The Huskies concluded their first week of spring practice on Saturday but things don't really heat up until today when the team practices in full pads for the first time. Sark says that the team will be scrimmaging quite a bit today so this might be a good time to head out to the stadium to take a good look at what this team looks like full go.
Early reports indicate that this team will be improved in most area's but just like last season this is .500 type team that will go as far as the play at QB will take them. The early favorite based on last weeks practices to guide the team this fall is Keith Price. The sophomore still maintains an edge over RS Nick Montana at this point according to observers.
Whoever does start at quarterback this fall will have more tools to work with than Jake Locker did last season. TE's Austin Sefarian-Jenkins and Michael Hartvigson are going to be a major part of this offense in 2011. Both have shown the ability this spring to be able to give Washington a big dimension over the middle that they haven't had for the better part of a decade.
Remember when we were playing Oregon a couple of years ago and the Ducks broke open a close game in the first half with big plays to their TE's. The Huskies now have the type of tandem that can do that to opposing teams. These guys can get up there and get the ball.
Fullback is another area that Husky fans should be excited about. Paul Homer and Austin Sylvester were excellent blockers and special teams players but they weren't really counted to carry the rock or be much of a factor catching passes out of the backfield.
Zach Fogerson is the complete package at fullback. He can run, catch, and most importantly he can block. Once again he gives the QB another high percentage target coming out of the backfield. He also give Washington more of a hammer inside the red zone on running plays.
Kevin Smith and James Johnson are battling it out for the open WR position. Smith has the edge after the first week but it is still too close to call. Whoever wins this battle still needs to beat out Kasen Williams who arrives this summer. Williams is expected to make an impact. He adds a physical dimension that has been lacking in the UW receiving corps.
This is an important week for the big guys because now they can start working in full pads. You really can't tell anything until the linemen start hitting. Ben Riva has emerged as the guy to beat for the starting right tackle position. Colin Tanigawa looks to be the first inside guy off the bench if Koehler stays inside. Micah Hatchie is being groomed as a future left tackle.
Will be back later tonight with more comments at the end of practice.