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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 27, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Live chat reminder, and which freshmen play or redshirt?

First off, a reminder of our live chat at 2 p.m. today with BYU play-by-play man Greg Wrubell. He obviously can answer any of the questions you have about the Cougars with the game now just eight days away (here are details).
Until then, I thought we could briefly assess a question UW’s coaches may be debating as we speak —- which true freshmen to play this year, and which to redshirt?
Actually, UW coach Steve Sarksian said the other day that he had a pretty good idea in his own mind how those decisions were going to go, but for now was waiting to say anything publicly. So this is my attempt to guess which way the coaches are leaning (and I’m looking at scholarship players only):
QUARTERBACK: Assuming Keith Price has won the backup job, then Nick Montana seems likely headed to a redshirt season. But remember that UW has just three scholarship QBs, so Montana will always prepare to play, and will make all of the trips on a “red alert” status even if it is deemed he’s the No. 3 guy for now. So it may not be evident until late in the season if he’s redshirting for certain.
RUNNING BACK: Jesse Callier for sure plays as he’s basically splitting the backup TB job with Johri Fogerson. Deontae Cooper is obviously now redshirting. Zach Fogerson appeared headed for a chance to play before hurting his shoulder last week, and hasn’t done much since. That may have him now headed to a redshirt season unless he recovers quickly and coaches decide he can help — and worth remembering that UW has a bye after its first three games, a time when coaches may take a second look at guys who are on the redshirt track just to make sure, especially at positions where there could be need.


RECEIVER/TIGHT END: At receiver, Kevin Smith seems certain to play, while DiAndre Campbell looks headed to a redshirt. At tight end, Michael Hartvigson is certainly playing, having emerged as the No. 2 tight end and often working with the ones of late. An intriguing one to watch here is walk-on Evan Hudson, who also has been getting some serious time of late and at a listed 6-6, 251-pounds would add another sturdy body up front. (And it appears as if Hudson is the only new walk-on who has emerged so far into potentially a playing role this year).
OFFENSIVE LINE: Erik Kohler and Colin Porter seem in line to play, Kohler having spent much of the past week working with the starting unit at left tackle with Senio Kelemete sidelined. The other five — Micah Hatchie, James Atoe, Colin Tanigawa, Ben Riva and Michael Criste — look headed to a redshirt season. And remember, nothing at all wrong with that. Some of the best linemen in UW history on both sides of the ball — Lincoln Kennedy and Steve Emtman, to name two — redshirted.
DEFENSIVE LINE: Looks like Sione Potoa’e, Hau’oli Jamora and Josh Shirley will play this season, the latter two adding depth at a defenive end spot that remains maybe the biggest question on the team. Andrew Hudson and Lawrence Lagafuaina look headed to redshirts.
LINEBACKER: Here’s the spot that’s maybe been the hardest to read in this department since camp began. Garret Gilliland wasn’t one of the higher-recruited members of this class and there wasn’t much talk about him early on. But he’s emerged as potentially the No. 2 MLB heading into the season and apparently certain to play this season. He’s moved ahead of Victor Burnett, who had enrolled in the spring, which seemed to give him an edge on playing. But Burnett is now behind both Gilliland and Tim Tucker and may be headed to a redshirt now. Cooper Pelluer has had some good moments in camp, but still may be headed to a redshirt season. Same with Princeton Fuimaono and Jamaal Kearse (the latter of whom has been limited due to injuries, as well). However, UW may need one or two of them to play on special teams.
SECONDARY: At safety, Sean Parker for sure plays this season as he is now the backup strong safety. Taz Stevenson has been slowed at times by a shoulder injury (though he was back out there yesterday) and that may help lead him to a redshirt. At cornerback, Greg Ducre typically runs with the No. 3 defense at corner, a spot where UW is deeper than it may appear. But I’d assume he’s playing this year, to help on special teams if nothing else.
So that’s 11 true freshmen I think are pretty sure to play this year — Callier, Smith, Hartvigson, Kohler, Porter, Potoa’e, Jamora, Shirley, Gilliland, Parker and Ducre, and a couple more who could (Hudson, Stevenson, etc.). The school record for most true freshmen to play in a season is 12 in 2008. Ten played last season.

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