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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 15, 2010 at 8:29 AM

April answers, volume four

johri15.jpg
Questions in this edition on Johri Fogerson (seen to the right celebrating a touchdown last year against Idaho), the backup quarterback spot, and more:
Q: So, now that the two freshmen running backs appear to have played their way into the rotation for next season, any chance Johri Fogerson moves back to safety?
A: I wouldn’t think so. Suddenly, there’s actually quite a bit of depth at safety with Nate Fellner having a really good spring, Will Shamburger looking healthy, Justin Glenn recovering, Marquis Persley moving over from corner, Sean Parker on the arrival in the fall, etc.
If anything, there is less depth at tailback, especially if Demitrius Bronson makes the move to fullback full time. If Bronson moves, the only scholarship tailbacks on the roster for the fall are likely to be Fogerson, Chris Polk, Jesse Callier and Deontae Cooper (assuming that Brandon Yakaboski is unable to make it back from injury, which unfortunately seems like the way to guess at the moment given that he hasn’t done anything this spring). Tailback’s definitely a position where you need some depth, and the Huskies also use some two-tailback lineups at times, the kind of thinig Fogerson could be real adept at with his hands.
The two freshmen have been the story of the spring at that spot so far. But Fogerson has done his best to impress coaches, having had what some said was the best off-season of any player on the roster. Running backs coach Joel Thomas said recently of Fogerson that “he’s got up to 213 pounds, he’s put on at leasts 10 pounds, and I think it’s starting to show a little bit. I think it’s given him a little more confidence, whether it’s pass blocking or trying to beat someone one-on-one. Sometimes the best way to do that is with your pads and I think he’s starting to be a little more comfortable as that goes.”
Q: When do you think the backup quarterback will be decided?
A: Maybe not until the first week of September or so, a few days before the opener at BYU, if then. This could be one of those where UW coach Steve Sarkisian waits until the last minute to make a public declaration — or maybe never makes one at all unless forced to by circumstance.
One common misnomer about redshirting is that something has to be “declared.” Actually, nothing has to be officially done. Simply put, if a player doesn’t play, then he redshirts (assuming he has a redshirt year available). But since at any moment any player could theoretically play, the redshirt is not official until the season is complete.
Since UW will only have three scholarship QBs next season (or three who were initial SS guys, with Jake Locker now technically a walk-on), all three will make all the trips next season. That means even if the plan were to try to redshirt Nick Montana, he would be on red alert all season, as Locker was in 2006. My hunch at this moment would be that if there were simply mop-up snaps to be taken, that Keith Price would take them. But this staff also says that it will play the best players for the present, so if Montana shows himself to be demonstrably better, then maybe they decide to play him. If Locker were to get hurt, they’d need both to play anyway, so at that point, any redshirt decisions would be moot.
I’ve tried to think of a comparable situation since I began covering the Huskies in 1997 and not sure there really is one. Maybe the closest is 1997, when Marques Tuiasosopo and J.K. Scott were true freshmen backing up the only returnee, Brock Huard.
What many people forget is that Jim Lambright decided he needed to declare a backup and begin playing that person immediately so that he had experience. So a week or so before the season, he gave the job to Tuiasosopo, and Tuiasosopo played in each of the first two games against BYU and San Diego State. I hear all the time that it was only when Huard got hurt against Nebrasksa that it blew Tui’s redshirt year. But that’s not true. They’d already played Tuiasosopo, and had plans to play him all season (if you recall, he saw some time playing out of the backfield in each of his first two seasons) regardless of whether Huard stayed healthy or got hurt.
Q: Any idea what the coaches might have planned for a spring game with so few bodies at a couple of positions like defensive end and offensive tackle? Have they said when they will tell us the format?
A: The coaches have yet to say, and probably won’t until a day or two prior. As you note, the key issue is the depth on the lines — barely enough to have a separate OL for two teams. So they’ll need to wait and see what they have in the day or two prior to the game before setting a format. But I always warn not to expect too much out of a spring game. Due to the lack of numbers all teams have in the spring — you don’t have all the HS guys and walk-ons who will arrive in the fall — there’s only so much you can do. But when they do decide on a format, I will pass it along on the blog.
Reminder, practice today at 4 p.m. I’ll have more coverage here, and probably an item or two on the blog before that.
And feel free to add more questions in the comments section here.

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