There were rumblings in the last few weeks that freshman receiver John Ross might have taken over as “the fastest” player on the UW roster.
That’s unconfirmed at this point, but we do know this: He looks like a quick learner.
Ross, a 5-foot-11, 173-pound freshman from Long Beach, Calif., had another solid practice during his second day in a UW uniform. He made a nice over-the-shoulder catch for a touchdown on a perfectly thrown pass from Keith Price at one point, and seemed to catch virtually everything thrown his way. The caveat, of course, is just that — we’re only two practices into a long camp and an even longer season.
What a true freshman does on Aug. 6 — without pads on — could mean very little by Aug. 31, when the Huskies kick off the season against Boise State.
That said, UW coach Steve Sarkisian likes what he’s seen so far from Ross, as well as fellow freshmen receivers Damore’ea Stringfellow (6-3, 225) and Darrell Daniels (6-4, 232). All three came in highly touted, and all three will be given every opportunity to earn a spot on the field this season.
“He came back today with another two or three really big plays,” Sarkisian said of Ross. “He’s got a great feeling for the game. Stringfellow and Darrell Daniels are both playing the same amount of time, and those guys are getting a lot of work, a lot of reps, and they’re big, strong physical guys. I’ve been impressed with all those guys. … We’re starting to figure out that we’re getting what we thought we were getting (when they signed). Hopefully, one, two or three of them will be playing a role for us here this fall.
“It’s great,” he added, “especially with this offense and the tempo we’re going at, we’re going to have to play more guys. We can’t keep lining up with the same two receivers down after down at the pace we’re working at. … It’s really cool to see when one guy runs a deep route and has to come off the field, the next guy looks similar or even more talented.”
UW will practice in shoulder pads for the first time Wednesday.
Inside Husky Stadium for most of Tuesday’s practice, the Huskies played several spirited periods of 11-on-11. Price was sharp throughout again, and senior Kevin Smith broke free for a couple of big plays. Price found Kasen Williams in the corner of the end zone to cap off one efficient touchdown drive that covered 80 yards in eight plays. One of those plays was a nice run by running back Deontae Cooper in his only carry of the day.
A couple injury notes: Offensive lineman Erik Kohler (foot) was not suited up for the second straight day. Fellow lineman Shane Brostek wore a boot over his right foot and did not practice, and receiver Jaydon Mickens sat out the second half of practice with what appeared to be a minor shoulder injury.