Spring Football Media Day Notes

E.J. Savannah (Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

SEATTLE - There was plenty to talk about Monday as first-year Head Coach Steve Sarkisian addressed the media at the Founder's Club about his first foray into spring ball as the Head Husky. Who will be available? How will they get their work accomplished? Who are some of the new names to the roster? Check here for more spring football media day notes.

Notes:
Roster notes: There are 94 players listed on Washington's official spring roster; 70 scholarshipped players and 24 walk-on players. Back are three former Huskies; E.J. Savannah, Curtis Shaw and Anthony Gobern, as well as true freshman Demitrius Bronson.

Injury Notes: These are the following players that are either out for spring completely or are going to be limited for spring ball: Vonzell McDowell (labrum, limited), Jason Wells (achilles, out), Kurt Mangum (knee, limited), Brandon Yakaboski (ACL, out), Victor Aiyewa (sports hernia, limited), Terence Thomas (ankle/knee/foot, out), Marek Domanski (shoulder, limited), Romeo Savant (back, limited).

Terrance Dailey and Mark Armelin are day-to-day with non-health related issues. Also, no Dorson Boyce, who couldn't get cleared academically in time to make it for spring ball. He'll be at UW in the summer, according to Sarkisian

Position Notes: Senio Kelemete was the only major position move, according to Sarkisian. He moved from the defensive line to the offensive line. He'll start at guard, with a chance at tackle. Sarkisian noted a need to get more athletic on the offensive line, as well as the benefits of getting a player with a nasty d-lineman's mentality in Kelemete. Sarkisian added that Ryan Tolar has moved from left guard to center to start out the spring.

E.J. Savannah: The senior from Bellevue, reinstated by Sarkisian in December, is down to 230 pounds after showing up somewhere in the 'mid 240's', according to Sarkisian. The head coach added that Savannah, a former Bellevue High star, has really bought in and new Linebackers coach Mike Cox has motivated him. "He's worked through a lot of adversity in his life and I think he realizes the opportunity he has and is taking advantage of it," Sarkisian said of Savannah.

Curtis Shaw: Shaw, who came to Washington as a running back but was moved to receiver his freshman year in 2007, is back at running back. Sarkisian added that Shaw could do little of both, maybe more at RB right now. He looks like a RB to the staff, but they could see him spliting out some. According to Sarkisian, Shaw got off to a slow start at the beginning of school when he came back, but the last six weeks has looked really good.

Reshaping bodies: Sarkisian gave out one statistic to show the immediate improvements made by strength and conditioning coaches Ivan Lewis and Charr Gahagan: the loss of a combined 200 pounds by the current group of offensive linemen. Sarkisian characterized the off-season workouts as 'very intense from the movement standpoint'. There was a heavy emphasis on changing direction, explosion, speed and movement. "There was very little stationary work done, he said. "In turn it created a conditioning aspect, but also made us a more powerful movement team and a more powerful lower-body team, a team that can play in space."

Building Jake back up: Locker, who missed most of the 2008 season with an injury to his throwing hand, will be 100 percent for spring, according to Sarkisian. Of just as much interest will be the ability for the staff to mold the athletic junior QB into the kind of signal-caller they need to efficiently run Sarkisian's offense. Sarkisian said Monday the first step Locker needs to take is in his accuracy as a passer. He needs to have a completion rate of over 60 percent. "He needs to take the checkdowns and reign himself in from always looking for the big plays," Sarkisian said.

How much can they get done?: Sarkisian was asked about how much instillation realistically get 75 percent of their systems in. He also said that there would be days where they hold back and revisit other days. "We'll be realistic," he said. "We're not going to be stubborn about it and continue to force-feed things. We're going to be smart about it. But we need to get a lot taught, and we're going to challenge ourselves to get it taught."

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