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The Huskies just wrapped up their second practice of the spring season inside the Dempsey Indoor Center, another 2-hour, 15-minute workout. Like Tuesday, players were in helmets only, no pads, and save for the three 11-on-11 team drills, much of the morning was spent on positional teaching drills in a quiet setting. Music played less than half the time, and only for team drills.
Some news, notes and observations:
- Junior linebacker Shaq Thompson participated in one drill with the running backs, for about four minutes, working on handoffs with quarterbacks Jeff Lindquist and Troy Williams.
- Sophomore receiver John Ross also participated in one drill with defensive backs.
- Williams, the redshirt freshman, took most of the snaps with the first-unit offensive line, after Lindquist did so on Tuesday. In general, the reps were still split about 50-50. Both quarterbacks seemed much more comfortable today, with no turnovers committed by either during the final 11-on-11 drill. They combined for several interceptions in that drill on Tuesday. Williams, in particular, was much more crisp today.
- Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jonathan Smith was again working on small details with the quarterbacks, and on footwork in particular. A funny scene during one QB drill: Smith, after demonstrating a rollout to the right, was way off target on his throw toward a net set up near the front right corner of the end zone. The ball skipped to the right of the net and bounced toward us media types stationed in the southwest corner. Williams then rolled out and hit the center target of the net perfectly. Smith deadpanned: “Showing me up, man.”
- Senior running back Jesse Callier was back on the field after missing Tuesday with what Chris Petersen described as academic issues.
- Sophomore defensive end Marcus Farria was the only scholarship player not in attendance today. No explanation was given for his absence.
- Defensive end Jarett Finau was in a yellow jersey today (he wasn’t on Tuesday) and did not participate in practice. Other guys in yellow (no-contact) again: Dexter Charles, Micah Hatchie, Cory Littleton, Kevin King, Scott Lawyer.
- Kasen Williams, out for spring ball as he recovers from a broken leg last fall, caught passes in the far corner from a machine.
- Receiver Kendyl Taylor suffered an apparent leg injury during a passing drill and did not return to the field. Linebacker Connor O’Brien hurt his hamstring.
- The first-unit offense line was the same at Tuesday: from left, Jake Eldrenkamp, Colin Tanigawa, Mike Criste, James Atoe and Ben Riva. Another line formation featured, from left, Coleman Shelton, Michael Kneip, Siosifa Tufunga, Shane Brostek and Ross Dolbec; and another was Andrew Kirkland, Cory Fuavai, Dane Crane, Taylor Hindy and Shelton.
- For the second straight practice, Andrew Hudson worked mostly with the first-unit defensive line, alongside Danny Shelton, Evan Hudson and Josh Shirley. Hau’oli Kikaha worked alongside Taniela Tupuo, Joe Mathis and Elijah Qualls.
- Redshirt freshman Azeem Victor was the first-team middle linebacker during team drills, with Thompson and Travis Feeney on the outside. Marcus Peters and Travell Dixon were the cornerbacks, with Trevor Walker and Brandon Beaver the first-team safeties.
- Strength coach Tim Socha‘s competition period today featured a race between offensive and defensive players in which they had to push a weighted sled from the goal line to the 30-yard line, where a teammate took over and pushed it back to the goal line. The defense won two out of the three races (with the offense then running sideline-to-sideline sprints). From our vantage point in the corner, behind rows of players, it was difficult to see all the players who participated. The first race was won by the D-line tag-team of Hudson and Hudson (no relation, but much elation), who edged out offensive lineman Colin Tanigawa and Mike Criste. Michael Hartvigson and Deontae Cooper teamed up to give the offense its win, with Cooper beating Thompson in the final push (Cooper may have had a bit of a head start). Tupou and Brian Clay then clinched it for the defense, with Clay easing to the goal line as Jaydon Mickens struggled to make it halfway; John Ross and Derrick Brown jumped in to help Mickens finish.
- Dixon had a nice pass breakup on a Williams deep pass for Mickens during the final 11-on-11. Lindquist, rolling to his left, completed a nice, off-balance deep pass to John Ross.
- Walk-on receiver David Garlington had perhaps the catch of the day, diving across the middle to haul in a Williams pass against tight coverage.
- Defensive players had to run two sets of sideline-to-sideline sprints at the end of practice. Petersen explained on Tuesday that those sprints will be run if the defense doesn’t create enough turnovers in the 11-on-11 (or if the offense creates too many; again there were no turnovers today).
- Defensive players and coaches were available for interviews afterward. Thompson turned down interview requests through a team spokesman, saying he needed to do training. Defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski sneaked out of the building as well (he’s faster than he looks). Petersen was not scheduled to be available, but will be again on Saturday.
- Next practice: 10:30 a.m. Saturday