Like Shamburger, Robinson sat out last year with a knee injury. “He’s been really active inside,” Sarkisian said. “I’ve been impressed. I think with both of those guys, their comfort level with their knee (is getting better.) It’s still there at the end of the play, it didn’t fall off, so okay I can go a little harder now on the next snap. That comfort level has been big for them as well.”
— A good candidate for play of the day was about a 60-yard TD run by true freshman Deontae Cooper on a simple zone read as he outraced everyone to the end zone. Said Sarkisian: “It could have gone for a log more. I don’t think they were going to get him.”
— As noted earlier, Joe Montana watched practice today to see his son, Nick, a freshman QB. Asked if it was different having a guy like Montana watching, Sarkisian said “I don’t think so, but it might have helped 10 today (meaning Jake Locker). Jake was pretty good today. I don’t know if he missed many throws. He had a heck of a day. It probably his best day so far this spring.”
All for now.



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