The Huskies’ spring game begins at 1 p.m. today at Husky Stadium, with a live broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks. A fan festival begins at 10 a.m. in the east practice field.
The game will actually be more of a practice, with some live scrimmaging, due in large part to limited numbers. By my count, the Huskies will likely have just 49 scholarship position players available today, and many of the established guys won’t do much.
That gives the young guys more reps, and thus more opportunities to prove themselves. The quarterbacks, certainly, will garner the most attention, as Jeff Lindquist and Troy Williams have stepped to the fore for the first time this spring. As I wrote for today’s paper, this is their biggest test yet.
“I’m excited,” said Lindquist, the former star quarterback at Mercer Island High. “As a local kid, it’s something I’ve been looking forward to my whole life.”
In addition to the young quarterbacks, here are five others to watch out for today:
Shaq Thompson: Turns out, the junior linebacker might also be the Huskies’ best running back. Thompson was limited at Thursday’s practice with a minor injury, so it’s unclear how many (if any) touches he’ll get on offense today, but he’ll be a tantalizing two-way option for the new staff next fall.
John Ross: The sophomore receiver could one-up Thompson as a three-way threat this fall. UW’s fastest player has worked out as an outside receiver, cornerback and kick returner this spring. “If they ask me to be a kicker, a long snapper, anything — whatever they need me to do, I’m here for my team,” Ross said.
Darrell Daniels: The sophomore tight end (6 feet 4, 241 pounds), a converted receiver, is still adjusting to new demands as a blocker, but he’s a potential matchup nightmare for linebackers. He figures to be a factor at a deep tight end position as the Huskies try to replace three-year starter Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
Joe Mathis: As a true freshman, Mathis appeared in 12 games last season, and he’s emerged as the likely backup to Hau’oli Kikaha at one defensive end spot.
Jermaine Kelly: Reinforcements are on the way for UW’s thin secondary, with seven freshman defensive backs scheduled to arrive this summer, but the redshirt freshman Kelly has put himself ahead of the class at one cornerback with a productive spring.