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UW Football opens spring camp

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Football arrives just in time to save UW sports fans from themselves

It’s not exactly game week, but UW spring practices is a welcome respite for beleaguered UW fans.

Today is March 27th. It’s been a long, long trip since last we saw UW football players on the field. Let’s recap, shall we?

  • UW was throttled by an Alabama team that demonstrated just how much room UW has left to grow into
  • Fans endured the expected but still painful exodus of several football underclassmen including Budda Baker, Sidney Jones, John Ross and Elijah Qualls
  • UW football recruiting closed with a whimper as UW suffered a critical last second defection in top DT prospect Marlon Tuipoluto and an inability to close with other top prospects. What at one time was considered one of their best prospectie classes ever, their class rating dropped all the way to fifth in the PAC by signing day
  • UW MBB squandered one of the best players to ever have donned a Husky uniform
  • Star QB Jake Browning submitted to surgery on his throwing shoulder
  • UW assistants Chris Strausser and Bush Hamdan left the football staff, disrupting the continuity that the Petersen staff was known for
  • Sidney Jones suffered a devastating leg injury in the UW pro day
  • Legendary Husky coach Lorenzo Romar, viewed by most fans as well past his prime, was dismissed after 15 years with the program
  • New head coach Mike Hopkins, a career assistant with no head coaching experience at any level, suffered early setbacks in his regime with the unraveling of the best recruiting class UW had ever signed. For good measure, two core rotational players have reportedly opted to transfer while two of Hopkins former Syracuse colleagues turned down opportunities to join him at UW as assistants.

We can all be forgiven if we’ve been at each other’s throats lately. Even local columnists have lost their minds with the latest example of TNT’s John McGrath writing a hatchet job on an 18 year old kid who just led Brandon Roy’s Nathan Hale program to a championship.

That’s a lot of negative juju to cope with after enjoying the return to prominence of the football program.

Of course, it wasn’t all that bad. We still had great stories to root for such as John Ross winning an island (only to have it taken away), Kelsey Plum becoming the NCAA’s all-time scoring leader and the returns of both Will Conroy and Cameron Dollar - a couple of Lorenzo Romar’s most popular assistants - to the MBB staff. Those are all good things and they register as wins on the offseason scoreboard.

Still, who among you isn’t more than a little excited to see some spring football?

It’s time for some spring cleaning, Husky fans. We are clearing the decks and hitting reset button on the 2017 athletics calendar. It’s time for out with the old and in with the new. And we begin with spring football.

Chris Petersen opens his fourth spring camp today. The core story line that every fan wants to follow centers on one simple question: “how will Chris Petersen take his program to the next level?”

Not an easy question to answer considering the fact that UW is coming off a PAC 12 championship and its first appearance in the College Football playoffs.

Obviously, Petersen isn’t trying to eat that elephant in one gulp. He’s more focused on the pressing details that are facing him in the here and now. Some of those questions include:

  • How quickly can new coaches Matt Lubick (WR) and Scott Huff (OL) get into the Petersen routine?
  • What kind of work can the quarterback group get in with Jake Browning still rehabbing from his surgery?
  • How will overhauls of the defensive back and wide receiver rotations adjust following the losses of Baker, Jones, Kevin King, and Ross?
  • Which of the younger offensive linemen will emerge to challenge for the open interior line positions?
  • Where will UW generate a pass rush from?
  • Is there anybody ready to take one the role vacated by Elijah Qualls and who will emerge as the rotational inside d-linemen?
  • What kind of work can returning injured players like Browning, Connor O’Brien, and Azeem Victor get in?

That is just a smattering of the kinds of questions that are on the head coach’s “to do list”. Those are in addition to the standard objectives that are present at the open of every camp such as establishing team goals, getting younger players assimilated, refreshing fundamentals and figuring out positions and roles for key rotational players.

That’s a lot. And it is a delicious feast of nourishing topics to debate for a Husky fan base that has overstuffed on sports topics high in fat and low in nutritional value.

If you are just getting caught up, check out our spring previews to get caught up on all the players, story lines and open questions surrounding this spring. Otherwise, check in with our comments section and let us know what you are interested in.

It is time for spring football. And it couldn’t have come soon enough.