The Huskies are nearing the mid-point of fall camp and conclude the week with a scrimmage on Saturday. Look for more position battles to be settled during this weekend. The health of the team is pretty good, though a number of players are a bit little nicked up. All on the roster (except Will Shaumburger and Chris Robinson) should be ready to go against LSU. There are a few minor injuries, which is expected at this juncture. Steve Sarkisian wryly commented that this is why they invented tape.
Among other injury news:
- Running back Johri Fogerson (ankle) sat out most of Thursday’s practice, but Sarkisian said he could have played if it had been game day.
- Walk-on fullback Tobias Togi, linebacker EJ Savannah, and wide receiver James Johnson were back to full-speed yesterday.
- Potential starting safety Greg Walker was held out of contact.
- Defensive lineman Craig Noble is off to a slow start due to the need to finish up a summer class and has been missing most morning workouts. He now has a swollen knee which the staff is keeping an eye on.
- Offensive tackle Terrance Thomas has been having trouble with a foot injury which could sideline him for awhile.
- Fullback Paul Homer is limited by a hamstring. The staff knows what he can do on the field and the goal is to get him back to 100% for the start of the season.
- Offensive guard Ryan Tolar is day to day with a minor foot injury.
- Offensive guard Morgan Rosborough is resting his shoulder.
- Safety Vic Aiyewa is recovering from getting his bell rung.
- Safety Jason Wells is back, but is coming along slowly after an achilles strain.
The big news yesterday was the return of Freshman cornerback Desmond Trufant, who had been out while finishing a high school class necessary for eligibility. Sarkisian and Defensive Coordinator Nick Holt believe Trufant still has a shot at playing early and contributing this season.
One of the things we commented on back in the springtime was whether Washington had a single "real" cornerback on its roster. The pecking order shows that the coaches have decided on the top thre--and two of them weren't playing last season. Quinton Richardson will be the starter on one side, flanked by redshirt freshman Justin Glenn. Another redshirt freshman, Adam Long, has emerged as the primary back up.
With Dominique Gaisie no longer on the squad, the coaching staff is trying to find the fourth player with true cornerback speed, which is why they are trying to bring Trufant along quickly enough to contribute in his first season despite missing the first half of fall camp. Sophomore Michael Batts may also factor-in at cornerback, though as he acclimates to Division One ball, he is the primary backup at safety and the starting nickel back.
I just want to throw some kudo's out to the beat writers following the Huskies this season. All of them are doing an excellent job. One thing I really like is the diversity of focus in their coverage each day. As you can see by the previews below, all three (including the guys over at Dawgman) are giving us something different to read about each day.
In seasons past, Bob Condotta of the Times would write something, then Molly Yanity of the P-I would pretty much write about the same exact thing. I think the open practices are helping quite a bit this season in allowing the writers to focus on different aspects of the team.
Bob's daily practice reports are works of art. He is also taking the time to do Q&A's, plus handle chat sessions on a regular basis. If you are fan, do not take that for-granted and pop Bob a note telling him how much you appreciate it.
The writers are arriving at UW around 8:00 AM and leaving at a little around 10:30 pm at night, making for a very long, full day.
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times focuses on the defensive backs in today's feature article. Lack of speed is obviously a problem they are trying to plan around. We do have some football players back there, but that great speed on the corners has to be recruited. Glenn and Long are the most pure CB's we have and both lack experience. As far as Richardson goes he is deceptive and has great size. He does have the potential to lay the lumber on the run.
"It's all about your eyes, how that makes and breaks your coverage skills," said cornerback Justin Glenn, referring to the techniques taught by new cornerbacks coach Demetrice Martin. "Because your feet will follow where your eyes go."
Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald focuses on WR Jordan Polk. I really like what Polk and Aguilar bring to the return game. I thought both showed the potential to be pretty shifty last season. With a season under their belt I think they will take it to another level.
On a receiving corps that returns its top three wideouts in terms of receptions — D’Andre Goodwin, Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar — the Huskies’ receivers are trying to stick out under the eye of the new coaching staff.
"Everybody’s getting a chance to show what they can do," said Polk, who is a distant cousin to Huskies running back Chris Polk. "When they get that opportunity to get in, they’ve got to make plays. That’s what’s going to separate everybody: making plays."
After spending 2008 as the team’s top kickoff return man, Polk is hoping to make more plays with the offense this season. His speed and playmaking ability have teammates excited about the possibilities.
Todd Milles of the New Tribune talks about a possible Thunder and Lightning formation in the offensive backfield. Todd is doing an excellent job this year finding new angles to write about. I think most succesful programs throw as many different looks at the opposition as possible to keep them on their toes. Obviously Washington has to out think most opponents since they are still shallow on depth and talent. Game planning was never Willingham's forte. He played his hand straight up and predictable. I don't think this staff will be very predictable on either side of the ball.
During the scrimmage portion of the evening practice Wednesday, coaches got to see sophomore Johri Fogerson and redshirt freshman Chris Polk paired together for a series or two.
The shifty and sturdy Fogerson (6-foot-1, 191 pounds) was the inside runner while the speedy Polk (5-11, 210) shifted around and sometimes split out wide as a receiver.