One of the more festive new traditions initiated by Chris Petersen once he took over as the head coach for the University of Washington football program is the annual Husky Combine.
Not unlike the more famous NFL Combine, this event allows Husky football athletes the opportunity to compete with one another in a controlled environment to demonstrate how much they've improved their physical skills during the offseason. Consider it a tour de force for Husky Strength and Conditioning Coach Tim Socha.
In addition to whetting the whistle of football-hungry Husky fans, the Husky Combine is a creative way to create a database on the physical development of athletes that run through the UW program. People close to Chris Petersen and the program understand how important objective data analysis is in the decision-making and accountability processes that the staff adheres to. This event is one more touchstone for both athletes and and coaches to evaluate how they are performing in the execution of their program.
The combine has had the effect of creating buzz around certain athletes. Last season, defensive back Kevin King was the big beneficiary of that buzz as he showed up all over the leader boards across the different events. The year before, it was a combination of Kendyll Taylor, Travis Feeney and King who impressed. Its interesting to see how much Feeney, in particular, improved certain categories such as vertical jump (3 inches) and broad jump (4 inches).
Congrats to these two on their performance yesterday. Hard work will pay off pic.twitter.com/XGjRkP4UJO— Coach Petersen (@CoachPeteUW) February 29, 2016
This year, there will be a few athletes that people will be keeping their eyes on. In addition to King, RB Jomon Dotson, DB Budda Baker, WR Chico McClatcher, DB Jordan Miller and DB Austin Joyner are all names that many UW fans will be keying on over the course of the event. Many fans will also be watching with keen interest to see how much progress WR John Ross has made in his rehab and whether or not he can improve on his 2014 stats.
Here is the full release from the athletic department:
SEATTLE - Fans are welcome to attend this Sunday, March 6, as the UW football team will go through its annual Husky Combine at the Dempsey Indoor Practice Facility, starting at 1:00 p.m.
The team's strength and conditioning staff will put all available, current players through a series of tests and drills similar to the NFL Combine or a school Pro Day, with the first group (seniors-to-be) getting started at 1:00 p.m.
After the seniors, the remaining wide receivers and defensive backs will work out, starting at about 1:30 p.m. Following them, at 2:30, will be the running backs, tight ends, quarterbacks and linebackers. At 3:30 p.m., the offensive and defensive linemen, plus the long snappers, close out the day.
There will not be any special parking set aside (normal, Sunday on-campus parking is available as always in various lots near the Dempsey; note that there is a baseball game at 1:00 p.m. at Husky Ballpark), but there will be no admission fee charged at the Dempsey.