Washington has their final scrimmage of the fall camp today at Husky Stadium at 3:00 PM. Steve Sarkisian stated yesterday he is pretty optimistic about what he's seen in camp thus far, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
There are a lot of good things going on out there this fall and I thought I'd take this opportunity to highlight five guys today whose play thus far indicates they may make a significant impact this season.
Almost an afterthought as a last minute addition to the 2009 Husky recruiting class, Wallace was one of "those" kids who fell through the cracks. The younger brother of former Husky (and current Seattle Seahawk) safety CJ Wallace, Jordan came to camp and made an quick, strong impression behind EJ Savannah at weakside linebacker. The former HS safety is going to play early this season, a decision cemented when a biceps injury to Matt Houston has him out for around a month. Wallace isn't all the way there yet, but expect to see him receive significant time on special teams while grooming to take over for Savannah in 2010.
The redshirt freshman from San Diego arrived last season with expectations of playing early. It didn't click immediately despite the speed he brought to the lineup. This spring was more of the same and he remained buried in the depth chart. However, there has been a noticeable change of late and things are starting to click for Long, who Coach Holt has named as the #3 cornerback. Passing up Matt Mosley and Vonzell McDowell, who both have considerable experience, is no small feat; the emergence of Long is a pleasant and much-needed surprise to Washington fans who too vividly recall 2008's beleaguered secondary.
Washington heads in the season with a seven-deep receiving corps as talented as any collection of Husky pass catchers we've seen in better than a decade. That being said, one look at the true freshman Johnson and you realize he brings a different flavor to the group with his style of play. All seven receivers will have their moments, but Johnson has serious star quality written all over him.
I was hopelessly puzzled when Ty Willingham didn't aggressively recruit Johri Fogerson out of high school. My O'Dea High School allegiances aside, the first time I saw this kid play, I knew he could make an impact at the Pac 10 level on either side of the ball. Willingham finally offered after the 2007 Washington state championship game when Fogerson dominated the contest.
Fogerson ought to have sat out last season to gain experience and put on muscle, but injuries in the defensive backfield put him in an early starting role after moving over from tailback. The change back to offense this fall has been impressive and midway through camp, it appears that Fogerson and Chris Polk will be the top two tailbacks. With Curtis Shaw, Demetrious Bronson, and Willie Griffin also receiving their share of carries, the tailback position appears to finally be a strength at UW once again.
Cameron Elisara is one of those guys for whom I've been awaiting emergence. Entering his fourth year at Washington, Elisara came to UW as a decorated four-star recruit. Finally, now in his junior year, he is putting it all together and on the brink of a breakout season. One of the keys to the defense in 2009 is developing a dominant push inside to free up the defensive ends and linebackers. Elisara's development is one key reason I believe our defense will be dramatically improved this fall.
Coug Center Guidelines
The guys at Coug Center put together some Community Guidelines for their membership and visitors to follow. I think they did a pretty good job with it.
One thing we have done pretty well over here is police ourselves just using simple logic. Most of us have membership in either Dawgman or Brand X and we all know that it can get out of hand over there on the message boards which can be pretty frustrating for the serious reader.
One thing you may have noticed over on Dawgman is the moderators and users have it pretty well under control these days. The big reason is the united front behind the new coaching staff and some careful elimination of those who were causing the most trouble and refused to get it.
As for trouble we really haven't had any over here.
So as we go into the season remember a couple basic guidelines.
1. Keep the profanity to a minimum. Which we all seem to do. I think sometimes game threads can make it difficult. Add a little of your favorite libation and I understand.
2. Treat visiting fans from other schools with respect. I think you will find that almost all bring a ton to the table once they feel comfortable. Some will start off by popping in with a smart ass comment but for the most part all figure it out pretty quickly that they can have fun here talking football even if they are not a Husky fan. Some of my favorite posters just happen to be from other schools.
3. No biting or pulling hair.
That is pretty much it and I want to thank all of you for doing such a great job with your contributions.