Dawg Blog: Fall Camp 2008

DE Darrion Jones (Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

The 2008 version of the Dawg Blog is up and running...Who is looking good? Who is healing up from an injury? What areas of the team look good and which ones need work? Check here frequently for updated news from Husky Fall camp all month long...

8/22/2008
5:06 pm

Afternoon practice notes

It was another shoulder pads and shorts practice this afternoon.

Two players not at practice this afternoon were P Jared Ballman and S Jason Wells.

Unfortunately, since we won't get to talk with coach Williingham until Monday, it's hard to know if this is just a one-day thing or not.

I will check tomorrow to see what's up.

Watched the DBs a little and kept my eyes on Quinton Richardson, Vonzell McDowell and Marquis Persley.

McDowell is genuinely bigger than he was last year. I interviewed him and he said he's up to 183 and it shows through his entire upper body. He is so quick out of his breaks and he appears destined to be the nickel or dime corner, depending on the health of Davenport, who by the way appeared to be running pretty well.

Richardson is very fluid for a man his size. He's quick in and out of his backpedal and he doesn't waste any steps when breaking on a pass.

Persley isn't quite as fluid as Richardson, but he too is a big corner who appears to need to add just a little more strength before he can be counted on on a play by play basis. I would bet he sees the field this year, but as far as getting into the CB rotation, I think he's a year away with the likes of Forrester, Richardson, McDowell, Davenport and Mosley ahead of him.

There was a scout from the 49ers at practice today. He spoke with coach Denbrock for about 15 minutes while the team was warming up.

Also saw Andy Schaefer (Drew Schaefer's dad) and the Kirtons as I was walking out.

Today is the last two-a-day and tomorrow is the last practice of camp. There will be no player or coach availability tomorrow so we will only have practice notes tomorrow morning...


8/22/2008
1:47 pm

Donatell Notes/Quotes

On the last full scrimmage: "It was good. There were some strong points and stuff we want to do better, but the biggest thing is we wanted to get a look at some of our young defensive linemen and everything is positive indications these guys are going to be real good Huskies.

"I always take into the scrimmage that we have to go in there with deliberate things we want to see – it's not so much plays or this or that – it's more certain guys working together, certain defenses and different situation and when I left the field I didn't think we were strong at the point along the line, but then after I watched the film I thought we were fine with the young guys so that was my general feeling. It was better than I thought it was."

On the young DL: "We like the physical presence they bring and just these guys love working on football. When you have some talent and guys who are willing to work, you have good things that will happen for your team.

"It's not an issue, I mean, we'll have starters going out there, but it's not about being the starter because everybody's going to play that can play and can play up to a level. If you can get up to that bar and you're adequate, you're playing and we'd like to rotate as many guys as we can so we can keep guys fresh.

"Obviously there are a couple of guys, like (Daniel) Te'o-Nesheim who will play more, but we want to rotate people. We really believe that rushing the passer and playing along the defensive line takes a lot of energy. We'd like to spread that around and feed off the group.

On the defensive ends: "The defensive ends that have kind of come to the forefront are Daniel and Darrion (Jones) and Kalani (Aldrich) and Everrette (Thompson). There's some guys that have mixed in and played both – Tyrone (Duncan) has played both for us so he's a candidate as well."

On the secondary: "There's a lot of guys that, because of (high school) graduation, are new and then some guys have position changes so we're combing through that and there's a lot of teaching going on still. It's a hard-working group and we expect them to have a strong year."

On which unit has progressed more on defense: "That's a good question. Really it's a team goal that we're looking to accomplish. We're just trying to get them all to play together and see their keys and respond with their eyes all in unison and when we're in the right spot all the time then you're going to see the defense come around and that's when people's talent really comes out so everybody's got a set of eye keys that he needs to perform when he's supposed to perform it and then we can start to build some power."

On Byron Davenport: "He has an ankle injury and he's been limited, but he's starting to do a little work to get back, but right now he's seen limited action."

On the leaders of the defense: "A couple of guys are doing a lot for us – Daniel Te'o Nesheim, Chris Stevens in the front, rush group and Donald Butler – those are all guys that have been information guys for us. They are the guys who get the information out to the other guys for us and the understanding of the scheme."


8/22/2008
1:12 pm

Lappano Notes

Offensive coordinator Tim Lappano is always good for info and he didn't disappoint today....

Note: These are all quotes...Lappano basically went through all the skill positions except QB...

"I liked our young running backs showed up yesterday and did some good things. All of them did some good things. Johri Fogerson ran really well inside the tackle box, got to the hole with good explosiveness and quickness and ran behind his pads better. He's got that Marcus Allen style – more of an upright, smooth, weavy runner who did some nice things yesterday.

"David Freeman did some good things against our first defense yesterday. He made some people miss, broke tackles and has instant acceleration.

"We call Terrance Dailey ‘Turbo' and he did some good things with the three's vs. three's. He's done that a couple of times now. He's got some talent. He's a really good runner. He needs to work on his ball skills a little bit, but he was up over the top and all over the place.

"I think they've all done a good job. Every time we've put them in live situations, they've shown up.

"Kavario (Middleton) has been real steady. He's drawn so much attention the last week and a half. He's gotten a lot better and he's gotten the attention of our defense so he had a little bit of a rougher day because they were holding him and they were all over him. He's a big body that can go get the ball. If it's anywhere near him he's got that basketball skill – he's got soft hands and he's athletic – but he's done that all of camp, but yesterday was a little bit tougher because they were mugging him up pretty good.

"At receiver, Jermaine Kearse is very smooth and he's had some really strong days and over the last week he's really emerged and really played well.

"Cody Bruns is still slowed by a back a little bit, but we think that he can do some things.

"D'Andre Goodwin has been consistent like he was in spring ball all the time and he can make some plays. He's done a good job.

"Charles Hawkins makes plays and he knows the offense. He's been in different places. He can play inside or outside. He knows the system. He's not as fast as some of those kids, but his route-running and awareness and his knowledge of the system could get him on the field some.

"Anthony Boyles has done some things. I was just talking to him about his work ethic and learning how to practice at this level and go hard all the time. He's got potential. He's made some great plays out there, but we need his practice habits to be more consistent and I think that will help him become a more consistent player for us.

"I think it (is just concentration) and just fighting his way through this level of football and the pace coach (Tyrone) Willingham demands. The practices at this level are probably a lot different than his high school so some guys have to figure that out, some guys who have been here for a couple of years still have to figure that out so that's just something they go through.

"Devin Aguilar is healthy and he's doing a really good job. Devin's really picked it up. I really like some things that Devin did today and some of the things he did yesterday and he's been more consistent. He's had some nagging little (injuries) that slowed him in early camp so he's really picked things up a lot recently.

"Alvin (Logan) is consistent and he knows the system. He should be extremely important to our running game on the perimeter because he's a big body that can go in there and dig safeties out when (the defense) rocks their safeties down toward the line of scrimmage and try to build that eight-man box, he's a guy who should be able to go in there and put his face on you and do some damage and that's kind of a role that we've asked him to do besides being a route-runner and all that. He's a big body and he's important to us in our run-game because you need to find those safeties in our run game.

"Jordan Polk is going to have a role, a limited role right now where we can utilize his speed and quickness. Some guys are fast, but they can't make you miss. This guy is fast and he can make you miss.

"There's about five or six guys we've talked about that will play. I'm not really sure yet who's going to start, other than D'Andre, but we play four-sets, three-sets, two and we move some guys around and I talked to them after practice, the whole group, and said ‘you might not be the starter in base, but the bottom line is we're going to play around six receivers and they're going to play' and we're going to play probably three running backs, I don't believe in playing more than three, but I'm not positive who that's going to be yet, but just so you guys are aware, we've always said there is probably going to be a running back by committee. We don't want to wear some of them down too much, the nice thing about our backfield right now is that it was a question mark for all of us and I don't think it's a question mark anymore because there's talent there and they've stepped up.

"They're young, but they can make plays.

"Jake (Locker) just warmed up. He took all the reps today in practice, but there was no need for him to scrimmage yesterday.

"Juan looked good. He grinded away and did a good job. I'm sure he's going to play (vs. Oregon), I see him playing. I think he'll get on that field and he'll play. We've just got to keep our fingers crossed and hope it holds up. He's been out there quite a bit and practicing pretty hard so, knock on wood, we hope that it holds up.

"It's just whether he can fire off and get into a guy and get his first step, second step, third step, fourth step into the ground and just watch him. He doesn't seem to be favoring anything like that and you can tell when you're drive blocking somebody and you don't have that power in both feet you're going to see that right off and we haven't seen that."


8/22/2008
10:42 am

Morning Practice Notes

Only two players not working out today was LB T.J. Poe and S Jason Wells from what I was able to see. No players were wearing red so that appears to be a good sign as well.

Players were in shoulder pads and shorts this morning after an 80-play scrimmage yesterday.

Coach Lappano was giving the business to one of his QBs who showed up a minute before practice started.

Lappano could be heard yelling "This isn't (the players high school) where you can show up a minute before practice. You get out here 10 minutes early for ball-handling."

The QBs and Cs were working on shotgun snaps this morning.

Lappano was also in rare form as he gave some of the linemen the business as they were stretching. He and Juan Garcia have a good rapport and the two were playing off of each other pretty well.

I watched the receivers today and boy, does Cody Bruns just have sticky hands. Ronnie Fouch threw a bullet to him on the sidelines that was right at his head and he just threw his hands up and grabbed the ball in one quick snatch motion. It was pretty impressive.

Alvin Logan and Jermaine Kearse both looked solid in the WR drills I was watching. Kearse needs to put on weight, but he looks really fluid and Logan is just a big presence for the wideouts.

Coach Baggett was running them through footwork drills, trying to get them to concentrate on getting their feet set up for their break and then snapping their head around to find the ball quickly.

Kavario Middleton appears to be the jokester of the group of tight ends. They seem to be a pretty tight-nit group, but Middleton could be seen carrying the ball and walking up to his fellow tight ends and doing spin moves and head fakes (this was all before practice...not during drills).

Along the offensive line they were working on combo blocks and how to stay together while reaching for the other linemen. Coach Denbrock was really into this drill and he worked with the younger guys on their technique.


8/22/08
10:30 am

Projected Depth Chart - Oregon

An official depth chart will be released Monday for the Washington-Oregon game, but curiosity has gotten the better of us and we've decided to put together a 'best-guess' two-deeps based on what's happened to this point in fall camp. We'll see in a week how close we got.
WASHINGTON OFFENSE
LT  79 ^Ben Ossai            6-6 300 Jr.*/Sr.
    68 Mark Armelin          6-5 290 Fr.*/So.
LG  65 ^Ryan Tolar           6-5 310 So.*/Jr.
    76 Jordan White-Frisbee  6-6 320 Sr.*/Sr.
    77 Scott Shugert         6-6 340 Fr.*/So.
C   58 ^Juan Garcia          6-3 315 Sr.*/Sr.
OR  64 Matt Sedillo          6-3 300 So.*/Jr.
    61 Greg Christine        6-3 285 So.*/Jr.
OR  51 Mykenna Ikehara       6-3 291 Fr./Fr.
RG  72 ^Casey Bulyca         6-6 340 Sr.*/Sr.
    70 Morgan Rosborough     6-6 365 Jr.*/Sr.
RT  71 Cody Habben           6-6 300 So.*/Jr.
    67 Skyler Fancher        6-5 280 Fr.*/So.
TE  86 ^Michael Gottlieb     6-5 249 Sr.*/Sr.
OR  83 Walt Winter           6-5 250 Sr.*/Sr.
    80 Kavario Middleton     6-5 255 Fr./Fr.
     4 Chris Izbicki         6-3 230 Fr.*/So.
QB  10 ^Jake Locker          6-3 225 So.*/Jr.
     8 Ronnie Fouch          6-1 195 Fr.*/So.
FB  30 ^Paul Homer           6-0 222 Jr./Jr.
    32 Luke Kravitz          6-1 245 Sr.*/Sr.
    47 Austin Sylvester      6-1 245 Fr.*/So.
TB   1 Chris Polk            5-11 200 Fr./Fr.
    21 Willie Griffin        5-8 200 Fr.*/So.
    36 Johri Fogerson        6-2 190 Fr./Fr.
OR  20 David Freeman         5-7 190 Fr./Fr.  
WR  11 D'Andre Goodwin       6-0 170 So*/Jr. 
     5 Anthony Boyles        6-2 185 Fr./Fr.
OR  15 Jermaine Kearse       6-1 180 Fr./Fr.
WR   3 Alvin Logan           6-2 215 Fr.*/So.
     9 Devin Aguilar         6-0 185 Fr./Fr.
OR   7 Cody Bruns            5-11 168 Fr./Fr.

WASHINGTON DEFENSE
DE  66 ^Daniel Te'o-Nesheim  6-4 260 Jr.*/Sr.
    92 Everrette Thompson    6-6 255 Fr./Fr.
DT  96 De'Shon Matthews      6-4 255 So.*/Jr. 
OR  91 Tyrone Duncan         6-2 285 Fr.*/So.
    37 Johnie Kirton         6-3 296 Sr.*/Sr.
    93 Senio Kelemete        6-4 260 Fr./Fr.
DT  99 Cameron Elisara       6-2 275 So.*/Jr.
    52 Nick Wood             6-2 275 Fr.*/So.
OR  74 Alameda Ta'amu        6-2 348 Fr./Fr.
DE  59 Darrion Jones         6-3 255 Jr.*/Sr.
    44 Kalani Aldrich        6-7 244 Fr.*/So.
OLB 24 Joshua Gage           6-2 225 Jr.*/Sr.
     5 Matt Houston          6-1 230 So.*/Jr.
ILB  9 Donald Butler         6-1 240 Jr./Jr.
    57 ^Trenton Tuiasosopo   6-2 240 Sr.*/Sr.
    32 Kurt Mangum           6-0 234 Fr./Fr.
OLB 40 Mason Foster          6-1 218 So./So.
    29 Chris Stevens         6-0 215 Sr./Sr.
FS   8 Nate Williams         6-1 205 So./So.
    26 ^Jason Wells          6-2 210 Sr.*/Sr.
OR  34 Tripper Johnson       6-1 210 Jr./Jr. 
SS  15 ^Darin Harris         5-11 200 Sr.*/Sr.
    41 Victor Aiyewa         6-1 217 So./So.     
CB  23 ^Mesphin Forrester    6-2 205 Sr.*/Sr. 
     6 Vonzell McDowell Jr.  5-9 176 So./So.    
CB  28 Quinton Richardson    6-0 205 Fr.*/So.
    19 Matt Mosley           5-11 190 So.*/Jr.
    38 Marquis Persley       6-1 183 Fr.*/So.

WASHINGTON SPECIAL TEAMS
P   12 ^Jared Ballman        5-11 175 Sr./Sr.
    94 Kiel Rasp             6-3 217 Fr.*/So.
FG  13 ^Ryan Perkins         6-0 185 Jr.*/Sr.
    12 Jared Ballman         5-11 175 Sr./Sr.
OR  17 Erik Folk             5-10 190 Fr.*/So.
KO  12 ^Jared Ballman        5-11 175 Sr./Sr.
    17 Erik Folk             5-10 190 Fr.*/So.
SNP 49 ^Danny Morovick       6-3 230 Jr./Jr.
KOR  1 Chris Polk            5-11 200 Fr./Fr.
    82 Jordan Polk           5-8 161 Fr./Fr.
PR  11 D'Andre Goodwin       6-0 170 So*/Jr.
    34 Tripper Johnson       6-1 210 Jr./Jr.

All years listed eligibility/academic for fall, 2008; 
* indicates redshirt year has been utilized; 
^ indicates returning starter.

8/21/08
12:40 pm

Afternoon Willingham Notes

No additions or subtractions to the roster today. TW said that he didn't know what number they were at, only that they 'hadn't exceded 105'.

Said the rest day was just a 'good thing to do' and that the mock game that had been planned would have given them most of the day off anyway.

The team is going to work with officials today to get the feel of a game scenario.

TW was asked about some of the new rules that are in play. The essential changes appear to be these: the timing of the game is basically now the same that it is in the NFL, so 40-second clock starts once the ball is spotted, etc...

Also, there is no 5-yard facemask anymore - just 15-yarders. Asked if he's gotten a good idea how that's going to affect how the facemask penalty is called in a game, TW said he's not sure how that's going to work.

Horse-collar tackling is now against the rules, much like the NFL. 15-yard penalty. TW said that if you went back and looked, it just doesn't happen all that much during the course of the season, so he felt the change in the rule was put in place to get more in line with what the NFL has done to protect players.

Asked about Jake Locker's biggest improvement from last year to this year and Willingham said that he felt he knew what that would be before it happened just because of the added knowledge of what's taken place. He's gotten so much better at anticipating what's going to happen that it allows him to be more accurate.

Asked how many freshmen receivers might travel to Eugene, and TW said that other than Vince Taylor - who is a little farther behind because of his late report date - all the frosh have a chance to make the team.

Asked what the coaches need to see in Brandon Johnson right now, and TW said that the main thing is that they want to get him healthy. And because he got to play last year, it's not the run game they are concerned about, it's the continued improvement in understanding the pass game - the routes, the protections. "He needs to continue that growth."

Asked about surprises this fall camp. Here's the list he gave:

1 - Juan Garcia - "I'm excited about his recovery and pleased with it. It's great news what he is doing."

2 - Casey Bulyca - "His leadership along the line has been special to me. It's nice to see him give so much of himself to the line."

3 - Frosh RB's have stepped up

4 - Same with the WR's. "I wouldn't say they've been a surprise, but it won't be long before they make an impact on this team."

5 - Frosh DL - "They have made a statement and have been all that we thought they would be. It's exciting."

6 - The Linebackers have been solid.

7 - There has been some real competition with the defensive backs.

Followed up on the frosh DL, especially Senio Kelemete and whether or not his late start would impact his ability to play against Oregon, and TW said that there's no question it will impact things, but that 'he's shown himself that he'll be OK.'

Asked about the guard rotation, and TW said it's a nice problem to have that much talent, but they haven't created the rotation or the starters yet. Said Ryan Tolar has been the rock. Added that they can afford to see it play out. "We feel comfortable that we have three, maybe four guys that can get the job done."

Asked about the PK spot, and that battle has not been decided yet.

On a lighter note, Jim Moore of the P-I asked about players doing impersonations of TW, and TW said that Troy Walters from Stanford has done the best imitation he's seen. "He just had it all down, it was pretty good."

On the team, TW noted that Vonzell McDowell is getting right there with a pretty good imitation.

Asked if he gets a kick out of it, TW said that if the players are having fun with it, he's good with it.
8/20/08
12:15 pm

Tim Lappano Notes

Caught Coach Lappano quickly for some thoughts.

He said that Jake Locker is seeing things more clearly and that's helping his confidence. "That's what experience will do for you."

"He's calming down in the pocket and the speed of the game has slowed way down. Just by watching his mannerisms in the pocket I can tell he's calming down a little bit. I don't want him to run the ball as much as he did last year. If you look at the number of called runs, it wasn't that much, it was mostly scrambled. He didn't get hurt on a called run.

"At the same time, there's a couple of guys out there that have been able to take the pressure off of Jake. He doesn't have to do everything."

Asked about Chris Polk and whether or not he's secured the starting RB spot for Oregon and TL said, "After tomorrow, we'll know." He did say that he'll definitely 'be on the bus' for Oregon.

With regards to the running backs, TL said it's felt like as soon as a couple get healthy, a couple go out - but he expects them all to be ready to go by Sunday or Monday.

Asked about cancelling practice, and TL agreed that the team has probably hit the wall and that they needed a bit of a break. "They haven't had a bad day yet. And you can tell, as long as this staff has been at this, you know when you have to let up a little bit. When the fast guys aren't fast, you know."
8/20/08
12:10 pm

Afternoon Willingham Notes

Asked about why they decided to cancel practice, and TW said that they were going to be going through their 'mock game' scenarios, where the players would just be walking through, but it was more for the coaches to go through their game-situation mechanics. He also added that they wouldn't be putting in time for the mock game down the road this week.

When asked about taking the extra rest, TW said that rest is a big part of the three phases they work on - nutrition/conditioning/rest, but that the team has been working really hard and he could just tell based on how the team's legs were moving and how they were moving as a unit that some extra rest would help.

Asked about Locker's return, and Willingham said that he's been fine so far and that as far as chemistry with the younger receivers 'it's always a big deal until you get there (Oregon', but that he knows Coach Baggett has done a very good job preparing the receivers for what they will face.

Asked about Juan Garcia not being at practice today, and Willingham said that there was a death in Juan's family, so he would be back either later tonight or tomorrow.

Asked about Nate Williams and TW said that 'one of his bruises caught up with him' but that he'll be fine.

Asked about the RB's and whether or not the missed time at practice for guys like Brandon Johnson and Brandon Yakaboski is starting to get to the point where it's going to affect whether or not they travel to Oregon, and Willingham said that they are 'starting to get close', but that final decisions on things like that usually aren't going to be made until the early part of the game week.

He added that with the freshmen RB's, the scenario still exists where a couple of freshmen would travel to Eugene, and that he's been happy with the way they've picked up all phases of the position - including blocking and pass protection.

Asked about the center position, and TW said that with Garcia back in the mix Ryan Tolar has not had to do as much work there. Asked if Garcia would be ready for Oregon, and TW said that it's still too early to know for sure, but that he's 'very comfortable' with where Juan is with his rehab and play.

Asked about Mike Gottlieb and if he's missed enough practice time to get concerned, and TW said that even though Mike is still 'day-to-day' with his hamstring, he's 'still on track' to play. "I'm fairly confident he'll be able to go."

Added that Walt Winter has stepped up his game and Kavario Middleton has 'shown himself to be all the things we thought he was' when they recruited him. "He has big hands, size and his knowledge of the run game is starting to show."

He also added that he's pleased with what Coach Brian White has done with the TE's in getting them prepared and bringing Middleton along.

Asked about Special Teams, and TW said that the return game has always been the biggest question mark in his mind. Said that Jordan Polk 'has done a nice job'. Asked about Tripper Johnson and his use in the rerturn game, and TW said that Johnson has sure hands and is one of those 'big bodies you can count on'. Added that he may not have the speed of a Jordan Polk or some of the other freshmen, but you always want to start with sure hands first, and then go from there.
8/20/08
9:30 am

Morning Practice Notes

It was a full pads practice today. Even though it was damp outside but not raining, the team held their first indoor practice of the fall. By the time the media left the practice, the sky was clear blue and the weather was beautiful.

Devin Aguilar, Brandon Yakaboski, Brandon Johnson, Alameda Ta'amu, Charles Hawkins, Mike Gottlieb and Cameron Elisara were all there and no one was in red today. Juan Garcia was not there, but per their fall regimen of one practice during two-a-days, we expect to see him this afternoon. Byron Davenport, Jason Wells and Nate Williams appeared to be the only players missing. And because it appeared that Victor Aiyewa was limited, Darin Harris and Tripper Johnson were the No. 1 safeties this morning.

They did their 'Husky' drill (Bull in the ring). Can't tell you who was in it other than Tyrone Duncan and Senio Kelemete because the team's circle is so tight there's no lines of sight ino the 'ring'.

Casey Bulyca led Husky Jacks this morning.

That is all.
8/20/08
9:25 am

Mid-way Progress Report - Defensive Skill

SEATTLE - Regardless how you interpret his words, Washington Head Coach Tyrone Willingham made one thing very clear on Monday; 2007 leading tackler E.J. Savannah won't be around with the Huskies travel to Eugene August 30th to tangle with Oregon. So expect the man to step up and assume Savannah's role to be an LB with the initials DB. To read the full story, click on the link below.

M id-way Progress Report - Defensive Skill
8/19/08
4:20 pm

Afternoon Practice notes

Full pads practice.

Matt Sedillo was not in red this afternoon. His red went to Devin Aguilar instead.

Cameron Elisara, Mike Gottlieb, Brandon Johnson, Brandon Yakaboski and Byron Davenport were not at practice today.

Juan Garcia was there today, full practice and led the team in Husky Jacks. He looked excited to be out and practicing full again.

In the handoff drills, the lineups went like this:

Luther Leonard to Terrance Dailey
Mykenna Ikehara to Justin Gunn to David Freeman with Luke Kravitz at FB
Matt Sedillo to Jake Locker to Chris Polk with Paul Homer at FB
Gregory Christine to Ronnie Fouch to Willie Griffin with Tobias Togi at FB
Ryan Tolar to Taylor Bean to Johri Fogerson with Austin Sylvester at FB

Watching the DB's before stretching, both Nate Williams and Jason Wells looked a little gimpy. Watching them on the East field, J.D. Williams was trying to get them to wrap up on a full-speed drill and wanted more out of them, so he pushed them to really compete.

What he got was some chippiness.

Victor Aiyewa was determined to rip the ball from Vonzell McDowell, and McDowell was having none of it, so they got locked up in it for a second. And the same happened a couple times between Darin Harris and Quinton Richardson. It was great to see them step up their efforts when asked and respond with some fire and resolve.

In the crowd: Nathaniel Willingham, Phil Tushar and Coach Mat Taylor from Skyline HS. Both Charlie Baggett and Coach Willingham spent time talking with Taylor. Also, former players Mike Ewaliko, Jason Chorak and Jabari Issa were there. John Buller was there. Buller is helping organize a grass-roots effort to help the school renovate Husky Stadium. He was there with Chip Lydum to organize tours of Husky Stadium with Tyees that were at practice. Apparently Willingham was to meet with several prominent south-sound boosters after practice, hence the solid Tyee turnout.
8/19/08
2:00 pm

Alameda Ta'amu notes

He said that his foot is just sore. "I'm not trying to push it too much."

He added that it's frustrating not getting back in the mix, because he knows he can make an impact, and still feels like he can make it back in time to get in the rotation for the Oregon game.

Asked about the playbook - something he termed a 'dictionary' at the beginning of camp. "It's pretty good right now. I just have to learn certain plays. When you break it down there's a lot of plays where you have to do the same thing, so now it's just a matter of putting it all together."

He added that the veterans, guys like Daniel Te'o-Nesheim and Cameron Elisara get on him for not knowing his playbook yet. "Sometimes when we go through a walkthrough or meetings and I mess up a little, they get on me about it. But things are going good."

He said that in terms of how close he is to being ready to play, he's around 85 percent. "It's all mental. You have to look at it as an opportunity."

Said he will be 100 percent by the time of the Oregon game.
8/19/08
1:55 pm

Victor Aiyewa notes

Said that he's been liking the competition and that all he's tried to do this camp is put his best foot forward.

Said that his groin is strained a little bit and that he's just trying to get 'back in the swing of things.' "It'll be alright. I don't want to overstrain it, and I want it to heal. I'm satisfied with the amount of time I'm having to take off. I know my playbook, and you can learn from the sideline. I just want to make sure it gets healed."

He said that he's probably at around 90 percent.
8/19/08
1:50 pm

J.D. Williams notes

He was asked about how things are going out there for the DB's, and he smiled and said that it's nice to have some depth out there.

JD was asked about Tripper Johnson, and he said that with his life experience, he's a kid that is a professional that also has some athleticism. He also has some traits that are great. "During spring he did some good things, so now it's just a matter of letting his natural ability flow. He just needs to pick up the defense."

At safety, everyone is in the mix. "There's no one on the outside looking in. They are all getting equal reps. Injuries have given other opportunities. You hate to see a person get injured, but that helps build depth." Also said that you could 'flip a coin' because of the competition. "I grade plays and give everyone a plus or minus."

He added that he thinks Jason Wells has looked 'sharp' when he's been available to play. "He's 10 months off his injury (knee) and he's doing a great job. He just needs to get that confidence going. He's got the defense down."

About Nate Williams - "Every day we get to work with him he's getting more experience."

With Victor Aiyewa in and out with a groin injury, it's given an opportunity for Tripper Johnson to get work.

Asked about Darin Harris and how solid he's been, and JD said that right now his No. 1 safeties would be Harris and Williams, with Mesphin Forrester and Quinton Richardson at the corners.

Asked about Byron Davenport and if he's had any time at UW when he hasn't been hampered by injury, and JD said that he's 'snakebit'.

JD was asked to talk about the feeling he has right now about his group as opposed to where they were a year ago, and he said 'experience'. "It's all experience. Guys are playing with confidence. They know they can get it done. And when you have that confidence guys are more apt to work that much harder."

Asked about the freshmen defensive backs, and he said that none of them are really in the mix at this point. "Guys like Greg Walker and Adam Long, they are a little behind," he said. "And Justin Glenn - he's a guy that could step in if he had to, but you want to hold 'em back (redshirt) as much as possible."

Asked about Anthony Gobern's injury, and JD said that he believes it happened in camp.

Asked about his working relationship with Ed Donatell, and JD said that it's 'great bouncing things off of each other, and being positive is the way to go. "It's the only way to go. They are going to make mistakes, but you can still correct them in a positive manner."
8/19/08
1:30 pm

Jake Locker notes

Jake took the podium for the first time in awhile, as most of the media wanted his take on getting back on the field.

He said that he 'felt good' to get out there and practice again, even though it was limited. Said it was hard to sit and watch Saturday during their first major scrimmage, but he 'took a lot from it that helped'. He also said that it was good to get the younger guys some reps, especially Ronnie Fouch, and that he did 'real well'.

He added that it's sometimes good to get a 'different perspective' on what's going on, to see what the defense is doing and see what's going on with the routes the receivers are running.

Asked if he felt any pain Monday, and he said that the coaches wanted to make sure he was practicing 'pain-free', but he can't open it up to a full sprint yet. He thinks he probably could, but there's no reason to at this point. He added that he doesn't think he'll be anything but 100 percent for the Oregon game.

He was asked about shaking off the rust, and he said that he was able to throw a bit with the 7-7's last week, so that helped him get back into it.

JL was asked about his rehab, and he said there were no setbacks and he continues to get stronger and stronger every day.

Asked if he was getting to the point where playing quarterback has become second nature to him, and he said that while you're always still learning and there's always more you can work on, he feels a lot more confidence throwing the ball and definitely feels a lot more natural at the position now than he did a year ago.
8/19/08
1:20 pm

Afternoon Willingham notes

TW was asked at the beginning about the three groups - RB, WR or DL - and which one would be easiest to adjust to with youth at those positions, and TW said running back because half of the game is based on the natural abilty and player's talents. He added that all of them are complex though. The Defensive Line is tough because the game is played the fastest there, with players sometimes only inches apart. "Decisions have to be made in short amount of time."

He added that youth can also bring a lot of positives. "They are unscarred. They come into it with a freshness, an aggressiveness and competitiveness. Those are good things they can bring to the table."

Later he was asked about the youth of the running back corps, and he said that guys like Johri Fogerson, David Freeman and Chris Polk bring natural competitiveness and numbers so that guys can get rest and provide more competition. They also bring speed. He said the same thing about the receivers. "They have the ability to make plays." Asked about Willie Griffin, and TW wanted to make sure that he was not left out of the mix when talking about the RB's. "He's done a good job."

He was asked about Cameron Elisara, and TW said Elisara was not at practice Monday because he was finishing up some academic issues and that he was hoping to have him back at practice this afternoon.

Asked about Jake Locker and having him back in the mix, and TW said that Jake is still limited, still 'day-to-day'. "We're still being cautious in our approach, and there's steady progress being made."

Asked if Jake would be 100 percent by the Oregon game, and TW said that he'd be as 'close to full speed as possible' as long as they do the right things and go step by step.

Asked more about Saturday's scrimmage, and he said he was very pleased with the overall work of the team, and he was also pleased with how they came out and competed on Monday. "That's usually a vacation day." He added that not everything is perfect and things definitely need to be worked on, but he was pleased with the approach being taken by the team to get their work in.

Locker did not work in the scrimmage.

Asked how much they are working on the Oregon gameplan right now, and he said 'not much'. Asked about Oregon's offense changing under new OC Chip Kelly and TW said that Oregon's offense is 'constantly evolving', and that the best thing about their offense is that they have a good understanding of what they do and that they also adjust very well to what teams try to do against them.

He was asked about Oregon and chop blocking and how that's been an issue for UW, and TW said that chop blocking is usually an issue for everyone. "It gives everyone problems."

He added that when you do try to practice against it, you have to be very vigilant in what you do, or else you'll lose a player to injury. "You have to do it in a very controlled manner."

TW was asked about Alameda Ta'amu and his foot, and TW said that they are looking at things the same way with big No. 74 as they are with big No. 58 - Juan Garcia. "When it comes to big men with injuries, you can't exactly say what the timetable is going to be with guys that size. But right now he's pretty much on schedule."
8/18/08
11:30 pm

Mid-way Progress Report - Linemen

When Jake Locker's hamstring gave way last week, Husky fans from Seattle to Suquamish have been anxiously wondering what that will mean for the Huskies when they take the field August 30th in Eugene. According to Head Coach Tyrone Willingham, Locker is listed as 'day-to-day', although he hasn't put on pads since he was injured over a week ago. Click on the link below to read the full story.

Mid-way Progress Report - Linemen
8/18/08
5:00 pm

Afternoon Practice notes

The rain was off and on until we started to leave - then it started coming down solidly.

The only player that was there this morning that wasn't this afternoon was Cameron Elisara, who was spotted by a couple of reporters as they were going to practice. He was in street clothes. We'll ask Coach Willingham what his status is tomorrow.

Juan Garcia was not there, per the one practice per two-a-day guidelines set forth to keep his foot on the mend.

Charles Hawkins was the only one not there this morning who was at this afternoon's workout, trying to gut out his ankle injury, but was clearly favoring it.

The group I watched this afternoon was the offensive line. They were working the group sled, and working on strikes, drives and footwork. Coach Denbrock is pretty fanatical about making sure the linemen step twice and get both feet set before striking, coiling up to release the power generated by the legs and up through the hips.

Ben Ossai was talking to Allen Carroll while they were pushing the sled all across the field turf at Husky Stadium. It appears that Ben is taking Carroll under his wing; at times he's harsh when Carroll isn't pushing his weight and at other times he'll give him a slap or a low-five when Carroll does things well.

One of the most interesting times is when Denbrock asks them to 'flip' the sled, or basically turn it 180 degrees. It's kind of interesting watching more than a dozen linemen look at each other and communicate as to how they are going to do this. It's a quick lesson in determining who the leaders are and who takes charge of the situation.

Denbrock doesn't suffer slowpokes; he wants things done yesterday. That doesn't mean he won't stop and have a quick laugh or two after the sled goes sideways or someone says something. You can clearly tell he's having fun bonding with his players and coaching them up. And they respond to him.

Even though Matt Sedillo is still in red, he participated in the sled drills.

In the crowd: the Middleton family came from Lakewood to see Kavario practice. Zach Fogerson was there too, watching the running backs intently.
8/18/08
12:45 pm

Afternoon Willingham notes

Asked about having more bodies out there to work with and he said that most all the injuries were day-to-day and that allowed some players to return, while others are still more limited in what they can do.

He mentioned that Jake Locker, Casey Bulyca, Juan Garcia and Alameda Ta'amu would be examples of players that would be more limited.

Then he was asked about Locker and how much he was able to do this morning. TW said that Jake did '100 percent' more than he's done since the injury because before that he was doing '0 percent'. He added that Locker won't be expected to be 100 percent for a while, and 'wouldn't even be 100 percent the day he gets there'.

TW added that Locker is such an instinctive player, they have to be careful with him and limit putting him in situations where his instincts would normally take over.

The only players out of the Oregon game right now due to injury are T.J. Poe and Anthony Gobern.

Asked about the weather changing from constant sun to some more overcast weather this morning, with some rain mixed in, and Willingham said that the change in weather was good because for the coaches, it gives the players one more hurdle they need to overcome to be able to play focused football.

For the players, the rain might create a little more of a hurdle for the receivers, but overall it's good for them because it's easier to play in cooler temperatures.

TW was asked a special teams question about possibly offering up a scholarship for a holder, since they do this already for snappers, and TW said that while holding is very important, he's never seen a situation where they couldn't find someone already on the team that could do the job. "We should have enough good hands in the right places to find that."

The players met up with members of the Breakfast Club today for lunch, so TW was asked about what these lunches do, and he said that there were 'dozens and dozens' of connections that have been made with current and former players with members of groups like the Breakfast Club and the 101 Club. "And there have been some where I haven't been aware that a connection had been made." He added that these events 'inspire young men to be more successful'.

Asked about a specific instance where a connection was made, and he couldn't name one off the top of his head.

TW was asked about Victor Aiyewa and he said that No. 41 is 'doing well', although he's still a little limited in what he can do. But Aiyewa, Jason Wells, Nate Williams and Darin Harris are all in the mix for the starting safety spots, with Wells probably having the most limitations because of his knee.

TW was asked about Chancellor Young and he said that he's 'making waves', but still catching up a little bit. "But it's nice that he had that base already there," he added. He also said that just by fighting back to get on the team, Young has shown Willingham that he has a sense of urgency about making his mark in his final year of eligibility.

TW was asked about Saturday's practice, a scrimmage that apparently went nearly two hours. "It was a lot of fun," he said. "It was a lot of fun for me and it was a lot of fun for our players." He added that the highlight of the scrimmage was how well the running backs ran as a group, but he refused to mention any specific names and didn't remember who had the most carries during the day. "The way things went, don't be surprised to see a rotation that could include two freshmen."

A question was asked about E.J. Savannah and whether or not he would be available for the Oregon game with the amount of practice time missed, and Willingham asked if we had seen him at practice. A follow up was asked to find out Savannah's status and TW was unsure as to why the question would be asked. When asked if E.J. was on the team or off the team, TW simply said, 'Your eyes are as good as mine'.

And it was left at that.
8/18/08
9:45 am

Morning practice notes

Biggest news of the camp so far; Jake Locker is back in full pads and appears to be full-go from what we saw this morning. His left leg has a sleeve on it and it's also taped up, but it didn't seem to limit his mobility. We never got a chance to see him go full-speed, and I wouldn't be surprised if they kept that to a minimum.

It was a full pads day, with the only ones not making it to practice were Devin Aguilar, Mike Gottlieb, Alameda Ta'amu, Charles Hawkins and Byron Davenport. As we were going to the media room we saw Hawkins and Davenport coming from the pool, so it's most likely a case of the players not there going through their pool workout before joining the team.

Matt Sedillo wore red this morning, but didn't seem to be too limited by what he was doing. Senio Kelemete was in pads too, so that means the whole team has now officially put in their five acclimatization days.

Members of the Breakfast Club, a Seattle-based group made up of prominent African-American businessmen, were at practice today, and Coach Willingham was seen talking to them, as well as some of the High School coaches that were in attendance. Just from what I saw, there were coaches from Kentridge, Kentwood, Anacortes and others there.

Another interesting thing this morning was the presence of a huge crane on the north side inside Husky Stadium. It looked like they were either fixing lights, the readerboards on the upper deck, or both. It made watching practice a little more interested, just because the crane felt like it was right on top of us.

Before the team warmed up, I spotted something of interest. Steve Gervais was showing Mykenna Ikehara a snapping technique he coached at Skyline where they snapped it by gripping the end of the ball instead of by the laces. Ikehara picked it up pretty quickly while Tim Lappano was watching nearby.

With Garcia out a little late, here's how the lineups looked during pre-stretch handoff drills; Sedillo, Locker, Paul Homer and Chris Polk; Ikehara, Luther Leonard, Tobias Togi and Willie Griffin; Greg Christine, Ronnie Fouch, Luke Kravitz and Brandon Yakaboski; Ryan Tolar, Taylor Bean, Austin Sylvester and Johri Fogerson.

Faces in the crowd: Rainier Beach WR Mike Reeve; a few players from Lakes, including Dalton and Rhys Gervais, Sione Potoae and freshman-to-be Zach Banner, who has to be 6-6 and somewhere around 275-280. Manchild.

Acting AD Scott Woodward was also at practice, as well as a scout for the Arizona Cardinals, who was talking for a bit with OL Coach Mike Denbrock before practice.
8/18/08
12:30 am

Mid-way Progress Report - Offensive Skill

When Jake Locker's hamstring gave way last week, Husky fans from Seattle to Suquamish have been anxiously wondering what that will mean for the Huskies when they take the field August 30th in Eugene. According to Head Coach Tyrone Willingham, Locker is listed as 'day-to-day', although he hasn't put on pads since he was injured over a week ago. To read more, click on the link below.

Mid-way Progress Report - Offensive Skill
8/17/08
12:30 am

Perkins Perseveres

SEATTLE - It hasn't happened during practice or games, but it doesn't stop Ryan Perkins from pondering the possibilities. And a daily regimen of anti-inflammatories, pain relievers and ice is a constant reminder of the sacrifices Perkins makes to live his dream. At some point though, he may not have that choice. To read more, click on the link below.

Perkins Perseveres
8/16/08
4:20 pm

Afternoon Practice notes

When the teams broke up after Husky Jacks (Te'o-Nesheim led the team Saturday), they stayed on the field at Husky Stadium instead of the defense moving to the east field; this was a sure sign that Washington was not going to do a split practice - as was on the schedule. A late change Friday night certainly indicates they were getting ready to scrimmage today.

Players out of the scrimmage: Jake Locker, Juan Garcia, Victor Aiyewa, T.J. Poe, Anthony Gobern (surgery Friday to repair his right shoulder), Mike Gottlieb, Casey Bulyca, Jordan White-Frisbee, Desmond Davis, Brandon Johnson, Brandon Yakaboski, Byron Davenport, Devin Aguilar and Matt Sedillo. Garcia was the only one not there at all, from what I could tell.

According to John Boyle and Bob Condotta, there were eight players held out during a scrimmage held exactly one year ago today. Coach Willingham said they were only two over the number of injuries last year, but our count was 14, not 10. As always, your mileage may vary...

Nearly all the players held out went to get their pads, so they could either do stairs with them, ride the stationary bike, or stand on the sideline and watch the scrimmage. The only players that didn't have pads on were Aguilar, Locker, Poe and Davenport.

For a while, Bulyca, White-Frisbee, Aiyewa and Poe were using the stationary bikes. Aguilar, Sedillo, Gottlieb, Johnson, Yakaboski and Davis were walking stairs. Locker was with the QB's during their pre-scrimmage drills, but didn't throw.

In the crowd: West Seattle ATH Aaron Grymes and his family. Grymes committed to UW earlier during camp.
8/16/08
1:10 pm

Afternoon Willingham notes

Apparently Coach felt that there was an inordinate amount of attention being paid to how many guys were out with injuries, so he went back to last year's records and according to him this year's team is only two injuries ahead. Make of it what you will.

He added that there's only one player that's been ruled out of the Oregon game, and that is T.J. Poe, who had surgery to repair a broken clavicle. He was asked if there were any players ruled out of the Oregon game for any other reasons, and he said no.

Asked about Tripper Johnson and the impact he's made on the team, and Willingham said that he's still trying to learn the system and find his place on the team, but it's going to be the way he goes about things, his preparation, his maturity and his focus that is going to eventually rub off on the guys around him. "He's been out in the world, so he adds a totally different dimension."

Asked about the team rallying around Ronnie Fouch in Jake Locker's absence, and he said that the team has always felt comfortable with Ronnie, and they knew it wasn't going to be a problem because of the way he 'jumped in head-first' last spring as a mid-year true frosh. "He's knowledgeable and has a command of the huddle. He has all the things that give confidence to a quarterback."

Asked about the relationship and chemistry between Fouch and Chris Polk, and Willingham said that Polk is still trying to adapt to a lot of different roles, so they haven't seen that same type of chemistry that the two had in high school. Asked if they are prioritizing roles for Polk, and he said they are still working on a number of things and trying to see what works best and what he feels most comfortable at.

Asked about Nate Williams, who was seen with an ice bag on his knee this afternoon at lunch, and Willingham said it was an 'owie' that didn't cause Williams to miss any playing time during Friday's practice.

Asked about the receivers and what they've seen out of the guys left in the wake of Curtis Shaw's departure, and Willingham said that it's been a 'carousel', where a lot of players are getting a lot of looks at a lot of places, even with some players out, like Charles Hawkins (ankle) or Cody Bruns (muscle spasms after getting hit with a helmet in the back of the neck).
8/15/08
4:45 pm

Afternoon Practice notes

Today was a pads and shorts practice. Victor Aiyewa was out early, and threw the ball around with Jake Locker. Both were not wearing pads. The good news for Jake is that he put on a helmet for the first time in roughly a week and led the team in throwing the ball around before stretching. He was seen afterward running stairs.

Casey Bulyca and Jordan White-Frisbee were not wearing pads, and left practice before it started. The only other players that did not show up were Brandon Johnson and Byron Davenport. The other players that weren't there this morning (Yakaboski, Bruns, Dailey, Hawkins) were there. Senio Kelemete was in pads and shorts this afternoon.

Juan Garcia was not there either, but that's per Willingham's schedule of only going once per two-a-days. With Garcia and Matt Sedillo out, that leaves only three centers to practice (Tolar, Christine and Ikehara). When the first lineup of the offensive line was shown, from left to right it went Ben Ossai, Ryan Tolar, Greg Christine, Morgan Rosborough and Cody Habben. Ronnie Fouch was the QB and Chris Polk was the RB. At WR were Alvin Logan and D'Andre Goodwin.

Luke Kravitz led the Husky Jacks this afternoon.

In the crowd: Peter Lukevich, father of walk-on long snapper Robert Lukevich, who also coaches at Cleveland High School. He brought some of his players to watch practice. There also appeared to be at least a couple players from Juanita there, and also roughly 40 Tyee members and their guests watching practice.
8/15/08
1:30 pm

Randy Hart notes

He said that the frosh are coming along well and are all in the mix. Said that if you were going to have a 15-week season, this was the one for them to do it, just because of all the mixing and matching that's probably going to happen finding roles for all the athletes along the line. "We are absolutely excited about the number of guys that have the ability to play a number of positions. It's a big project that we're going to have to sort out."

Added that normally the freshmen might hit a mental wall trying to learn the playbook, but 'they aren't stuck mentally'.

He was asked just how hard it is to come out of HS and play along the DL, and he said it's very hard because of strength concerns. "On the line, you play 65 plays, you have 65 contacts. That kind of physicality is going to wear and tear on you."

Asked about Senio Kelemete, and he said that he's a good-looking prospect, but won't know for a while what he's going to bring as a player because they haven't gotten him in pads yet.
8/15/08
12:25 pm

Afternoon Willingham notes

Said the recent sessions have been good, and with the heats it's given them something else to work through, and he's been happy for the most part in how his guys have dealt with the temperatures.

Jake Locker is still day-to-day.

Asked about the pool work some of the players took part in this morning, and he said that it's been something they've been doing post-game for a couple of years, and it helps with the guys they are tying to be cautious with. Named Locker, Brandon Johnson and Byron Davenport as three guys, among others that have used the pool to help with their injuries.

T.J. Poe had surgery to repair a broken clavicle

Victor Aiyewa is slowed by a groin injury.

Senio Kelemete was out of practice this morning because the acclimatization rules and because Willingham wanted to have him practice in the afternoon session of Friday's two-a-day practices.

Asked about walkons and scholarships, and he said that last year Charles Hawkins and Joshua Gage were both awarded scholarships for the year and that he seemed confident Gage would be put back on scholarship this fall. "All the guys will go back into consideration until we tally things up."

Asked about Mesphin Forrester's change from safety to corner, and he said that it's be remarkable how well the move has gone considering he hasn't been playing corner in college for that long. Added that his size will be a 'plus for us'.

Asked about scrimmages, and Willingham said there would be a bit of a change from past years. They probably won't bring in officials untill next week, but they might use them 2-3 times.
8/15/08
12:10 am

Tim Lappano notes

He was asked about the receiving corps in terms of their hands, and he mentioned Jermaine Kearse, Kavario Middleton, Cody Bruns and Jordan Polk as all players that have very good hands. Said that Kavario has 'big mitts that are soft'. Added that he's a big target that helps make accuracy issues a lot easier for a quarterback.

Asked about running backs stepping up with Brandon Johnson and Brandon Yakaboski being out a bunch, and he said that David Freeman and Johri Fogerson have 'done some good things' and are getting a lot of work with Johnson and Yakaboski being out. "They are getting better every day."

Asked about Jake coming back, and he said he didn't know when he'd be full go, but he did say that watching him run stairs and doing footwork drills was impressive. "He's a machine." Added that no one is working harder than Jake to get back in the mix, and that the only thing he's missing right now is the timing with the new receivers. "D'Andre Goodwin is our only returner, and it's not like he had 100 receptions." But Locker is doing a little 7-7 work with the receivers to alleviate those concerns.
8/15/08
11:40 am

Brian White notes

He said he's been pleased with the progress of all three of his kicker (Perkins, Ballman and Folk), and that any one of them could go in and be asked to make a pressure kick without any worries.

Asked about limitations for Perkins because of his knee, and he said the only thing that out of bounds for Ryan would be kicking off. Said that range hasn't been a problem; he recently kicked a 53-yarder in practice.

Ballman or Folk will be asked to do the kickoff duties.

In the return game, he mentioned D'Andre Goodwin as having a pretty solid grip on the return position for punts, while Chris Polk and Jordan Polk were guys he also mentioned for the kick return position. Another name he mentioned was Tripper Johnson. "He has good awareness," White said of Johnson. He added that with Chris Polk, he'll have to see 'how many hats' the freshman RB/WR/SB will be wearing to know how much he'll be able to use him at the return position.

Switching to tight ends, White said the he's been pleased with the progress of Walt Winter, and also of Kavario Middleton. Added that Middleton is as talented as any first-year tight end he's ever been around, but that they need to 'flatten his learning curve'.
8/15/08
9:30 am

Morning practice notes

Came to Husky Stadium today for a full pads session and there were a bunch of no-shows; basically anyone that was injured at some point this week was not at practice - including Jake Locker and Brandon Johnson. The only people from that group that were at practice were Jason Wells, who was practicing; T.J. Poe (Clavicle) and Victor Aiyewa. Senio Kelemete was in street clothes.

Cody Bruns, who we saw getting stretched out Thursday, was not there either. On the OL, Casey Bulyca and Jordan White-Frisbee weren't there. At RB Johnson, Brandon Yakaboski and Terence Dailey were not there. Mike Gottlieb was not there. I'm sure this list is missing a few on the defensive side of things.

As we were leaving practice, we think we found the answer for the no-shows. It appeared that Locker, among several other players that we couldn't identify from a distance, had been in the pool. So it appears that they were getting some low-impact pool work in for the various leg ailments (hamstring, knee, calf, etc...) This is not uncommon for a Willingham team; starting a couple of years ago they used pool work as a way to get their legs refreshed on a Sunday after a Saturday game.

I'm sure we'll know more about things when we talk to Coach Willingham later in the day.

Former Husky great Mark Stewart, who has been the Head Coach at Meadowdale for the past few years, was there with a handful of his players. Also seen at practice was Scott Gervais, brother of UW RB Coach Steve Gervais, and Steve's nephew Dalton, who is playing quarterback at Lakes this fall. Willis Wilson from Lakes was also there, as well as a couple of other Lancer players.

A scout from the San Diego Chargers was out in attendance this morning. Yesterday a scout from the Cleveland Browns was there.
8/14/08
4:20 pm

Afternoon practice notes

Brandon Johnson was not seen at practice Thursday afternoon. We'll ask Willingham tomorrow if there's any more news to his absence.

It was a full pads practice, here were the players I saw that weren't in full pads: Matt Sedillo, Brandon Yakaboski, Jake Locker. Locker, Jason Wells, Chancellor Young and Victor Aiyewa were seen before stretching riding on the stationary bikes - and they were setting up more bikes as we left practice.

Locker was moving more than we've seen him move this week, working with one of the trainers. Based on what we saw, I found have a hard time believing the coaches could keep Jake out of the Oregon game. His leg has a wrap on it, but it's not like the heavily-wrapped days earlier in the week. It looked more like a protective sleeve.

Juan Garcia was in full pads, another encouraging sign of his return to fitness.

Tim Lappano was in rare form today, holding court before practice and telling stories.

Because of the acclimatization rules, Senio Kelemete was out in pads and shorts.

Before the afternoon session, each DL crouches in front of a dummy placed just to the right of the mouth of the tunnel and strikes the pad ten times. Alameda Ta'amu apparently didn't think 10 was enough, striking it an additional five times for good measure.

Darin Harris led the team in Husky Jacks today.

To get things off on an energetic foot, they did the 'Husky' drill, which pits an offensive player against a defensive player in a battle of leverage and drive. They circle the group, like a 'Bull-In-The-Ring' drill, so it was hard to make out numbers, but it appeared Mykenna Ikehara was matched up against Everrette Thompson in the first battle. Ryan Tolar went up against an unidentified defensive player the second time. The third battle was totally dominated by Mason Foster, as he pancaked Austin Sylvester. There was one more battle that got the offensive guys hopping, but I couldn't make out the numbers for either participant.

Before we left, the field goal kickers each took a shot. Ryan Perkins hit a 33-yarder from the left hash and Erik Folk hit one from the right hash at 44 yards. Jared Ballman split the distance from the right hash and missed left.

Faces in the crowd: Abner Thomas, Justin Glenn's father James and former UW DL Spencer Marona and special teams star Leif Johnson. Spencer was wearing his 45 Rose Bowl hat.
8/14/08
12:30 pm

Afternoon Willingham notes

A question was asked about Senio Kelemete and the NCAA admission that they erred in not getting him initially cleared for fall camp. How much can the UW lobby on behalf of a student-athlete? "We try to give them as much information as possible so they can make as informed and accurated based on all the stuff that's needed for him to be processed," Willingham said. "We do have a hand in getting info and assisting, and when we have a hunch when an error has been made we enlist the support of his high school and anyone else that have accurate information and can help us calculate what has taken place."

Asked about Kelemete. "He's a young man that, when we went through the recruiting process with him, many thought he was one of the best defensive players around this year," Willingham said. "We've added some other fine players to our squad from that class, but he is just an amazing worker. He's humble and wants to be successful. He's willing to work and beat the odds. You enjoy being around a young man of that nature. And that's what we've tried to build our program on, are young people that belief that work is the core of life. He's not afraid of that."

Injury front: T.J. Poe (Clavicle), out an extended period of time.
Matt Sedillo (concussion) did not practice
Brandon Yakaboski (hip pointer) did not practice
Jordan White-Frisbee, Juan Garcia and Jason Wells were limited; all precautionary.

Terence Dailey was not injury-related, Willingham said he'd be back this afternoon

No players or coaches were available Thursday, as the team had its annual luncheon with the 101 Club at the Conibear Shellhouse. The 101 Club is the part of the Washington Athletic Club dedicated to the cause of amateur athletics, and has had a long-standing tradition of supporting UW sports. "I think it's an important lunch," Willingham said. "We've done it every year and it's gone on for 20, 30 years - maybe even longer. They make things so much better for amateur athetlics in this community. We want to be part of that support, but we also want to introduce our young men to business professionals. We want to show them the responsibilities they have, not just as young men playing football, but after the game to be involved in the community and help other young people have opportunities similar to this."
8/14/08
12:10 am

The Initiation of Paul Arnold

In the spirit of fall camps gone by, here's a nugget from Derek Johnson on one of UW's most highly-decorated prospects coming out of high school - Paul Arnold - and the reception he received during his first fall camp as a Husky. Click on the link below for the full story.

The Initiation of Paul Arnold
8/13/08
4:55 pm

Afternoon Practice Report

The big news of the day is that big DL Senio Kelemete has apparently been cleared and is now playing with the Huskies. The media guide lists him at 6-4 and 260, and he's all of that. They threw him right in the fire, with Donatell and Hart running through the paces like he'd been a three-year starter. He's No. 93, for those keeping track, and looks like he could definitely play either inside or outside.

Walk-on LB T.J. Poe was at practice with his left arm in a sling. Do not know what the injury is or how severe it might be. Matt Sedillo was out again this afternoon, Vince Taylor was not in pads, and Alameda Ta'amu looked to be taking it easy. He was riding the stationary bikes with Brandon Johnson and Byron Davenport. Both Johnson and Davenport were biking with one leg, their right legs not moving at all.

Terence Dailey was not in pads and was running stairs early on in practice. At one time I also saw Brandon Yakaboski on a stationary bike.

Juan Garcia got the day off this afternoon. Apparently he told reporters at the beginning of the week that he would be taking off the afternoon practice during any day that ran two-a-days, so it sounds like he's just sticking to his schedule.

Jake Locker was out at practice this afternoon, and it appears his hamstring is giving him less problems. You could barely detect a limp when seen walking around the field.

Mike Gottlieb was out of this afternoon's practice too, but his hamstring injury also appears to be healing well, and I doubt he'll miss much more practice time.

Watching Kelemete run through his workout, I also watched the DB's run through a drill with J.D. Williams. Williams was having one DB act as a receiver, with the other DB trailing a step behind. Williams was having the DB watch the WR's hip to see if he was breaking inside or outside, and then react to the route. Williams would also have the WR juke step to try and catch the DB anticipating the cut. It was interesting watching some of the DB's and how quickly they picked up this technique. Tripper Johnson was very quick to react in this drill of the players I saw go through.

Faces in the crowd: former UW QB Johnny DuRocher and Zach Fogerson, younger brother of UW RB Johri Fogerson. Zach, a 2010 RB/LB prospect from O'Dea, already has a scholarship offer from Washington.
8/13/08
3:15 pm

Chris Tormey notes

Coach Tormey had some great insights as to the position battles that are shaping up at the various linebacker positions, but also about the players themselves and also the influence Ed Donatell has had on the LB's.

First he was asked about the battle at MIK between Donald Butler and Trenton Tuiasosopo. "They are both very good players and have their own individual strengths. Trenton is extremely physical at the point of attack. If there's a fullback or lineman trying to come up and zone on him, his block protection technique is excellent. He brings a real toughness and tenacity to the game.

"Donald is an excellent football player. He is excellent in coverage. He knows schemes. He has a nose for the football. Both are going to play big roles in our defensive success this year."

Tormey also noted that it's the first time in a while where both players are 100 percent healthy and fully ready to go for the season. "We're trying to take advantage of that, keep 'em fresh by rolling both of them through practice and make sure we keep 'em that way."

Asked about finally having a decent amount of experienced depth. "It gives us flexibility to play different players in different schemes. You're looking for that player that has the ability to play more than one position. If you are in the nickel scheme, can you play both inside linebacker positions. If it's a base scheme, can you play both outside linebacker positions. We're looking for the guys that have that kind of flexibility to play in all of our schemes."

Asked about the SAM battle between Joshua Gage and Matt Houston. "Matt is a very good athlete that's improving. I'd say Josh is a little ahead in terms of his understanding of the game. Houston is an excellent athlete that is very capable of going in and playing if need be."

Asked about Mason Foster and his development at WIL . "The first thing you notice is his athletic ability. And then you notice his size. He was able to pick things up. He picked schemes up very well as a freshman. So now he's learning the intricacies with each defense against each formation, understand where he fits and where his help is in each situation. And he's getting a lot better at that. I'm pleased with his progress this fall.

"He could probably play any of the three positions. We're trying to keep him at WIL now so that he can understand formation theory and what his job is and how that fits in with everyone else. When he has a complete understanding of that, he'll be able to play very fast and have a productive year for us."

On going through practice without their leading tackler from 2007, E.J. Savannah. "There's no wasted thought process about who we don't have; we just focus on the guys that are here. It's not a factor. We're happy to go with the guys we've got. We like the guys we have."

On Cort Dennison and Kurt Mangum - "They have a chance to work into the depth. They are two bright guys that are interchangeable as well." Right now Dennison is at WIL, Mangum at MIK.

On what differences Washington fans might see in the LB corps from last year: "I don't know if fans will notice any differences in how we line up or how we look. But I think you'll see a more confident group that will play faster because they are more experienced. And they are healthy. Last year we didn't have that. We had an inexperienced group that was riddled with injuries at times. We didn't have much consistency. We're looking forward to this group having more consistency."

On Chris Stevens and his contributions to the LB corps: "He's a guy that has played a lot and also has an important role to play on special teams. He's a great third-down player too. He's a very important part of what we do. He's a great leader through his actions. He does everything right. He's an Engineering major who works his butt off in every phase of football and academics. He sets an example for his teammates every day. And he's played a lot of football since he's been here."

Tormey was asked about Ed Donatell's impact on the linebackers. "I'm really enjoying working with Coach Donatell. We watch tape together every day and we're on the same page in terms of what we're trying to get done with these guys. He's been great to work with. He's an old friend and I'm really comfortable with his approach. I'm looking forward to learning even more football from him in the future."

What is the best thing Donatell brings to the table? "I just think he's got a tremendously positive approach to the game and his interaction with players."
8/13/08
12:40 pm

Afternoon Willingham notes

Asked about Matt Sedillo being out and TW said that he suffered a 'minor concussion', but added that he didn't think it was going to be a major issue. He wasn't sure if Matt would get cleared to play this afternoon.

Victor Aiyewa was not at practice for part of it this morning, due to some 'pre-camp' tests, according to TW.

Asked about the rash of hamstring injuries, and Willingham said that it had more to do with year, as in 'Year of the Knee' or 'Year or the Shoulder'. Said it just happens that way, but he's not overly concerned, despite the fact that he could have up to a half-dozen starters out if they had to play against Oregon tomorrow.

Asked about Jake Locker and if he's closer to getting back on the field, and TW continued to term Jake's injury a 'day-to-day' one and 'he's doing fine', adding that they continue to be very patient and don't have to rush things.

Asked about Don James coming to practice, and TW said that he wasn't sure if the whole team knew he was there, but the coaching staff definitely knew and that he's always seeking feedback from a coach that's been that successful. He called James a 'Legend'.

He also said that he keeps the information shared between him and James confidential.

Asked about any additions to the team, and TW hinted as a possible addition this afternoon, but wouldn't say who.

Asked about the battle at MIK between Trenton Tuiasosopo and Donald Butler, and TW said that they have two good players in Trenton and Donald. With Trenton, they want to try to get him on the field and utilize his abilities as much as possible in as many situations. Asked if that meant more opportunities closer to the line, and he said that could happen.

Asked about Mason Foster, and TW said that Mason is at a point in his learning now that he settled into his role and his improvement now is greater than at any time when he was a freshman.

Asked about the tight ends, and TW said that Walt Winter has definitely stepped up his game. Asked about Chris Izbicki and whether or not things have tapered for him, and TW said that Chris continues to improve and that the level of talent at the tight end position has improved over the last couple of years, especially adding Kavario Middleton this year to the mix.

Asked if Mike Gottlieb would be getting back into the TE mix, and TW still said he's day-to-day and didn't expect him back this afternoon.
8/13/08
9:35 am

Morning Practice notes

Probably the biggest news this morning was that Matt Sedillo was not practicing today. It was full pads this morning, and he was only in his jersey and shorts. I'm sure we'll find out later today what the issue is. Brandon Yakaboski, Brandon Johnson, Mike Gottlieb and Byron Davenport were also not practicing. Johnson, Davenport and Yakaboski were all using the stationary bikes this morning.

Jake Locker was not seen until right at the end of the first period, when he jogged out from the tunnel. His leg still appeared to be pretty heavily taped, but the sight of him jogging out was a much better one than Tuesday, when it looked like he couldn't jog much at all.

Former Head Coach Don James was at practice this morning, and Tyrone Willingham spend almost all his time before first period talking with 'The Dawgfather'. There also looked like there was a scout from the Washington Redskins watching early practice.

With Sedillo out, it was Juan Garcia, Ryan Tolar, Greg Christine and Mykenna Ikehara taking snaps. Garcia was snapping to Ronnie Fouch, with Willie Griffin at RB; Christine was snapping to Taylor Bean, with Terence Dailey in the backfield; Ryan Tolar was snapping to Justin Gunn, with David Freeman in the backfield; Ikehara was snapping to Luther Leonard, with Chris Polk in the backfield.

Watching the offense work on their hustle drills, Tim Lappano was really riding them hard this morning, trying to get them to wake up and go at everything 100 percent. At one point he yelled at the entire offense to run into the end zone, where he again spelled out the importance of going all-out and finishing every play.
8/13/08
1:25 am

Underclassmen Shown the Love

Chris Fetters spoke with six of the state's top underclass football prospects Tuesday night to get their take on a get-together that took place at the University of Washington on Sunday. Click on the link below for the full story.

Underclassmen Shown the Love
8/12/08
8:30 pm

Simone and Moore Enjoy Time at Montlake

Scott Eklund caught up with two of the more prominent 2009 in-state prospects; Gino Simone from Skyline and Kirby Moore from Prosser. They visited Washington's practice on Tuesday. Click on the link below to see what they had to say.

Simone and Moore Enjoy Time at Montlake
8/12/08
4:15 pm

Afternoon Practice notes

Bunch of players not in pads today. Jake Locker (hamstring), Mike Gottlieb (hamstring), Brandon Yakaboski (hip flexor), Brandon Johnson (knee), Byron Davenport (ankle) and Anthony Gobern (lower leg). Johnson and Davenport rode the stationary bikes, while Yakaboski did stairs during the early portion of practice.

Locker tried to jog a couple of times, but didn't try and push it much past that.

Joshua Gage (stomach) was back and working in pads today.

There were a few recruits there, including Gino Simone (Skyline), Kirby Moore (Prosser) and Victor Nunez, Lemar Durant and Nehemie Kankolongo (all from Centennial in Coquitlam, B.C.) Durant and Kankolongo are 2010 prospects, while Nunez is being looked at by Chris Tormey as a linebacker.
8/12/08
1:50 pm

Mike Denbrock notes

Mike had some great insights as to how things are going with his line so far in camp.

He said that 'with or without' Juan Garcia they would be a solid group, but Juan just makes them that much stronger. Said that what the rest of the OL sees in Juan is a 'guy who is not going to be denied'. "They all recognize how strong he is."

Said that while they aren't 100 percent there, he did admit that they are a 'lot closer' to being what they want to look like going into the season than at any other time since he's been here. He's about to start his fourth season as UW's OL coach. He added that inside they are very strong, and they are still working at the tackles, because you have redshirt freshmen backing up the starters.

With Willingham always saying the OL is the most important part of the team, Denbrock says that thought takes added significance this year because the OL is so experienced. "It doesn't take long to look around and find that the experience lies with us. We've got some guys that have been through the wars."

Of the guys that have stepped up this spring and summer, Denbrock said that he's been very happy with Skyler Fancher's development. "He's coming into his own, and I like what I've seen with him. Added Scott Shugert as a player that has done the same, but admitted that there's more of a logjam inside for playing time. He also mentioned Matt Sedillo as a player that he's seen some real progress with.

Asked about the difference between this year and this time last year, when guys were having a hard time making weight and their conditioning was poor. "It's just maturity," Denbrock said. "It's guys taking it to heart and understanding how important it is that we lead the way."

At the same time, there's a lot of weight on that line. Guys in the 340's and above. "We just have some big people," Denbrock said with a smile. "You look at them, they don't have a lot of sloppy weight on them. They are just that big. We're in twice as good a shape as we were this time last year, and it's showing in the way we're practicing."

Asked about the incoming freshmen, and he said that he 'loves all four of them'.

Terence Thomas - "He's got a lot of weight room work ahead of him, but you can see flashes of the type of player he can be. He has that ethic."

Allen Carroll - "He had minor surgery to correct something in his knee, so that hurt his conditioning when he came in. He is still getting used to the pace we go at, but you can see how well he bends his knees and moves his feet. He also has a little nasty streak in him, and we always like that."

Drew Schaefer - "He came into camp in tremendous physical shape. He's around 285 now, and he moves his feet really well. I have him playing guard right now, but he could very easily move out to tackle because he's so good at picking up what is going on."

Mykenna Ikehara - "He's as good a freshman center as I've ever worked with. He has that nasty that I love and he loves contact. He loves putting a helmet on someone. He's light on his feet. He understands leverage. He's a very competitive kid. He's determined to prove to himself and to anyone else that's around that he belongs. He's here to stay."
8/12/08
1:30 pm

Afternoon Willingham notes

Another hamstring has struck - this time to Michael Gottlieb. Willingham also termed this one day-to-day, as with Locker. Said that if he was out for Oregon, Walt Winter would start. Said that Walt has always been a good receiver, and is now picking up the other parts of his game to become the well-rounded TE they need.

Was asked about Kavario Middleton and he said that he 'hasn't disappointed', and that the only thing tripping him up right now is the speed of play, because he isn't used to always having to push himself and play at a consistent high level.

Asked about Curtis Shaw's departure and if that meant there would be some players shuffling around to fill the void, and Willingham said no. Said that obviously they would have to try and replace his 'blazing speed', and that the newer guys were probably 'a step behind' him in that regard. Asked who was best-suited to slide into Shaw's position, and he didn't mention anyone by name. It's still an open competition.

Asked about the DL, and he said that there's no 'game' rotation that's sorted itself out and that he expects a lot of linemen to play. It could be that a rotation is created based on the way they play during the games. Added that he's been very pleased with Alameda Ta'amu's work. "He's a massive man that forces offenses to do things they don't want to do." Added that Ta'amu's foot has not been a problem at all, and has not caused Alameda to miss any time since it was first discovered.
8/12/08
1:25 pm

2011 athlete nets first offer

Chris Fetters spoke Tuesday with Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a 6-foot-6.5, 240-pound athlete from Gig Harbor, Wash. Seferian-Jenkins talked about getting his first verbal scholarship offer - from Washington. Click on the link below for the full story.

2011 Athlete Nets First Offer
8/12/08
1:30 am

Fouch Shows He is Ready to Compete

Coach Baird gives his take on the Huskies' backup quarterback - Ronnie Fouch.

Fouch Shows He is Ready to Compete
8/11/08
12:45 pm

Duncan Says He is Ready to Play

Scott Eklund caught up with Tyrone Duncan, a player the Huskies are counting on to give them quality minutes on the defensive line. Click on the link below for the full story.

Duncan Says He is Ready to Play
8/11/08
12:34 pm

Ronnie Fouch Notes

Said he and Jake Locker are very good friends.

Said there is normally an adversarial relationship between the starter and the backup, but with Jake out, Jake has been helping him along with things and making it so he learns as much as he can.

He said "I will run a play, go back to Jake and I'll tell him what I saw and he'll tell me what he saw", so they are working really well together.

Said all of the guys have shown him respect and he's doing what he can to earn that respect. Sometimes it's about chewing someone out, sometimes it's about patting someone on the back and sometimes it's about making plays.

Said his arm is a little sore, but that he's getting good treatment and he's not overextending himself.

Said that getting 90% of the reps makes him able to get in and stay in a rhythm while before he'd get three or five plays and then have to sit.

Said he felt very comfortable to get into a game if there was one this weekend and that he could play well.

Said he's up to 206 or 207 right now and he's just as fast and flexible as he was at his other weight.
8/11/08
12:29 pm

Lappano notes

Spoke with offensive coordinator Tim Lappano about a number of subjects, but first and foremost was the QB situation...

Said Ronnie Fouch is really coming along well and that they haven't had to take anything out of the offense since Jake Locker got injured.

Said Fouch isn't as mobile, but he's definitely athletic enough to make plays in the read option gameplan.

Said Fouch is getting 90% of the reps at this point so he's watching him to make sure they don't wear out his arm.

Said the pecking order behind Fouch is pretty much up in the air at this point, but that Taylor Bean is probably number two right now because Luther Leonard and Justin Gunn are "really swimming right now".

Said he's been pleased with the way Bean has come along and that he's "serviceable" now where as last year at this time, not so much.

Said Bean made a throw the other day that made him go "wow".

Said the OL is really taking the lead and that Juan Garcia has gotten some work in at center in full contact and he's seemed to do pretty well.

Said Casey Bulyca and Ryan Tolar have been showing their leadership skills with words as well as their performance.

Said the reason for the Husky Drill this morning was the "wake them up". After a day off, sometimes a team can waste a practice because guys are mentally checked out, but the little skirmish between Bulyca and DT Johnie Kirton woke guys up and then they did some conditioning so they were really focused and intense for the morning workout which the coaches were very pleased with.

Said this week is when he expects the freshman to completely hit the wall. 10 installs as well as physically, he said most will just mentally hit the wall and not be able to play like they normally would.

Said this week is about "we need seven receivers and we need four backs and the rest, well, that's how it goes". They want to get their numbers ready to go for the fall and for the first game and this is the week when a lot of that will get determined.
8/11/08
12:24 pm

Afternoon Willingham notes

Has been really happy with the work of the team since the start of camp. Said the team is progressing toward being prepared for Oregon nicely and he has been really happy about things so far.

Said the kicking game is coming along and they've only had one day for the kickers to actually kick in live situations so this week will be about sorting out some of those things and he plans to get" more serious about the kicking battle this week.

Said they haven't really worked on getting the QBs and WRs in as holders just yet and that the kickers/punters have been holding for each other because "they can do it the entire practice" so that gives them more reps to do it.

Said there is a good chance they will start implementing new holders soon, but at this point he is unsure when they will start bringing in new holders.

Jake Locker, Byron Davenport and Brandon Johnson are all day to day.

Gage had a "viral illness" and should be back today or tomorrow.

Said Ryan Tolar is still being mixed in at center and that because he hasn't played center before, he needs the work just in case.

Said that Jordan White-Frisbee has looked great at times and has been very impressive so far. Said some of that has to do with him being "semi-healthy" as well as the chance to stay at one position since he moved from defense to offense to defense to offense.
8/11/08
9:45 am

Morning Practice Notes

Locker, Johnson, Davenport and Gage weren't dressed out this morning.

Locker was walking around without the limp we saw on Friday and Saturday. He seems to be healing up relatively well.

Johnson on the other hand was limping pretty noticeably.

Watched the DBs today.

J.D. Williams was running them through a drill where they started in their backpedal, then turned like they were running with a receiver then had to turn again and head at a 45 degree angle and catch the ball at the highest level.

Vonzell McDowell, Nate Williams, Darin Harris, Anthony Gobern and Quinton Richardson were the guys that looked really smooth making these plays.

Gobern is so darn fast it's ridiculous. He was still wearing red, but was dressed out in full pads.

Richardson is really quick. He's got great size and it's going to be interesting to see if he ends up being as good as I've heard he could be eventually.

Mike Pluschke from Redmond HS and a couple of his players were at practice. Keith Gilbertson's son David was in tow as well as Brady Lisoski a big OL was there and so was Cameron Sandquist.

As we were getting ready to leave the team started the "Husky Drill" and after the coaches blew the whistle on the first matchup, a small skirmish broke out. Unfortunately, it was tough to see who it was, but it appeared that Casey Bulyca was one of the participants (however, I cannot confirm this).

This seemed to energize the whole team and I imagine that practice will be pretty intense this morning because of the tone that was set early on...


8/9/2008
1:15 pm

More on Locker's hamstring

According to Scott Eklund, on hand at Picture Day, Scott Locker talked to KJR and said that Jake's hamstring has suffered a 'slight tear'.

Presumably that's a more serious condition than was previously reported. Locker had an MRI done Friday morning but the results of that MRI have not been made public.

"He will be ready for the Oregon game, no question," Scott Woodward, acting Director of Athletics told Eklund at Picture Day. "He'll be day-to-day as to when he can practice."

"It's a slight tear, but it's on the outside of the leg," Scott Locker told Eklund. "The doctors told me that if he had to get a tear, that's the best place to get it because it heals faster."

Locker added that there isn't a timeline for when Jake could practice, but they are hoping for the end of next week. It all will be determined by the healing process.
8/9/2008
12:30 pm

Willingham afternoon notes

Coach Willingham met with the press to update things...

Said that Jake's MRI results have come back in but he hasn't looked at them and said he'll let the medical staff handle that.

Said he doesn't know the prognosis and doesn't care about it because "we move on".

Said Brandon Johnson's knee is still sore after yesterday's full practice so that is why they are holding him out...just precautionary.

Said Byron Davenport is dealing with a foot or ankle issue and they are just being "careful" with him.

He's been happy with the progress of the wide receivers. When asked if anyone is standing out, he said it depends on what they are doing. Said the young receivers are coming along nicely and they will contribute this year, but he wouldn't get into specific names.

Said as they add more into the offense and defense the young players are starting to "swim" a little bit more, but he's been very pleased with their work to this point.

Said not to read too much into who was playing with which unit when you observe practice. Said they want to get the kids to compete and if you have a young guy pushing an older guy, maybe they put him in with the first unit to see how the younger guy responds and vice versa.

Picture day begins at 1 pm and then the players and coachs will have another practice at 4:20 pm this afternoon.
8/9/2008
10:28 am

Morning Practice Notes

Locker, Davenport and Johnson were all out of pads and were not taking part in practice.

Anthony Gobern continues to wear red.

Watched the linebackers and the OL work out this morning.

Casey Bulyca is really moving well and appears to be in the best shape I've seen him in since he's been on campus. He was head butting all the freshman OL in his line and Terance Thomas got the big surprise when he walked past the senior guard.

Allen Carroll moves well for a man his size, but he's got to be well over the 300 pounds listed on the roster. I'd put him at about 320 or 325.

Drew Schaefer looks in great shape and he's got a great motor and never quits. He is one of the hardest workers along the OL, from what I saw.

Scott Shugert appeared to be back in pads this morning, so it appears he will be good to go for the scrimmage today and for picture day.

The LBs were running the the "lane drill" as coach Tormey called it. One line of linebackers is the "ball carrier"and the other line has to pursue and break down and wrap up. Tormey seemed pleased with the work of his guys, Trenton Tuiasosopo and Chris Stevens got comments on their form and Tormey's approval.

Mason Foster was pretty "geeked" up, hopping up and down and ready to go. He is so athletic and super-quick, he appears ready to take over for E.J. Savannah as the hardest hitting linebacker.

Savannah by the way has not been at practice the past two days from what I saw (he may have showed up after the media was ushered out after the first 25 min.).

There were quite a few player parents at practice including the Lockers, Tuiasosopos and Habbens.

Clovis West (Fresno) DB Nate Fellner was in town with his mother and there were a couple of more that I didn't recognize, but they were being attended to as well.


8/8/2008
4:13 pm

Interim AD Scott Woodward quotes on the NIKE deal

On Husky fans not being thrilled with re-upping with NIKE: "My response to that would be, the last I saw the fans and citizens of Oregon fly in Boeing plans, they shop at Costco and they buy Windows Microsoft products."

On other companies bidding in on the UW contract: "We started an RFP (Request for Proposals) process and NIKE came in and asserted their right of first refusal and we began discussions with them before we got the RFP process launched and then we consumated the deal."

**Note: This happened within the last month. "It's been ongoing because we had equipment orders we had to get done for the fall by the end of the month."

On where this puts Washington: "It puts us up with the other BCS schools and we're very happy to be there because we believe that's our rightful place. It's hard to say (what other schools compare) because it's apples and oranges comparing them, but it's not the top of the top, but it's in the elite. Obviously, three times better is significant."

On the length of the contract and did NIKE push for the length or did UW?: "Yes and no, technically it's not (different) because we've had a 12-year relationship with NIKE even though we've done these one year renewals and they've been ongoing, but yeah it is longer so it's not standard, but these deals are becoming more common."

Will this mean a change in uniforms or logos?: "That's going to be at the sole discretion of the University of Washington Athletic Department. We're going to decide what we're going to wear and that includes logos and everything else. As you know, and as you can tell, we've had a slow phasing out of the current Husky dog. You don't see it on many uniforms and I think that will continue and in the future we'll look at some kind of a redesign there, but the campus and the AD are going pretty much with the block 'W' as our logo."


8/8/2008
3:20 pm

UW re-ups with NIKE for 10 years

As if there wasn't enough news already on Friday, the beat writers just got a press release handed to them that states that UW and NIKE have signed a 10-year, $39 million dollar contract.

It was worth three times what the original NIKE contract was worth.

It is worth $39 million dollars and will be good through June 30th of 2019.

This all per a press release by UW.

We are hoping to speak to Scott Woodward for more deails.

The original deal was worth $200,000 in cash and $1.1 million in product every year.

The new deal will be worth $725,000 in cash and $2.6 million in product every year.


8/8/2008
1:46 pm

Afternoon Willingham notes

Obviously, the big story was that Jake Locker injured his hamstring.

Willingham noted that the team will move forward without Jake until he gets healed up enough to do more.

He also said people respond differently to injuries, so not to read too much into the fact that CB Byron Davenport was effected by his hamstring issues all of last year.

Said they had discussed a "two quarterback" system at times and that this allows Ronnie Fouch to get more reps with the first team. They didn't plan on it happening this way, but now that it has he can get more reps.

Said the team accepted Fouch coming into the huddle and didn't seem to be affected by Jake's injury.

Said with three scholarship quarterbacks, you're obviously razor thin at that position, so right now they are just focusing on Fouch and getting Luther Leonard and Taylor Bean ready if needed.

Said they would treat Locker a lot like they have been treating Ta'amu, Wells and Garcia as far as being cautious with them.

Said at this point he doesn't see why Jake wouldn't be ready for Oregon, but also noted that "it's still early" and they will wait to get the full diagnosis before they start talking about other scenarios.

Said losing a player from a leadership role like the starting QB is tough and casts "a shadow on your whole team" but that they prepare for things like this to happen and they need to be able to move forward..."the next guy has to step in and step up"...

Said the reason for Scott Shugert's absence the past two days is because of a stomach ailment. Didn't say whether or not he would be back today or not...

Said that the team is looking forward to full-pads, but the intensity of the practices doesn't change. Willingham noted that Washington always tries to be intense even in helmets and shorts. "There isn't a lot of standing around or walking around"...

They will add some game situations into the mix today and moving forward as they progress their way through camp...

Said Anthony Gobern was in red "to protect an injured part of him" and that he "doesn't pay as much attention" to injuries as some others do. "We just keep going and that's the mentality"...

On no gold jerseys...Willingham said a lot of good work is being done by different guys, but they "haven't reached that standard yet" and that his standard has gotten higher as he's been coaching here.


8/8/2008
1:01 pm

Here's the story Scott Eklund wrote up on the Locker injury and head coach Tyrone Willingham and Jake Locker's comments as well...

Competition Locker suffers hamstring injury
8/8/2008
12:43 pm

Quick Jake Locker and Tyrone Willingham notes regarding Jake's hamstring injury...

Jake is day to day per Locker and coach Willingham Just got done talking to them...

Said he was running a play to the outside and felt give.

Said he just hopped and skipped and that he didn't go down.

He got an MRI right before the presser, so they will not know the severity of the injury until later in the day or tomorrow at the earliest.

Fouch took over the rest of practice and according to Willingham "did a nice job of running the team."


8/8/2008
12:11 p.m.

DL Coach Randy Hart speaks...

So while we are waiting for the Jake Locker "announcement"...coach Hart and I had a discussion about the DL...

Said he's really happy with how the freshman are coming along.

"They are all willing to learn and they all came in ready to go."

Said he's excited about what Ta'amu and Thompson have added as far as size and ability.

When I asked him about waiting on Kelemete and Noble to get in, he said ..."you have who you have and when those guys get here, we'll work them in."

Said that he's been working on getting guys able to play multiple positions. He'll rotate all of the guys, save Ta'amu through all four positions (sounds like it's going to be a base 4-3 this year) and that "the best four players will play and then the fifth guy will come in and we'll rotate how we need to rotate guys into different positions."

Said Kirton has been a real pleasant surprise and he's really taken to his new position.

Said that Nick Wood is very strong and that De'Shon Matthews is up over 270 now, but "I'm not sure how much he weighs exactly, he might be close to 280".

Also noted that Kelani Aldrich and Darion Jones have really improved their strength and their quickness, but both need to keep improving.

From the sounds of it, it sounds like, other than Ta'amu, they will be rotating the guys into different positions along the line.


8/8/2008
2:15 am

Competition Fuels Cornerbacks' Fire

Chris Fetters talks about a new day at Washington for the cornerbacks, and how their aggressive approach and desire to compete stems from their new Defensive Coordinator. To read the story, click on the link below.

Competition Fuels Cornerbacks' Fire
8/7/2008
6:05 pm

Leadership Comes From the Linebackers

Scott Eklund looks at the group that is the arguably the oldest and most experienced on the defense. Click on the link below to read the story.

Leadership Comes From the Linebackers
8/7/2008
5:10 pm

Afternoon Practice Notes

Not too much today...a lot of high school coaches were there, including Dave Miller from Lakes and the Juanita staff. Both Coach Willingham and Coach Baggett took the time to come over and talk to Coach Miller, a sign of mutual respect between the two staffs. That could come in real handy for the Huskies down the road, as the 2010 and 2011 classes at Lakes are shaping up to be very, very strong ones.

Jamaal Kearse, younger brother of Jermaine, was there with their mother. In briefly talking with Miller, he said that Jamaal has made a transformation between his sophomore and junior seasons, and the 2010 prospect could end up being very much like Reggie Williams. That's the comparison he made.

As for on the field, while the rest of the team wore pads and shorts, Vince Taylor had to go with no pads as part of his initial acclimatization day. First day of pads is tomorrow, but he still has three more practices before he can don full pads.

The first red jersey was seen today, and it was on the back of cornerback Anthony Gobern. We'll see tomorrow what the story is there. It appeared he was doing a lot of work before we had to leave, so I would suspect it's not too serious.

Today marked the first day where Juan Garcia was seen moving the sled with the rest of his teammates. That sure seemed to be a good sign, but expect the coaches and trainers to still take a cautiously optimistic view of Garcia's recovery from a Lisfranc injury to his foot.

As far as drills, Thursday looked to be a more normal day in terms of the drills I have seen done in the past. I was watching the receivers in particular, and they were doing arguably the most frequent drill Charlie Baggett runs; one that makes the receiver try and catch the ball over their shoulder. By doing this, it helps them work on identifying the ball while high in the air and adjusting their body accordingly. I see Coach Baggett run this drill all the time.
8/7/2008
3:15 pm

Afternoon Willingham Notes

Said that Wednesday was another good work day, and because it was a split practice it gave the coaches another opportunity to see how the team reacted with a lot of reps.

Confirmed Vince Taylor as the newest addition. Was asked if Bronson, Kelemete and Blackman all made it UW would be over the 105 pre-season limit, and Willingham said that they had left a specific amount of openings available for a reason, and they couldn't go over that 105 number.

Was asked about Aguilar and Boyles' situation last year, and how much contact the staff had with them, and Willingham said they had a lot of contact with them, making sure they understood that Seattle was the place they needed to be.

With Chris Polk and Kurt Mangum coming in mid-year, Willingham was asked about it happening more and more, and he said that it has to be the right thing for the individual, both from an academic standpoint, as well as emotional. "They have to have some emotional things in place for it to work."

Asked about Ryan Perkins and how his leg is, and Willingham said that he's 'good so far', and that he's done well. "He's one of the more courageous guys I've been around." Added that they are going to be cautious moving forward not to put any undue stress on Perkins' repaired knee.

Asked about how it's going with the philosophy of having bigger cornerbacks that evolved during spring ball, and Willingham said that it's not a change in philosophy. "Bigger is better, if all things are equal." Added that Mesphin Forrester and Quinton Richardson are doing well, but that there's still plenty of opportunities for guys like Byron Davenport, Vonzell McDowell, Jr. and Matt Mosley to make an impact. Said that the combination of having Ed Donatell and J.D. Williams back there coaching is a great package that can help the players grow.

Asked specifically about Byron Davenport, and Willingham compared Byron's situation to that of another transfer - Marcel Reece, and how Marcel had a much better second year than first.

Willingham was asked about taking a trip to see Florida's offense, and mentioned how it's a long-standing tradition for colleges to visit one another and share information. Said he liked how Florida uses their quarterbacks, but wouldn't go into specifics.

Was also asked if any schools came to Seattle to share info on UW's program, and he said yes, but didn't elaborate on specific ones.
8/7/2008
1:10 pm

Spoke with Kavario Middleton

And he said that he's actually progressing pretty well in terms of understanding his role and the playbook; the hardest thing has been getting back down into a 3-point stance, something he did not do as a senior at Lakes. "It feels new again, getting back on the line."

With regards to playing this year, Kavario said that Coach Willingham has been saying the 'ball is in his court'. "He tells me to go out there and dominate, and by getting out there it helps get my confidence up. I'm just going to go out there and show my stuff."

Said because of his role playing as a bigger wideout in high school, he got labelled as a 'finesse' player. "It's nice getting some of the grittiness back," he said, noting that he likes contact. His goal this fall is to play and 'help out in any way he can'.

"They see a big target."
8/7/2008
4:30 am

Will Polk Repeat History

Chris Fetters writes about Chris Polk and how he might be fitting into UW's tailback picture. Click on the link below to read the full story.

Will Polk Repeat History?
8/6/2008
1:05 pm

Afternoon Willingham Notes

Said that he's been pleased with the first couple of days, especially with the team normally trying to struggle to get back in the routine and the habit of fall camp. Said that the heat (it's been in the high 80's and low 90's for the first couple of days) is great ('I love hot days') because it adds another 'mental situation' the team has to adjust to. Added that changes in schedules, in practices are other things that forces the team to adjust, thereby making them a better team.

Asked about the conditioning test that took place before Monday's practice, and he said that he's 'consistently amazed' at Jake Locker and the effort he brings, as well as his ability to bounce back after stressful efforts. Also mentioned D'Andre Goodwin and Mesphin Forrester as two others that he was very happy with. In general, it appears the upperclassmen are taking the lead in terms of showing the team what kind of work it's going to take to get to where they want to be.

As far as the freshmen, he was asked about the conditioning specifically of the running backs, and he smiled and said that he was very happy with all of their efforts and that they came in very good shape.

He was asked about Brandon Johnson, and whether or not he's back to 100 percent, and Willingham said he's not quite there yet, and he needs to work on finishing his cuts with power. "He's a powerful runner. He's got to take that and get past a safety to have some big runs for us."

Said that the new guys aren't having issues with learning new things now, but as they keep installing new things the swimming will take place. "We try and prepare them for what's to come, but there's nothing like learning by going through it."

Asked about the tight ends, and Willingham said Michael Gottlieb came back to camp in wonderful shape, and that he needs to continue to work hard to show leadership in that group. Added that he's looking for the tight ends to really deliver in their dual role of blocking at times and also acting as a receiver at times. "It allows us to be flexible on offense."

First day of full pads will be Friday, and the first day of two-a-days will be on Saturday. Wednesday is the first day of split practice, where part of the team practices early, the full team comes together for a certain period of time, and then those who didn't practice early will stay for the remainder of their practice time.

As an aside, the media met with Alameda Ta'amu about his foot. He said he injured it last year in the middle of the season, and it was a hairline fracture of one of his toes. He said that he feels a little sore on it, but it's not hurting him at all. The coaches continue to be cautious with his foot. He added that the main thing for him is learning the playbook, which he compared to a dictionary.

No additions or subtractions from the roster today, so the count remains at 102 active players.
8/6/2008
10:30 am

Fall Photo Gallery 2

Kim came up with some more photos from the nearly 750 he took Monday. Click here for the story.
8/6/2008
12:10 am

Savannah Situation Means Opportunities

Coach Baird looks at those that could fill the void left by the absence of UW's leading tackler.

Savannah Situation Means Opportunities
8/5/2008
3:17 pm

Afternoon Practice Notes

Tyrone's son Nathaniel was on hand to watch practice today.

The one addition to the roster - LB Fred Wiggs - was spotted wearing his No. 97. No one missing or added that I could tell.

Chris Polk was still running with the RB's in the time we were allowed to watch. Ryan Tolar looked to take a snap or two at center. Clearly they are still very much tweaking things with a few players to see what they can do.

With the defense on the east field, it was time to focus on the offense - specifically the receivers. Charlie Baggett had them run a drill I hadn't seen before. He had them do a few short karaoke steps (leg over the other) and then he'd yell 'turn!' and throw the ball. The receiver would do a full 360 while the ball was in the air, come back to the original spot, pick up where the ball was and try and make the catch.

The first time through only a couple looked comfortable doing it. D'Andre Goodwin had no problems, but some of the freshmen did. But the good thing is that it only took one time for them to get the hang of it. From that point on, all the receivers had little trouble finding the ball after the 360. Baggett, normally reserved, was pretty fiery during this drill, pushing his guys to move faster so they could do the drill as close to 100 percent speed as possible. When done properly, the ball should be about five feet from the reciever, so they have basically a tenth of a second to identify the situation and make the play.


8/5/2008
3:17 pm

Willingham afternoon notes

Walk-on linebacker Fred Wiggs has been added to the roster, as he completed some academic requirements asked of him. Willingham said that would be the case for another other players that would be added to the roster during fall camp. The roster now stands at 102 players, the max being 105.

Willingham said that the team got off to a good start Monday because they were able to do their conditioning test before practice (2x300 yard shuttles) and then go through a normal hard practice. "We put maximum stress on them and they did a good job of handing a stressful situation."

Added the seniors did a nice job of leading and the freshmen did a nice job of 'picking up the pace'.

Asked about Juan, and Willingham said that they continue to be cautious with his foot, but all signs are pointing in a positive direction. Added that Alemeda Ta'amu (foot) and Jason Wells (knee) are similarly being put in situations that allow them to get their work in without putting themselves in jeopardy of re-injury. Ta'amu apparently has had a foot injury that has bothered him since high school, and Willingham said the only thing keeping Alameda from competing for a starting spot would be missing practice time.

Asked about Chris Izbicki's situation, and Willingham said that Izbicki is 'extremely remorseful' about the situation that took place, and how it embarrassed him, his family and the program. "He's willing to take the proper steps to make sure that it's a one-time occurence." He added that Izbicki will be disciplined within the structure of the team, but didn't go so far as to say that he'd be missing any practice time.

There are a bunch of players toying with different positions. Chris Polk is working at both RB and WR, Tyrone Duncan and De'Shon Matthews have played all along the DL, while Ryan Tolar took snaps yesterday from center. Willingham said that there are other players doing the same, but wouldn't elaborate as to particular names.

Asked about Polk, and his natural position at RB, and Willingham said that while he has a history at RB, he has a 'great many talents', and the program wants to be able to utilize those talents to maximum effectiveness. Asked if he would watch film of a player like Reggie Bush - who Polk was compared with in high school - Willingham said that coaches borrow things from anyone and anywhere in an attempt to get better.


8/5/08
12:33 pm

Talked to Juan for a few minutes. He's antsy to put some weight behind his foot to see how it is. "At some point I'm going to have to push around some 300-pounders to see what happens."

Said he'd love to do it this week, but told Coach Denbrock he'd wait until next week to give it a go. Said that if it did break again, it would be with no regrets because he gave it his best shot.

Said that he's thinking about BYU right now, but if everything goes really, really well there's an outside shot he could be playing at Oregon. "I'm just thinking BYU right now."

Right now his foot is sore, but not hurting. "I expected some soreness, but it feels good."

More than anything, he is hurt by not getting out there and playing with his teammates. That's what he wants to do more than anything, but he knows he has to wait a little longer. So right now he's just trying to get back into playing shape. "I'm in pretty good shape right now, I just need to get a little better."


8/5/2008
6:05 am

A story by Dawgman.com's Scott Eklund on Washington's receivers and tight ends...

Youth will be served at wideout and tight end


8/4/2008
6:00 pm

Monday Links

First practice report

Photo Gallery Day 1


8/4/2008
4:33 pm

A couple of quick practice observations...

**Alameda Ta'amu looks in great shape, but he's huge. He looks like he's wearing pads.

**Anthony Boyles has added some weight. He could be about 195 or so. He also appears to be working harder than I saw him working in the spring...that's a really good sign.

**Jake Locker is Jake Locker...no need to say more. The dude is huge and just a specimen.

**Cody Habben looks like he's legitimately over 300 now.

**Casey Bulyca has lost his gut and he's huge across his chest.

**Jordan White-Frisbee and Rosborough are both monsters and JWF has a mohawk...I'm sure Kim got a good pic of that.

**Mark Armelin, Skyler Fancher and Scott Schugert all look to be in good shape and have added some bulk since the spring.

**Cody Bruns is super quick and very smooth. I'd be shocked if he doesn't see a lot of time this fall.

**Daniel Te'o Neshiem was running the newbies through drills.

**Kalani Aldrich is still really skinny. He needs another year in my opinion.

**De'Shon Matthews looks bigger. He could be over 270 now, but it's hard to tell. His legs are really thick.

**Tyrone Duncan has actauly slimmed down a bit. He's probably right at 290.

**Cameron Elisara looks fit. A solid 285.

**Victor Aiyewa is big and imposing. Another specimen.

**Juan Garcia and Jason Wells both looked pretty good. Garcia was moving well and Wells, while he had a brace on, he looked like he was cutting with no problems at all.

**E.J. Savannah was there watching practice sans the cast.

**Donald Butler looks to be in great shape as well as Chris Stevens and Mason Foster.

**Quinton Richardson is smooth and Nate Williams has really put on some muscle.

Overall the team looks like they are in pretty good shape for the first day of practice....


8/4/2008
11:39 am

This is per the release given out at the press conference today...

Vincente Cordova, WR from Evergreen (Burien)
Riley Gervais, LB from Skyline (Issaquah): son of Steve Gervais
Justin Gunn, P/QB from Renton: IIRC, he signed to play baseball at UW
Eric Guttorp, PK from Nathan Hale
Dan Kanczugowski, DL from O'Dea
Taylor Lappano, DB from Eastlake: son of Tim Lappano
Nick Scott, OL from St. Louis, Mo, by way of Drake U.
Chancellor Young, WR

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