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Six Days till Spring Practice

It is hard to believe but next Tuesday the Washington Husky football team will start their first spring practice under new head coach Steve Sarkisian. For the first time since the Rick Neuheisel days the practices are going to be open to media and fans every day. I find that exciting because no matter the result on the field it is going to create excitement around the program again.

Creating some excitement and installing new offensive and defensive schemes will be the first order this spring. Most of us will also be taking a good look at the overall conditioning of the team. Winer conditioning has reportedly gone well and we are told to expect a leaner and faster version of the squad this season.

Jake Locker supposedly is returning at close to 100% from his thumb injury which wiped out 3/4 of his season in 2008. The coaches haven't been able to work with Jake outside the film room so this will be the first time they will be able to give him hands on instruction while he is in action.

Locker went into last season with a huge buzz surrounding him that didn't include the tools to protect him or compliment his talents. Locker ran for his life the the first three games of they year before going down against OSU. The season went down with him on that play.

  • Jake Locker
  • Ronnie Fouch
  • Luther Leonard

The goal this spring is to develop some complimentary tools around Jake. The biggest question mark going in would be at running back. Curtis Shaw, Brandon Johnson, Chris Polk, Willie Griffin, Brandon Yakaboski, and Demetrious Bronson. Last years leading rusher Terrance Dailey will sit out the spring and could red shirt next season after shoulder surgery. Something has to give at this position because Washington will bring in three RB's in the next class.

I like Curtis Shaw for a couple of reasons. He is the fastest player on the team and he put on 15-20 lbs of muscle in the off season. He did take a year off so we need to see how quickly he picks everything back up. Shaw emerging as a threat at this position

When healthy and in shape Brandon Johnson is the most complete back on the team. David Freeman is an exciting runner that makes people miss. Griffin is able to run between the tackles with a low center of gravity.

Polk started the first two games last season before injuring his shoulder. Polk is a guy that has to see the field. It could be at TB SB, or WR. Bronson will get a shot at becoming Washington's big back. It is crucial that Washington develops a competent running game in 2009 to take the load off Jake.

  1. Brandon Johnson
  2. Curtis Shaw
  3. David Freeman
  4. Chris Polk
  5. Willie Griffin
  6. Brandon Yakaboski
  7. Demetrious Bronson
  8. Terrence Dailey (Injured)

The tight end position was missing during the entire reign of Tyrone Willingham. Washington will shift gears in 2009 and introduce Dorson Boyce, Kavario Middleton, and Chris Izbicki to the offense.

Sarkisian is going to use his TE's the same way he did at USC. That means a lot more opportunity for these bif guys and an easier intermediate target for Jake Locker to hit.

Boyce who will be here this spring gives Washington a great blocker on the outside who is also a receiver with good hands.

Middleton has all world potential as a receiver. The key to his game is developing his strength and blocking skills.

I don't know what to tell you about Izbicki. The change of staffs should benefit him quite a bit after spending 2008 in Ty's doghouse.  This is a make or break season for Chris with two TE's coming in the Fall and a couple more headed this way in 2010. You have to figure he has the talent to be a third string TE on an 0-12 team.

  1. Dorson Boyce
  2. Kavario Middleton
  3. Chris Izbicki

Paul Homer has been a stud ever since the day he arrived. He has excelled in blocking and has been a leader on special teams. What he hasn't been called on to do much is carry the ball or catch passes. He isn't exactly fast and he doesn't have great hands but that doesn't mean much because UW only used him on short yardage running situations,

I think getting more out of Paul Homer and the FB position will be a priority this spring. Austin Sylvester backs him up and I don't hav ea real goo dread on him other than from special teams. I could see UW moving a Bronson or Yakaboski over here. Yak is injury prone but he has enough size. He also has the best hands on the team.

  1. Paul Homer
  2. Austin Sylvester

WR D'Andre Goodwin returns as Washington's leading receiver in 2008. Goodwin is one of the better receivers in the conference but he needs some threats to pop up beside him to eliminate double coverage.

I like these players even though most played too young last season. there is a big jump between the first and second year and I think most of these kids are ready to make it.

Who was the best WR in practice toward the end of last season? People are telling me it was Anthony Boyles. The public gets to see him for the first time this spring.

I really like the routes that Cody Bruns runs. He is very fluid out there. It will be nice to see what he can do without being injured.

I think Alvin Logan has more value at the safety position than at WR. I think he has a bigger ceiling over on defense. I could say the same thing about Vince Taylor too.

I could possibly see Chris Polk moving to receiver if he doesn't have an eye opening spring at TB. UW wanted to play him out of the slot last season and use him like James Rodgers.

  1. D'Andre Goodwin
  2. Jermaine Kearse
  3. Devin Aguilar
  4. Anthony Boyles
  5. Jordan Polk
  6. Cody Bruns
  7. Alvin Logan
  8. Vince Taylor