Two big events happened this past weekend. The first was the annual UW Spring Game that was held at Century Link Field and the second was the NFL Draft which yielded a couple of local surprises that weren't all that pleasant.
Washington's Chris Polk went un-drafted because of health concerns. Polk had been generally projected as possibly as high as a second-round pick after rushing for 4,049 yards in his UW career, the second-most in school history.
Rumors are that teams were scared off by his shoulder, hip, and knees. Polk, who was very durable while at Washington, had shoulder surgery in the off season twice that I was aware of but the knee and hip issues were news to Steve Sarkisian who said he wasn't aware of that.
I think that any team who picks up Polk as a free agent is getting a player who has the ability to not only stick but start for a number or of NFL teams. The Seattle Times reported on Sunday that he was going to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Boise State's Kellen Moore who hails from Prosser, WA wasn't drafted by anyone either. The knock on the winningest QB in college football history is size and arm strength. I wish the Seahawks had signed him because I think he will figure out a way to get it done at the next level. Moore will reportedly sign with the Lions.
Alameda Ta'amu was drafted in the fourth round by the Steelers and Senio Kelemete was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth. I think both these guys will have success at the next level. Keep in mind that neither red-shirted and in my mind neither really peaked while at UW because of that.
Jermaine Kearse will sign a free agent contract with the Seahawks while Devin Aguilar is off to Tennessee to rekindle his relationship with former UW QB Jake Locker. Cort Dennison is another guy who will be signed by someone as a free agent before the end of the weekend.
One word describes yesterday's spring game and that word would be vanilla. The defense had its way with an offense that was intent on not showing much to the crowd or whatever scouts happened to be in attendance.
Keith Price didn't have a great day and it wasn't the offensive line's fault that he was off yesterday. Things just never really clicked and he never got in to any type of rhythm. Price of course is the least of our worries headed into the fall so while his performance was disappointing it doesn't really mean anything going forward.
Bishop Sankey is a complete big time running back. He runs, catches and blocks pretty well for a second year player. We didn't get a chance to really see what he was capable of yesterday because the defense pretty much knew what was going to happen next the entire day.
Jon Amosa has nailed down the FB job for now. He blocks well and has the ability to hold on to a catch when the QB looks in his direction.
The wide receivers continue to have a problem holding on to the ball. The best of the bunch yesterday was senior James Johnson. The return of a healthy Kevin Smith in the fall will play dividends. Kasen didn't have a great day but we all know that he is on track to break out big time next season.
The TE's were OK but they didn't stand out. Despite having one of the best trio's in the country. ASJ could probably use a long rest after jumping into spring football after his successful stint on the basketball team. All three of these guys still need to work on their blocking.
A good friend who was at the game says the offensive line played fairly well and he expects that all the reps by the second stringers this spring will pay dividends in the fall. He feels that when Kohler and Tanigawa return to full strength that the line will be solid when the season begins. That being said they did give up way too many sacks.
Defensively the Huskies looked good but keep in mind that they knew what was coming on just about every play. That won't be the case when the season starts.
The defensive line has a lot of pieces that are working well right now. The Huskies finally have put together enough talent and depth to rotate eight or more players the entire game with little drop off in performance. Keeping the bug guys fresh is huge and the addition of Tokolahi and Jamora in the fall is really going to push the unit over the top.
The linebackers are playing much better than they were at the end of last season. Obviously they have gotten bigger and matured over the off season but I think the new schemes are playing the the strengths of the personnel which wasn't always the case in previous seasons.
Moving Fellner to linebacker is a great move because it yields a player that can stuff the run and still give you some decent coverage since he is former safety. Even though Timu and Fuiamaono started out as LB's they are basically safety sized guys too so speed and agility are more valued on this defense currently than girth.
The defensive backs were impressive. They dominated play and shut down the Washington receivers for most of the day. Ducre and Peters were particularly impressive. There is a lot more ball hawking going on out there. Its obvious to me that the days of the ten yard cushion are over.
The Huskies held Junior Day in conjunction with the Spring Game and the early reviews indicate that it may have been one of the better recruiting weekends in the history of Sark's tenure at UW.
It seems that the coaching changes that were made in the off season combined with the excitement of playing at Century Link, the construction of the new Husky stadium, and the overall direction of the program has gotten the attention of some of the West's top players.
A lot of former players turned out this weekend and that was another huge factor in creating some positive electricity around the program. It nice to see the staff and the department as a whole continuing to rebuild that aspect of the program.
Sean Constantine from Bellevue HS committed to Sark yesterday before the game. He is a big get for a number of reasons. First of all he is a local kid and you always like to see those guys grab a spot early to get the momentum going. Secondly he is one of the better LB prospects we have seen come out of the state in some time. He is a real player and I expect him to have a great career at Washington.
Greg Biggins loves Derek Babiash. He is a big physical corner in the old USC mold of corner backs. It is still early and every school in California is going to come after him hard but he says he wants to leave the state and he loves the staff at Washington.
Santa Margarita HS Offensive lineman Dane Crane committed to Washington on Sunday night after returning from his trip to Seattle. He attended the spring game with four of his HS teammates and all are very high on the Huskies. Crane's film is awesome and he is projected to be a custom made center.
OT Riley Sorenson, QB Johnny Stanton, and S Connor O'Brien also made the trip up from Santa Margarita. O'Brien tweeted last night that he would be announcing on Monday. Just putting two and two together it looks like Washington will end up being his choice.
RB Justin Davis is one of the top recruits on UW's 2013 wish list. He is from Stockton and you know that Tosh has been all over him for a couple of years. He visited this weekend and said he would decide in May.
WR Darrell Daniels is a big time target who happens to be buddies with UW CB Marcus Peters and future S Shaq Thompson. He loved his trip but Oregon and USC are UW's main competition for his services.
DL Joe Mathis committed and de-committed to Washington last year. His older brother did the same thing before finally switching to Oregon. Washington, Michigan, Nebraska, and USC are his current favorites. This kid is big time stud and would be a great get.