Today the Huskies began spring practices and Jimmy Lake spoke to the media which provided plenty of news about the program. We’ve compiled some of the key pieces of information and video snippets available for you all in one place.
Laiatu Latu Taking Medical Retirement
Lake says they consulted four or five of the best specialists in the country before concluding that Latu's career would be over.— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) April 7, 2021
This is an incredibly unfortunate piece of news. Latu was expected to start opposite Ryan Bowman last fall but missed the 4-game season due to an unspecified injury. Zion Tupuola-Fetui ended up taking his place and shining but getting Latu back would’ve greatly helped UW’s depth this year as well as shored up the position in years to come. Latu played 215 snaps as a true freshman and flashed at times as a future star.
The transfer in of OLB Jeremiah Martin from Texas A&M makes more sense now that we know that Latu is exiting the program. The Huskies have Bowman and ZTF returning as the expected starters at the OLB position now for the fall with Martin and Sav’ell Smalls probably starting as 2nd on the depth chart. Draco Bynum, Bralen Trice, Jordan Lolohea, and Maurice Heims will also be on the roster (provided no transfers out) in the fall.
Best of luck to Latu moving forward. It’s absolutely crushing that he doesn’t get to pursue his dreams of the NFL since he clearly had a chance to get there. We’ll miss you Laiatu and hopefully the injury won’t impact your ability to live a normal pain-free life moving forward.
Gilchrist and Kizer Officially Done
Was probably safe to assume at this point, but Lake confirms 2020 opt-outs Jacob Kizer and Isaiah Gilchrist have both moved on.— Christian Caple (@ChristianCaple) April 7, 2021
This one wasn’t much of a surprise. Taj Davis was the 3rd opt-out from the fall and he was re-added to the roster and at practice this morning. Kizer and Gilchrist not having any of those things happen were a clear sign that they did not intend to return. Kizer had a history of back injuries so if he had chosen to take a medical retirement that would’ve made sense even without COVID. Gilchrist never cracked the depth chart and has gotten his degree so again it made sense that he wouldn’t be returning.
- Richard Newton was seemingly in the doghouse at the end of the season and that may not have changed (or he could’ve just tweaked something recently).
Richard Newton wasn't out there today. Jimmy Lake didn't comment on his absence.— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) April 7, 2021
There were two turnovers on the day: a James Smith INT where Dylan Morris airmailed Rome Odunze, and a Sam Huard INT to Zion Tupuola-Fetui. ZTF dropped into coverage and covered up a short route.— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) April 7, 2021
Sam Huard to Devin Culp pic.twitter.com/efK440ZAlD— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) April 7, 2021
Jay'Veon Sunday dropped his shoulder into Cam Williams at the end of a long run during a scrimmage and Lake had to remind Sunday that they're still in shorts.— Lars Hanson (@LarsHanson) April 7, 2021
"Very physical, tough player," Jimmy Lake on Texas Tech WR transfer Ja'Lynn Polk. Former team captain at Lufkin HS, same high school as RB signee Caleb Berry.— Lars Hanson (@LarsHanson) April 7, 2021
Jeremiah Martin and Brendan Radley-Hiles both worked with the second unit during this morning's first spring practice.— Lars Hanson (@LarsHanson) April 7, 2021
Bookie, Dom Hampton and Jacobe Covington might be the most versatile defensive backs in the room