For the first of 3 times this fall the media was allowed into Husky stadium to watch the team practice. Well, 20 minutes of practice. We here at UWDP have pesky things called day jobs but we’ve rounded up all of the news and notes that came out of the session so you don’t miss out.
Lake: TE Jacob Kizer and DB Isaiah Gilchrist have decided to opt out of the season due to concerns about COVID-19. "We completely understand."— Lauren Kirschman (@laurenkirschman) October 9, 2020
Jacob Kizer appeared to be in line for the primary blocking tight end duties based on his past performance. In past seasons that has been a pivotal role in Washington’s offense and a great way to see the field. Kizer would have the option to return if he wants in 2021 but he will have his degree so it seems unlikely he comes back. If he doesn’t return then his Husky career comes to an end after playing 33 games in 3 seasons with 3 catches for 25 yards.
Without Kizer as the 2nd tight end in 2020 it will open up playing time for some young ones. Devin Culp is the only other returning scholarship tight end now but offseason rumors were that he might be moved into more of an H-back role in the Donovan offense. That leaves plenty of playing time for the trio of true freshmen alongside veteran stalwart Cade Otton. Mark Redman and Jack Yary were the two most highly recruited and the shortened season takes away redshirt concerns but at least one of them will now likely see extensive playing time. Don’t forget walk-on Jack Westover who stepped in admirably to play the 3rd TE/Fullback role in Hamdan’s offense last year.
Gilchrist’s departure from the roster doesn’t have quite as much impact on Washington’s 2020 success. Gilchrist was part of a stacked DB recruiting class in 2016 that include Byron Murphy and Taylor Rapp. He was a consensus 4-star recruit and top-300 player nationally coming out of local Bellevue high school. Unfortunately, Gilchrist was just never able to get his way onto the field.
Just like Kizer, Gilchrist has the option to return but it would be completely understandable if he decides to call it a career. So far Isaiah has had 0 starts and appeared in just 11 total games over 4 seasons. If this it for him, thank you Isaiah for staying home for your college career and enjoy the benefits of that Husky degree!
Watching Your Weight
The new fall roster means updated weight totals. Everyone is listed as a multiple of 5 so there’s been some rounding done but it’s still worth looking at the folks who have seen swings of at least 10 pounds from their 2019 weights to their 2020 ones. Here’s who is on that list:
Kirkland -28, Luciano +27, Fautanu +20, Buelow -17, Culp -17, Pleasant +17, Kalepo -16, ZTF +14, Jones -13, Tuli -13, Turner +13, Calvert +12, Hampton +12, McGrew -11, Curne +10, Latu -10, McDuffie +10
I’ll comment on a few of them that seem to be particularly telling. Kirkland’s massive weight loss appears to confirm that the staff is moving him outside to left tackle. Buelow and Kalepo both entered college quite massive and the staff clearly has been working to trim away some of the baby fat as both are down more than 15 pounds. Meanwhile, Luciano, Fautanu, and Curne have all bulked up along the line. Luciano is clearly in part because they had him fill in as a tight end last season and without that duty he can go back up to his OL weight.
Several of the defensive backs bulked up in Hampton, Turner, and McDuffie. Hampton in particular is up to 220 and after seeing some time at corner last year it’s worth wondering if he’s getting moved full time to safety. Turner and McDuffie are likely examples of guys putting on muscle with a full year of college workouts now under their belt.
I mentioned above that Devin Culp was rumored to play more of an H-back role this season and the weight loss certainly makes sense in that context. The staff clearly tried to turn him into more of a blocking option but that wasn’t what he did in high school and he’s reshaping his body to try to regain some of his athleticism that made him a weapon coming into college.
It’s also interesting to see ZTF and Latu going opposite directions as young outside linebackers with Latu seemingly getting quicker to replace Tryon as a pass rusher and ZTF bulking up to be able to play the run.
And here are the biggest differences for the true freshmen between the weights listed on their high school 247 profiles and now:
Garbers +22, Rosengarten +22, McDonald +20, Murao +18, Hatchett +17, West -17, Bruener +14
Unsurprisingly we see 3 offensive linemen who have bulked up as they transition to college as well as both of the inside linebackers who were considered a little undersized when they signed. Perhaps the most surprising is QB Ethan Garbers who really appears to have hit the weight room hard this summer. And finally, the only one who has dropped a lot of weight is tight end Mason West who will likely not see much time this season as probably the 5th tight end on the roster.
Jimmy Lake asked if he can give a depth chart for his quarterbacks:— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) October 9, 2020
So there you have it!
When asked which freshmen are standing out, Lake mentions the two running backs (Sam Adams and Sunday), the outside linebackers (Sav'ell Smalls and Lolohea), the o-linemen and the secondary. So, pretty much everybody.— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) October 9, 2020
Jimmy Lake on how the daily testing is set up for UW: Separate the players in 'flights' and they enter in groups, then swab (45- 1 hour wait time before getting results).— Lars Hanson (@LarsHanson) October 9, 2020
Added the team is doing PCR testing 3-4 times per week
Lake says he expects Kyler Gordon to contribute "a ton" in the return game, coverage units and defense. Didn't give a set position but says he can play corner, nickel or safety.— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) October 9, 2020