With all the discussion of a dearth of athletes on the football squad, Husky fans can take solace knowing the team will have legitimate talent lining up at safety in 2009.
Jr Nate Williams, So Johri Fogerson, and Jr Vic Aiyewa were the top three players to emerge from spring practice. Williams was impressive; onlookers took notice as he consistently led the defense during drills and scrimmages. Aiyewa battled the injury bug last season, and truly, should have taken the year off to preserve eligibility and get healthy. When healthy, Vic is a ferocious hitter. A starter for several games in 2008, Fogerson is an elite athlete who will improve with experience, though coaches may elect to move him to Tailback to offset the losses of Brandon Johnson and David Freeman.
A two-year starter who has missed most of the previous two seasons fighting injuries, senior Jason Wells is again recovering from a major setback. This winter Wells tore his achilles tendon, having yet another surgery from which to recover. When healthy, Jason has All Pac 10 potential; one observer who saw him on crutches at the spring game was amazed by his size and overall build. According to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, he will be ready to go by fall camp and is almost ready to start participating in unsupervised drills with the team.
Reached into the JC ranks by bringing in Michael Batts, one of the top-rated JC DB's in the country last season. Batts is qualified and a strong bet to start somewhere in the defensive backfield come September. The coaches have him listed as a safety, though he is versatile enough to play CB if needed.
Keep a close watch on Alvin Logan, who moved from WR late in the spring, and quickly made a strong impression on the coaching staff. RS Greg Walker also impressed this spring, looking like a player who will contribute on special teams in 2009. Walk-on Tripper Johnson returns after starting a few games last season; expect his contribution in 2009 to be limited to special teams.
The Huskies add two good looking athletes this fall in Will Shaumburger and Nate Fellner, though Shaumburger could be enrolling late due to surgery. Fellner, however, arrives ready to compete for playing time. The grandson of former WSU head man Jim Sweeney is destined to have a fine career at Washington, with his high school coach believing he has the maturity, build, and conditioning to play immediately.
One glance at the depth chart shows that Washington is young, talented, and deep at safety. They are three deep at both positions with kids that can step in and start games in 2009. I think safety will be one of the most improved positions on the roster in 2009.
- Nate Williams Jr
- Johri Fogerson So
- Michael Batts So
- Vic Aiyewa Jr
- Alvin Logan So
- Jason Wells Sr
- Greg Walker Rs
- Tripper Johnson Jr
- Nate Fellner Fr
- Will Shaumburger Fr