The Huskies are heading away from campus for a closed practice today, meaning there won’t be any updates here this afternoon, unfortunately. The good news is Saturday’s practice (10 a.m., Husky Stadium) is open to the public. Don’t forget your sunscreen.
Programming note: I’m wrapping up a feature story for Saturday’s paper on Budda Baker, one of the early standouts in the Huskies’ young secondary. That should be posted online this evening.
A few links:
- Here’s our Jerry Brewer on Shaq Thompson, who called his sophomore season “a little shaky.” Writes Brewer:
Why did he deem 2013 shaky?
“Lack of tackling, really,” Thompson said. “Once you miss a tackle, you can get down on yourself. I can be more consistent there. I can make more plays.”
So far, Thompson’s UW career has been defined by solid play amid adjustment. He’s a natural safety who converted to outside linebacker upon arrival in college. At 6 feet 1 and 228 pounds, he’s growing into the new position, and once he masters the nuances, he figures to be a special blend of linebacker and safety, a hybrid suited perfectly for today’s fast-paced, pass-happy style of football.
As a freshman and sophomore, Thompson was given honorable mention on the All-Pac-12 team. This season, the expectations are limitless. Making all-conference is a must now. Athlon Sports magazine took it another step, naming Thompson a first-team preseason All-American. He is also on the preseason watch list for both the Bednarik Award (nation’s top defensive player) and the Hornung Award (most versatile player).
Thompson isn’t worried about individual honors, however.
“I’m not focusing on tackles or interceptions or sacks,” he said. “I’m focused on leadership. It’s strictly team first. I want to be one of the top leaders on the team.
“Last year, I just laid back. Sean Parker was there to lead us. Greg Ducre was there. Now, I have to be more vocal. I’m looking forward to that challenge.”
- Thompson is, of course, a wild card in the Huskies’ bid to replace Bishop Sankey in the backfield. A look at how the other candidates are progressing in camp so far.
- Christian Caple on the Huskies young defensive secondary.
- The NCAA board voted Thursday to approve sweeping changes to the college athletics landscape, giving schools in the Power Five conferences (such as UW, of course) the opportunity to “provide an unprecedented level of benefits for their athletes.”
- Pac-12 commish Larry Scott is “delighted” by the NCAA’s vote.
- Oklahoma, in response to some of the big changes, has a new idea for its athletes: a food truck.