The Huskies are off the field following day three of their 2010 fall camp.
First things first — no significant injuries or personnel news of note, the team appearing to make it through the first day of real physical activity unscathed. The Huskies were in helmets and shoulder pads and will remain that way on Thursday, as well, before putting on full pads for the first time Friday (and pictured at right is the defensive line following practice, notably No. 97, true frosh Lawrence Lagafuaina).
We had to wait a while to speak with UW coach Steve Sarkisian as he was deep in conversation with Kasen Williams and his family, as Williams took an unofficial visit to UW as he prepares to make a decision later this month. Williams and his family spent much of practice in the stands talking with UW AD Scott Woodward (and just to again make clear, none of them can talk about any of this, per NCAA rules, other than Williams and his family once they leave campus).
Austin Seferian-Jenkins was also at practice, watching much of it from the stands with some high school friends.
As far as practice, here was Sarkisian’s overall assessment: “I thought it was somewhat typical of a Day 3. A lot of information has been put on our guys in three days of installation. Obviously, the young guys felt it, somewhat mentally, and I felt the young guys felt it physically, the wear and tear in the legs and whatnot. I appreciated the intensity and enthusiasm. I thought we practiced hard. There were probably more mental mistakes in this practice than there has been. But that’s somewhat normal.”
Did he think it was information overload?: “I wouldn’t necessarily call it overload. That’s natural training camp. Day 1, you feel good about it. Day 2, OK, there’s this many plays. Day 3, there’s the emphasis on the fringe and the red zone, things get a little tighter, there’s more installation on both sides of the ball. Some of that’s natural. But we’ll continue to build, and they’ll respond. We’ll be OK.”
Three days of a camp, and before any live hitting, is still really early to make many sweeping assessments. But I asked Sarkisian afterward what he thought of the seven offensive linemen and whether any are starting to emerge. Here’s what he said: “Today was the first day in shoulder pads, so I have to look at the film to see how physical they were. But I think from a knowledge standpoint, (Erik) Kohler’s done some nice things at left tackle. (Colin) Porter is doing some really nice things playing center and guard now, which is not always easy to do, bouncing back and forth. All of them are very tough-minded kids. They haven’t backed down from anything. They’re working against not only the young defensive linemen but also the veteran kids, Alameda Ta’amu and Semisi (Tokolahi) and Cameron (Elisara) — those guys are all good football players. All in all, I think the group is coming along fine. But if I had to point out two guys right now, it would be Porter and Kohler.”
Another true frosh who stood out in the Sarkisian’s eyes was tight end Michael Hartvigson, who could easily get into the competition for the backup spot there: Said Sarkisian: “I’ve been very, very pleased with Michael. He’s, again, a tough-minded kid. It’s not easy. The tight end position is one of the more difficult positions within our system to learn because you’ve got to get the run game wired in right, and you’ve got to get the pass game stuff wired in right. We don’t sit in one formation all the time. So he’s tough-minded, he’s working at it. I was happy for him that he caught some balls downfield, made some plays.”
And if there was a veteran who really stood out today, it may have again been Ta’amu, who looked simply dominant during the pass rush drills. Said Sarkisian: “There are some times in the run game when he just kind of kills the run. We saw that today. He’s extremely powerful, as we all know, but I think what’s happened now with him is he’s become much more explosive. When the ball gets snapped, his ability to snap off the football, his get-off, and then the power that he has, he’s able to adjust when he has to. He’s a dominant player right now.”
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— The practice ended with about a 25-minute team session, with each of the top three QBs taking turns running the offense. I had Jake Locker at 6-10 passing (again, yards hard to determine as guys are down on the touch and the ball returned to the previous line and all of that), the highlight a nice rollout pass caught by a sliding Jordan Polk at the sideline (the official ruled it good to much protest of the defense). Locker, however, also threw an interception, courtesy of Adam Long.
— Keith Price was 1-3 including an interception by Nate Fellner in the end zone.
— Nick Montana was 1-3, the completion on a rollout to Hartvigson. His stint was highlighted by what might have been the play of the day when Deontae Cooper took a handoff, did a little stutter at the line, then burst through a hole for a 65-yard TD.
— Another true frosh who had a good day was end Hau’oli Jamora (who was mentioned afterward by defensive coordinator Nick Holt, as well, in an interview I’ll try to pass along later). During the team session he broke through the line to stop Demitrius Bronson for a loss.
— Erik Folk was 3-4 on field goals, hitting his long of 42.
— The OL who stood out during the pass rush drills, to what should be no surprise, was LT Senio Kelemete, who seemed to win each of his battles. Sione Potoa’e appeared to have another good day during those drills, as well.
— Cooper Pelluer continues to run as the No. 3 at the strongside linebacker spot behind Victor Aiyewa and Matt Houston and earned praise afterward from Holt. So far, UW has stayed with the LB rotation of Mason Foster at WLB, Cort Dennison at MLB and the others fighting it out for SLB.
— Holt wasn’t thrilled with the play of the D-line right near the end, however, replacing each of the starting front four except for Ta’amu at one point (colorfully explaining why in the process). The primary front four up front again consisted of Ta’amu and Tokolahi at tackles and Elisara and Talia Crichton at ends.
— During the punt return drills, the main returners were Devin Aguilar and Johri Fogerson.
— Should also note that CBs Desmond Trufant and Quinton Richardson were each limited during the team drills as precautionary measure for their pre-existing injuries — Trufant still getting back to 100 percent from the sports hernia surgery he had in the off-season and Richardson the back spasms — putting Adam Long and Vonzell McDowell as the starting CBs for most of the team period.