Day Two of Washington’s fall camp is in the books, and in terms of anything significant newsworthy happening, it was fairly uneventful.
The Huskies were again in no-pads and no-contact, and hence no injuries — that’s true freshman Jarett Finau running off the field afterward in a Dean Rutz photo. Per NCAA rules, UW can’t be in pads for five days, but will be able to put on shoulder pads and helmets on Wednesday.
When they do, UW coach Steve Sarkisian hopes to see some better center-quarterback exchanges. There were a few fumbles Tuesday, that drew a few frowns from Sarkisian.
“I was a little discouraged by the fact that our exchange between quarterback and center today, for whatever reason, came into play,” he said. “And that can always put a little bit of a damper on practice, but overall I liked the intensity, the enthusiasm, guys brought it again today. We’ve
just got to clean up that quarterback-center exchange and keep practice moving along.”
Sarkisian was asked if the fact that UW may do a little more offense with the QB under center this year is an issue in the snaps.
“Not at all,” he saiad. “It’s just a little bit of an adjustment. We have a young kid at center in Sifa (Siosifa Tufunga), who hadn’t done that before, so it was a little bit of an adjustment. A little bit of an adjustment is the fact that Colin Porter normally plays guard and we’re working him as a backup at center behind Drew (Schaefer). It was the same play that Keith (Price) and Drew had, the fumble exchange on, it was actually the same type of play, so there’s something in the mechanics there. When Drew’s going left, Keith has to go left with him, so we just have to work through that.”
What he liked a little better were a few turnovers caused by the defense —those included an interception by Marquis Persley of a Derrick Brown pass during a team session (Sean Parker could have had another but dropped a pass from Price that was right in his chest).
“I thought our defense’s ability to get around the football today was really evident. Did a nice job of punching balls out, they got their hands on balls in the passing game…a couple of
interceptions, and even a couple more that we didn’t catch…but we got our hands on the ball today,” he said. “That was really encouraging.”
The Huskies will hit the field again Wednesday at 3:15 p.m. in a practice open to the public.
“It’ll be good for us,” Sarkisian said. “We’ll stay up. It’s not full pads, just tops…but it’ll be good for the line of scrimmage, for the o and d-linemen especially. They get their shoulders banged up when there’s no pads on. That’ll be good, and it’ll be good for our special teams work as well when you can get pads on.”
— Skyler Fancher got some work with the No. 1 unit at guard today. Said Sarkisian: “We moved him into guard today, give him an opportunity in there to see what he looks like. He’s a real big body, he’s strong, he’s powerful, and I just think he’s a little more suited in there. You get out on that edge and there’s so much speed, so much of a speed factor…if you can get a big body, a powerful body like him inside, it might suit him better. But we’ll have to look at the film. It allows Ben Riva a few more reps at right tackle, which is what we wanted to do as well.”
— Asked his assessment of freshmen that stood out today, he said: “Marcus Peters, I thought he did some real nice things today. Bishop Sankey showed up again today running the football and doing what he’s doing. He’s very tuned into it. I liked Tani Tupou and Danny Shelton again today. And with Austin (Seferian-Jenkins) and Kasen (Williams), they are getting a lot of opportunities, but there’s also part of the frustration factor. We knew that would be there. We just have to get through these growing pains to the point where they’ll be comfortable, and right now they’re not comfortable yet with what we’re doing. But we’ll keep throwing them out there, they’ll be OK.”
— Asked when decisions on who might redshirt may be made, he said: “It’s a good two weeks. I like to allow these guys to scrimmage, to really play football. Sometimes, as much as we try to make practice as game-like as we can, you don’t really see the complete football player until you see them scrimmage. Especially on the defensive side of the ball when you have to tackle, and the offensive side of the ball when you have to get tackled and what happens to them. We’ll be able to do that after a couple of scrimmages.”
— The most interesting personnel move may have been the dozen-or-so snaps that walk-on Nick Holt of Seattle Prep — and the son of UW’s defensive coordinator of the same name — received at fullback. UW is looking for depth there after losing two scholarship players at that spot in the off-season. Holt played quarterback (some running back, I’ve been told, since first publishing this) and linebacker at Prep and is listed as a linebacker on the UW roster but is getting time at both spots. “He’s a bright kid,” Sarkisian said. “Any time you’re the son of a coach, that helps. You can move around. Have to look at the film, and his assessment will be more of when he has pads on and what the contact looks like, but he’s going to all the right places – and that’s the first step.”
— Sarkisian said he thinks DT Sione Potoa’e is “very close” to returning to action and that he hopes he is “really going” by the end of the week. He said Semisi Tokolahi “might be a little bit behind him” and (safety) Taz (Stevenson) “is realistically to go full go probably about a week out.”
— On if there is anything new with the three guys who are currently ineligible, Sarkisian said: “No update yet on the academic guys, hopefully sooner rather than later, you want your whole roster, your whole squad out here as quickly as you can get it.”
— Sarkisian praised the play of Talia Crichton, who at the moment is running as the No. 1 strongside defensive end, saying: :”This is the best I’ve seen him play since I’ve been here. He’s being aggressive, physical. His motor is as high as I’ve seen it. He’s doing a nice job.”
— With Crichton filling that DE role, it is allowing Everrette Thompson to settle in a little at the tackle spot opposite Alameda Ta’amu. “Right now when we go with those four guys to kick things off, Everrette and Alameda inside and Talia and Hau’oli (Jamora) off the edges, that’s the way we’ve been starting off. But there was actually a time today where we used Danny Shelton some at defensive tackle next to Alameda and moved Everrette outside, and some of that stuff will change when we get Sione and Semisi back, but for now when the first guys go, those are the four guys that are out there.”
— There didn’t appear to be any changes to the starting unit, as may be expected just two days in.
— The No. 1 OL was again, left to right, Senio Kelemete, Colin Tanigawa, Schaefer, Porter and Erik Kohler. No. 2 was again, right to left, Riva, James Atoe, Porter (getting some reps at center), Nick Wood and Micah Hatchie. Mike Criste is also taking some snaps at center. Dexter Charles is working as a left tackle and Tufunga at guard and tackle.
— Brown also fumbled on a strip by freshman LB Scott Laywer during a team session.
— Shelton had one of the recoveries of a fumbled snap.