We passed the halfway point of spring practice today. It was the Dawgs’ eighth practice of the year and they have fifteen total (including the spring game). Today the team was in shorts, shoulder pads, and helmets; apparently taking it easy before the usual Saturday scrimmage. It was an absolutely beautiful day in Seattle today and I might have come away with a sunburn, which is just fine by me. Before heading down to the stadium I bought some iced tea and two Choco Tacos (Choco Tacos are the most under-rated snack/dessert of all time. Seriously, I could eat 5 without any problem. They are perfect for a warm day like this was. Choco Tacos are one of those small things that you have to cherish. Like the movie Zombieland has taught us, it’s the little things in life that make it grand and Choco Tacos are the grandest of the little things. Go buy one.). It felt like Summer and it was glorious.
There were no new injuries today. Jordan Polk is still struggling with a hamstring injury and he played sparingly. Cody Bruns and D’Andre Goodwin are also out so the depth at receiver isn’t very strong right now.
During drills today I tried to watch the offensive and defensive line more so that I’d have something different to report. I don’t know a ton about the lines but I came away with a few observations.
- Senio Kelemente is going to be really good. He could become a pretty good NFL prospect by this time next year. It’s clear he’s the best on the line for a number of reasons but when he does get beat by a defensive lineman (this hardly happens) the defensive players celebrate a little bit more. Talia beat him once in a one-on-one drill today and then they went up against each other the very next play. Talia got knocked down twice and never did get to the target. Don’t mess with Senio!
- Skyler Fancher still appears a step slow and rusty. He is coming off an injury so I imagine that he’s still getting going but if he looks like this in the Fall I’m not sure how much he’ll play with the return of Cody Habben and incoming freshman.
- Mykena Ikehara is pretty impressive. He still looks a little small but he also looks like UW’s second best offensive lineman. He can play either guard or center, right now they have him at center.
- De’Shon Matthews was impressive today. He beat Fancher around the edge 3 different times. I’ve said this before but I don’t know why he was playing defensive tackle before. I know there wasn’t much depth when Ty moved him but if he had stuck at DE I get the feeling that he really could have been something special.
- Talia Critchon is still a little small but his speed is impressive. If he puts a little more weight on I think he could be pretty successful next year.
- After watching closer today, I’m a little more worried about Cameron Elisara’s speed at DE. I don’t know if he can beat people around the edge but time will tell.
As for the rest of the team, it was the usual suspects who put up good performances. Both of the freshman running backs put up some really solid, long runs. It is worth coming out to a practice just to watch these two. They will make you excited about the future of Husky football.
The defense had it’s way most of the day. I don’t recall a touchdown today in the team session. The linebackers and secondary continue to impress. If anyones trying to lock up their starting job by fall camp it’s Nate Fellner. He continues to make good plays and more importantly doesn’t make any bad ones. Will Shamburger also made some really good hits from the safety position today. All of a sudden depth at safety looks to be a really strong point for this Husky team.
Just a few more thoughts after the jump.
- The linebackers were a little bit of a question mark coming into the spring with the loss of Donald Butler and E.J. Savannah. But at this point I’m starting to feel really comfortable with that group. Mason Foster and Cort Dennison lead the defense and the other guy, be it Alvin Logan, Matt Houston, or Victor Aiyewa, looks solid. I’m not very concerned about this position anymore.
- Speaking of Cort Dennison, he is like Eric Byrnes except not annoying. He sprints everywhere and is one of the loudest players on the field. He’s a good leader. If he was a baseball player I’m willing to bet that he wouldn’t hit near as many infield pop-ups as Byrnes does. Good, solid doubles, that’s what Cort would hit.
- One of the highlights of the day was a little dance off with the receivers and cornerbacks. While the equipment managers were setting up the next drill, the music apparently caught Vonzell McDowell’s ear and he started dancing. A good share of the group joined in. The winner in my book was McDowell but James Johnson showed some good moves.
- The dancing is just one example of this team having fun. It’s very apparent every practice that these players are having a good time. I have to wonder if this was the case when Willingham was coach. Some people may think this aspect doesn’t contribute to a teams chances at winning but I disagree. After seeing last years Mariners overachieve and watching this team, I think these players having fun raises the level of performance.
- On Saturday I’m sure there will be some sort of scrimmage. Come on out, you really have no excuse if the weathers as nice as it was today. This is a fun team to watch already and I think most sports fans would enjoy these practices.
Thanks for reading!
Wishing you an early Happy Felix Day,