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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

December 2, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Bruns displays his versatility

It might have gotten lost a little bit in all else that happened Saturday, but UW receiver Cody Bruns had an interesting game in Berkeley, displaying about as much special teams versatility as is possible.
Bruns held for place kicks, returned punts, and after Kiel Rasp was hurt, kicked one punt, a 30-yarder on what was UW’s second-to-last possession of the game. The distance may not seem impressive on the last punt, but it was a key kick in an emergency session as the Bears began their last drive at the 32, and then after a penalty before the first play at the 27, going three-and-out and then punting, setting up Washington’s winning final drive.
Bruns was forced into punting duty when Rasp suffered back spasms when hit on a punt in the third quarter.
“It was fun,” Bruns said of punting. “It was kind of nice that it was a spur-of-the-moment deal so I didn’t really have to think about it much.”
Bruns emerged as the team’s emergency punter in September when starter Will Mahan suffered a season-ending knee injury and Rasp, who had been the backup, took over. Bruns also handled punting at Prosser High and emerged as the best of a few players that UW tried during an impromptu tryout for a backup the week Mahan was hurt.
Bruns said he hadn’t really handled a punt in practice since the week Mahan was injured. He was asked to do it rugby style, which the coaches perceive as a little safter than just out of the pocket, so Bruns rolled to the right and got the kick off cleanly.
“Whatever I can do out here to help the team I will try to do it,” said Bruns, who has also been enlisted for punt return duty due largely to an injury to Devin Aguilar. Aguilar is back now but the coaches have wanted to reduce the hits he takes.
It’s hard to find anyone else in Husky history who has handled all the same tasks in one game —- it’s not the kind of thing for which there are clear records.
Joe Jarzynka in 1998 handled both punt return duties and kicked field goals. Other than that, you likely have to go back to the days of single-platoon football. Bob Schloredt, the quarterback on the 1959-60 Rose Bowl teams, was also the team’s punter and probably returned a punt somewhere along the way, though George Fleming was the team’s regular returner in that time.
Bruns, a junior, has emerged as a jack-of-all-trades for the Huskies the last two years. He has also thrown passes (pictured is his completion last year against Cal) caught passes, and had carries on reverses as well as his special teams duties.
He’s likely not to have to punt this week with Rasp due back.
But he’s excited to take the field at Martin Stadium in any way he can. He’s a native of Prosser and says that most of his friends and teammates there were Cougar fans.
“But I always wanted to be a Husky,” he said. “It was always me and a couple of buddies that liked the Huskies. Everybody else was Cougs. We got a lot of crap for that.”
Of his famous teammates, Bruns said QB Kellen Moore “was more of a Coug.” But Moore’s younger brother Kirby, now a receiver at Boise State where he plays alongside his brother. was more of a UW fan. “It’s kind of funny how that all worked out,” Bruns said.



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