The Huskies are one week into training camp with another three (roughly) weeks of practice to go until the season opener Sept. 1 against San Diego State at CenturyLink Field.
With UW off today, I thought it a good time to give a brief overview of what has happened so far.
It’s hard to escape beginning with the injuries, though I’m not sure UW has really suffered an abnormal amount — I think it can seem that way, though, when you follow one team really closely. This is simply the time of year when everyone suffers a few bumps and bruises and UW has had its share.
The most heartbreaking is obviously that of running back Deontae Cooper.
The good news is that other than Cooper, all of the other injuries are apparently not overly serious, with all said to be on track to return in time for the conference season, if not sooner.
Not that the injuries haven’t, well, hurt, especially those at offensive line and linebacker, two particular areas of question for UW.
Guard Erik Kohler suffered a kneecap injury on the first day and that has pretty much negated the plans of the Huskies to experiment with some different looks up front, instead forcing Drew Schaefer to play pretty much fulltime at center rather than getting some work at left tackle. Kohler, though, is said likely to be back in a week or two. And the good news on the line is that guard Colin Tanigawa has seen increasing time in recent days as he attempts to come back from an ACL injury.
Linebacker has been the position hardest hit by injury and attrition. Most notable is the broken bone in a foot suffered by projected starter Nate Fellner, who could be out a month or so. That will likely force an untested player into the starting lineup for the first few games, making that much more of a question of the position grouping that is the most uncertain on the defense heading into the season.
Also a concern is the arthroscopic surgery of DE Hau’oli Jamora this week. It was hoped Jamora could pick up where he left off — as maybe UW’s best overall defensive player when he suffered an ACL injury last year against Cal. But Jamora tweaked the knee in practice and the surgery will help determine if there is any additional cause for worry. At the least, it will take that much longer for Jamora to get back in optimum playing shape.
Receiver has also been hit a little with injuries with Kevin Smith as yet unable to really practice as he tries to come back from an ACL injury, and James Johnson out the last three days with a foot injury. There absence has made it evident how young the Huskies are overall at that position, with the likes of sophomore DiAndre Campbell and even true frosh Kendyl Taylor and Jaydon Mickens getting significant time with the ones in the absence of Smith and Johnson. That is a spot where UW will really need its vets to stay healthy this year.
Other than those spots hit by injuries, there hasn’t been a lot of apparent change at the top of the depth chart.
One emerging battle is at cornerback, where Tre Watson appears to be making a serious move to earn the spot opposite Desmond Trufant. In fact, if there was an MVP of the first week it might well be Watson, the junior transfer from Central Washington who simply seems to make a lot of plays every day.
Taylor and Mickens have emerged to at least move to the periphery of the quest to find a third receiver. For now, though, that seems to remain in the hands of Cody Bruns — who had a really solid first few days — and Campbell.
Another freshman working his way into the conversation to play has been tailback Erich Wilson II, especially with the injury to Cooper. He has usually worked as the No. 3 TB in recent days.
Another positive sign for UW the first week has been the placekicking of Travis Coons, who is being asked to replace three-year starter Erik Folk. He has consistently hit kicks beyond 50 yards and also has grown increasingly consistent as the week ended.
With that, here’s an attempt at updated two-deep (and in some places three and four) depth chart. This is very unofficial — simply based on my observations so far — and I haven’t listed everyone on the roster. But it is an attempt to give a sense of who is there so far.
WR — 2 Kasen Williams, So./23 Kendyl Taylor, Fr./11 Jamaal Jones, RFr. — INJ. — Kevin Smith, Jr.
LT — 72 Micah Hatchie, So./52 Jake Eldrenkamp, Fr./76 Dexter Charles, RFr.
LG — 64 Colin Tanigawa, So./76 Dexter Charles RFr./65 Siosifa Tufunga, RFr.
C — 73 Drew Schaefer, Sr./78 Michael Criste, So./65 Siosifa Tufunga, RFr.
RG — 70 James Atoe, So./52 Shane Brostek, Fr./63 Taylor Hindy, Fr. INJ. — 75 Erik Kohler, Jr.
RT — 59 Ben Riva, So./62 Ross Dolbec, RFr./74 Nathan Dean, Fr.
QB — 17 Keith Price, Jr./6 Derrick Brown, RFr./OR10 Cyler Miles, Fr./Or 5 Jeff Lindquist, Fr.
RB — 24 Jesse Callier, Jr./OR25 Bishop Sankey, So./20 Erich Wilson II, Fr./26 Willis Wilson, So./34 Dezden Petty, RFr.
FB — 48 Jonathan Amosa, Sr./35 Cole Sager, Sr./34 Dezden Petty, RFr. INJ. — 43 Cooper Pelluer, Jr. (Also, Josh Perkins, RFr. will be used at an H-back spot)
SB — 7 Cody Bruns, Sr./4 Jaydon Mickens, Fr./16 Marvin Hall, Fr.
TE — 88 Austin Seferian-Jenkins, So./84 Michael Hartvigson, So./80 Evan Hudson, So.
WR — 3 James Johnson, Sr./19 DiAndre Campbell, So./4 Antavius Sims, Jr.
DT/E — 93 Andrew Hudson, So./55 Sione Potoae, Jr./90 Taniela Tupou, RFr./99 Josh Banks, Jr./57 Drew Schultz, So.
NT — 71 Danny Shelton, So./97 Lawrence Lagafuaina, So./OR98 Semisi Tokolahi, Sr.
DE — 11 Talia Crichton, Sr./95 Jarett Finau, RFr./44Pio Vatuvei, Fr./ INJ. — 52 Hau’oli Jamora, So.
RUSH — 22 Josh Shirley, So./91 Connor Cree, RFr. OR/45 Corey Waller, RFr./56 Alec Kimble, So.
SLB — 30 Evan Zeger, RFr./47 Scott Lawyer, RFr./14 Taz Stevenson, Jr./ INJ. — 29 Nate Fellner, Sr.
MLB — 10 John Timu, So./50 Thomas Tutogi, Jr./36 Blake Rodgers, Fr.
WLB — 37 Princeton Fuimaono, Jr./58 Jamaal Kearse, So./42 Cory Littleton, Fr.
SS — 1 Sean Parker, Jr./41 Travis Feeney, RFr./OR/7 Shaq Thompson, Fr./34 K.C. Herren, So.
FS — 20 Justin Glenn, Sr./13 Will Shamburger, Jr./5 James Sample, RFr.
CB — 6 Desmond Trufant, Sr./21 Marcus Peters, RFr./26 Anthony Gobern, Sr./9 Brandon Beaver, Fr./3 Cleveland Wallace, Fr.
CB — 32 Tre Watson, Jr./18 Gregory Ducre, Jr./39 Ken Egu, So./27 Adam Long, Sr./35 Darien Washington, Fr.
PK — 46 Travis Coons, Jr./46 Korey Durkee, Fr.
P — 46 Korey Durkee, Fr./46 Travis Coons., Jr.
LS — 51 David Butler, Jr.
Holder — 7 Cody Bruns, Sr.