Hopefully the nuts and bolts of the Austin Seferian-Jenkins news are covered well enough in this story. But to make clear, there is no word yet if this suspension will impact the 2013 season. For now, he is simply suspended while the investigation runs its course. You can see that that is simply the protocol stated in the UW student-athlete handbook — the applicable paragraph is in the linked story.
As for tonight’s practice, here are a few other items:
— The absence of ASJ for now means Michael Hartvigson and Evan Hudson take over duties as the main tight ends. Also, Josh Perkins remains in the mix at tight end, though he is also used some as a slot back. UW also has David Ajamu arriving in the fall.
Here’s what Sarkisian said about Hartvigson and Hudson: “They show really cool glimpses of play-making ability and then some inconsistency not catching the football. So for us at that position, especially in the offense that we are in right now, it’s critical to get completions and to get completions we need to catch the football, and we need to really catch it better than we did tonight. We had quite a few drops tonight that I thought the quarterbacks delivered some good balls and we didn’t make those plays. So for us to really get clicking we’ve got to catch the ball more consistently as a group but most notably at that tight end position.’’
As for the depth at tight end, Sarkisian said: “It would be great to have another one, and David Ajamu is coming in in the fall. I, we, love to use two-tight end sets and I think something that has been unique to us in using this tempo we have been using here this spring is not just being a spread team when we go to the tempo, we are able to still utilize our two-back run game, able to still utilize our two-tight end sets which have been effective for us. And to do that we need to have tight ends who can continually play, especially when we go to this tempo, so we will see what Ajamu brings for us in the fall and we’ll go from there.’’
And as for Perkins, he said: “We are using him somewhat of a hybrid, a little bit of a slot receiver as well as a tight end. Obviously with the suspension of Austin he got a little more work at tight end today than he had been getting the first week of spring ball. But again he’s another guy that we need more consistency out of catching the football.’’
— Tonight’s practice started outdoors before high winds, which actually toppled part of a fence, forced the team to move indoors. Said Sarkisian: “I thought practice, even with the conditions outside, was going pretty well. It was good for us. It was good for the quarterbacks and receivers to get used to that. But we came right in and the guys didn’t miss a beat and kept on going, it was great.’’
As for how the wind impacted things, he said: “I thought the quarterbacks probably fared better than the receivers. The challenge with the wind when you are playing receiver is that ball moving late and before it is getting into your hand and finding a way to make that catch. So we will get more exposure to it but I thought for the quarterbacks it really wasn’t bad. I thought they delivered the ball pretty well.’’
— It was the first time this spring UW was in full pads in what was the fourth practice of 15. There was no live tackling, though that will come soon. “We didn’t go live tonight,” Sarkisian said. “It was kind of the gradual progression we like to take. We will get a little bit of live hitting on Thursday and then more on Saturday.”
Asked what he saw of the more intense action on the lines, Sarkisian said: “I thought that in the run game early on that the defensive front did a nice job of containing the line. As practice wore on, got a little later, maybe a little fatigue kicked in, thought the offensive line opened up some nice holes and created some good running lanes for our backs in the second half of it. But again, when we go at this pace sometimes it’s hard for me to tell specifically what went on. But there are good battles taking place. For whatever reason, tonight was our first night where our snaps were a little bit errant where they hadn’t been the first three and maybe that has to do somewhat with getting in full pads and knowing you are really getting after it. So we need to clean that up for Mike Criste and Sifa Tufunga for the next one.’’
— One piece of good personnel news for UW was the sight of OL Erik Kohler back in full pads. He did not do anything in the team settings but was out there in some drill work, usually (from what I saw, anyway) at center.
“Yeah, we are getting more out of Erik,” Sarkisian said. “Like I said, our hope was to have him back when we come back after the break to really get him back in there. But he looks good, looking good so far.’’
— Asked to assess what he has seen so far of the spring, Sarkisian said: “I really wanted to make it hard on the guys the first two weeks here and I think we have been working at a pretty frantic pace and we are running quite a few more plays. This time last year we were averaging roughly 75-80 plays a practice and this time this year we are about 130-135 plays a practice in a shorter amount of time. So we are taxing them pretty well but the end result is they have responded and that is what I hoped would happen. We have obviously mixed some things up to try to expand that comfort zone going at night. We were going to brave these elements and we will go again Thursday as long as the wind stays down to get back outside I think is good for us because I think that’s what we need. We are a talented group and we’ve got good schemes in place on both sides of the ball and now it’s expanding that comfort zone so regardless where we are, what time of night, the weather, what tempo the other team goes at, that we are comfortable in that arena and we will perform.’’
— Former Husky Kai Ellis is working with the defense in an unspecified capacity. Former Huskies Stanley Daniels and Daniel Te’o-Nesheim were also visitors at practice. Daniels is a free agent and hoping to land in another NFL camp. Te’o-Nesheim is with Tampa Bay.
Finally, here is some video of running back Dwayne Washington and quarterback Jeff Lindquist: