At Pac-12 media day Friday, UW coach Steve Sarkisian was asked about his concerns entering fall camp, which begins Monday.
“My concerns are really solidifying the secondary with who are going to be the other two guys to replace Desmond (Truant) and Justin (Glenn),” he said. “Really solidifying and getting the continuity of the offensive line so that we’re feeling great about ourselves. Obviously, coming off the heels of last year’s training camp where it seemed like every day we were losing a guy (on the line).
“And making our return game (on special teams) a factor. I don’t feel like, last season especially, our return-game was a factor. We’d been a really good kickoff return team two years ago when it was Kevin Smith and Jesse Callier back there returning kicks for us. We didn’t have either of those guys, really, last season. Kevin just never got quite right and we lost Jesse and then the punt return game, we just haven’t done much, so it’s been a focus of ours. I want that to be a better part of our football team, a better aspect of our team, and so I want to get that right in this training camp.”
Sarkisian was also asked about some potential “breakout” candidates this season.
“I think Brandon Beaver is a guy I’m really excited to watch (in camp),” he said. “We moved him from corner to safety in spring and then he’s had a really good offseason, a healthy one now this summer and he looks great. I’m intrigued to watch him this training camp and then maybe what he can do this fall.
“I think the continued development of Dwayne Washington at running back is another guy I’m going to be intrigued to watch, just because he had such a presence in spring football running the ball. We saw Jaydon Mickens last season kind of up and down a bit, but I really thought in the second half of spring he was tremendous in what he was able to do making plays.
“And I know this sounds odd, because he played for us all season, but I’m excited to see Danny Shelton play. He’s going to have a real impact on our season. He was a dominant football player the second half of spring practice when we came back from spring break, and if he continues to play the way he played the second half of spring, we’ll be much better on defense than we were last year.”