The Huskies were back inside Husky Stadium today and back in shoulder backs for the first time since spring ball. As a result, intensity picked up and ballcarriers started to fall a bit more. Defenders aren’t supposed to tackle yet, but it tends to happen occasionally.
Running back Deontae Cooper, the feel-good story of camp as he tries to come back from a third ACL injury, had his most productive day so far, getting several carries during team drills — and even getting tackled on one play.
Coach Steve Sarkisian said it’s been a solid three days for redshirt freshman quarterback Cyler Miles, who is distancing himself from fellow redshirt freshman Jeff Lindquist to be Keith Price‘s primary backup.
“A light’s gone on,” Sarkisian said of Miles.
The Huskies worked extensively on red-zone drills late, with mixed results. Safety Sean Parker had a “sack” of Price on one play, cornerback Greg Ducre intercepted Price near the sideline on another, and linebacker Jamaal Kearse later caught up with Miles in the backfield.
“Our execution wasn’t all that great today offensively,” offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau said. “I don’t know if was just because it was the third day or we’re throwing more information at ’em or the pads are on; we’ll have to go back and look at film and clean up some things.”
Running with the No. 3 offense, freshman tailback Lavon Coleman did have a short touchdown run in a red-zone drill.
“He’s got so much upside, man,” running backs coach Johnny Nansen said of Coleman. “He’s a great kid, he works hard, he cares. So we’re just trying to find a role for him. Obviously today was the third day, and he’s got some room to grow.”
DiAndre Campbell had the catch of the day when he skied to haul in a Price pass over Ducre for a touchdown in the middle of the end zone.
Thursday’s practice will be closed to the media as the Huskies head to Renton to work out at the Seahawks’ grass facility.
“Four of our five road games are on grass this year, so unfortunately for us we don’t have the luxury of having a grass field to practice on,” Sarkisian said. “We’ve got a pretty good relationship with the Hawks, and they’re allowing us to go on over there to practice a couple times in training camp just to get some work on grass, just to get a little bit of comfort level for our guys.”
Sarkisian added that UW is “kicking around” the idea of practicing on occasion at the VMAC during the season, but logistically it might be difficult with classes.
Receiver Jaydon Mickens was the only non-quarterback in a yellow, no-contact jersey. That allowed freshman John Ross to work with the No. 1 offense for a few series as the slot receiver.
Offensive lineman Shane Brostek was out of the boot he wore Tuesday but did not practice. There was again no sign of offensive lineman Erik Kohler.
Friday’s practice will be open to the media and it will be the first practice in full pads.