The Huskies are off the field following their Saturday practice, their second-to-last of the season here in Seattle. UW will practice here again on Sunday and then head to Las Vegas on Monday.
Today marked our last chance to talk to UW coach Steve Sarkisianbefore the team leaves. He spoke for about 10 minutes afterward about a few different things, including the progress of the offensive line, the impact of the senior class, and more. You can watch/listen to all of what he said in the video before.
A couple of notes to pass along. …
— As noted, there was much discussion of the offensive line. That included asking Sarkisian if the injured Erik Kohler and Colin Tanigawa will be back for the spring. Said Sarkisian: “Probably it will be close. I know this — we won’t rush them into spring just to get them to practice in spring ball. They both have a good amount of experience of playing football in our system, so we will see what we get out of them. What I do want is for when fall camp rolls around they are healthy and strong and in great shape and that’s what’s going to be vitally important to me. We’ve got a lot of young kids in the program that I do want to get extensive looks at in spring football practice, whether that’s Jake Eldrenkamp or Nathan Dean or Cory Fuavai, Taylor Hindy, those types of guys are what’s going to be really important to me in spring practice.’’
— There was also a general question asked about the status of all the other players who have been out for the year with injuries, such as Hau’oli Jamora, Deontae Cooper and Jesse Callier. Said Sarkisian: “They are in the rehab process. At this stage of it all it’s hard to really give an update. They are all so far, so good is the best way to describe them but they all have a long way to go, as well.”
— Sarkisian was also asked which younger players have stood out during the pre-bowl practices. Said Sarkisian: “Cleveland Wallace definitely, Brandon Beaver, Dwayne Washington, Cyler Miles. Cory Littleton I think has definitey improved for us there. Just to name a few of those guys that we haven’t seen on the field on Saturdays but have done some really good stuff for us in practice.”
— As for the offensive line and its progress this year, here’s what Sarkisian said: “I thought we’ve progressed adequately. We faced some very good defenses early in the year and some teams faced those really good teams later in the year and had some similar struggles that we had against those teams. I thought we went through a stretch there late in the season where we played pretty well up front. It was a bit disappointing that we didn’t play our best game against Washington State. So I know our guys are hungry for the challenge to come out and redeem themselves here in the bowl game.’’
— And as for the future of the O-line, he said: “I like our depth. When you look at where we are at we lose one senior (Drew Schaefer), we get Tanigawa back, we get Kohler back coming off of injuries. We also get the development of a lot of young redshirt freshmen-type kids that can add to the depth of this offensive line, so it will be a very competitive spring practice for us and these guys to see who is going to earn these jobs and also who is going to be a really adequate backup when we do get nicked up because the reality fo it is we are not going to go through the season with just the same five starters and just be healthy so you have to have a plan for when they do.’’
Here’s the video: