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Your 2014 UW Husky Offensive Preview

Hey readers, long time no write! New content here has been next to non-existent for a while, but college football season always inspires The Good Guys. I can’t promise the inspiration will last, but we’ll at least get the season started right.

With Seahawk fever now a permanent Seattle epidemic, the Huskies aren’t getting a lot of attention yet.  I don’t know whether that will change at all, but they deserve some buzz. This team has the potential to be the best Husky squad since the Tui-led Rose Bowl team. That’s not saying a ton, and this team has questions, but there’s the chance of something special on Montlake.

I debated what type of preview to write, but I think I’m going with a good old position-by-position write-up. While a lot of these players have been around, some of the focus is shifting from the departed offensive stars to lesser-known guys. I’ll start with the offense tonight. Here we go!

Quarterback

Most fans would say this position is the key to the Huskies season, and it’s hard to disagree. I don’t know that the Dawgs need elite QB play this year, but they need an unproved guy to be dependable and reasonably mistake-free. Who the QB will be is still somewhat in doubt. Jeff Lindquist gets the opening start in Hawaii. He’s big and athletic with a good arm but next to no experience. There’s no reason he can’t be effective, but game action is the only true determiner. Lindquist narrowly beat out freshman Troy Williams, who has maybe the biggest arm and most potential of the group, but the least experience. Should Lindquist struggle, Williams could see some time. Hopefully more likely, he’ll see mop-up duty in Hawaii.

Lurking behind these two is Cyler Miles, suspended for the opener for his off-season shenanigans. The common assumption is Miles will take over week two, but I don’t consider that a fait accompli. Miles brings a bit more experience and excellent running ability, but he’s generally considered to have the weakest arm on the roster and missed all of spring practice. Should Lindquist impress at Hawaii, it’s no given he’ll lose the spot just because Miles is available.

Running Back

Replacing Bishop Sankey is impossible, but the Dawgs have the talent to maintain an elite running game. Dwayne Washington will get the first carries. He’s taller for a back and fast, but runs with a good amount of power and violence. Fumbling issues held him down early last year, but he recovered to log the most yards of any back besides Sankey. His time as a receiver should theoretically be of benefit in the passing game. RS freshman Lavon Coleman has garnered raves since arriving in Seattle. He’s a big back with star potential.

Deontae Cooper and Jesse Callier are still around and should see plenty of carries. I’ve never been a huge Callier fan, but he’s a dependable change of pace from the bigger Washington and Coleman. It’s hard not to continue to hope for Cooper to regain everything he was rumored to have before his injuries. If he were to do so, he could easily take over the starting job and be one of the best in the conference. More likely, he’ll get a decent share of carries but not quite have the burst to be a star. No matter what, he’s one of the great stories of perseverance the Huskies will ever have.

Shaq Thompson looms in the shadows, awaiting the day the Dawgsignal summons him to the offensive backfield to deliver justice and retribution to Ducks and Bruins alike. 

Receivers

This is a talented and fairly deep group, but how dominant they are could depend on how effectively Kasen Williams returns from last year’s injury. He’s not yet at full strength, but he’s close enough to play this week. Kasen’s size and experience is needed as a counterpoint to the speed of Jaydon Mickens, John Ross and friends.  Mickens matured into a go-to receiver last year, and he could be a monster in 2014 if he can diversify his game a bit. Ross is the most electric player on the roster and could make a huge jump himself. There are capable bodies behind the three, but a breakout or two would be welcome.

Tight end is a little hard to figure, due to Austin Seferian-Jenkins departure and questions as to how a new staff will use the position. Josh Perkins showed himself capable of making big catches a year ago. Michael Hartvigson has never had the impact many expected, but he’s valuable as a blocker and might catch a few more passes this year. Darrell Daniels is easily the most talented guy here and one of the better athletes on the team. Hopefully he can translate all that into football skills. If he can catch the ball, he could be huge as a bigger threat to complement Kasen. 

Offensive Line

For the first time in a long time, UW is deep, talented and experienced on the O Line. Six guys have extensive starting experience, and there’s some young talent behind them. Tackles Micah Hatchie and Ben Riva are dependable if unspectacular. LG Dexter Charles, the lone junior starter, has been considered an awards candidate in waiting since his freshman year. Colin Tanigawa supplanted Mike Criste at C this fall, potentially a good sign since Criste was a solid starter all of last year. That move could be largely about getting mammoth James Atoe into the line-up at RG. This line might not be as dominant as some of the great lines of Husky days past, but they should be better than anything the Dawgs have had lately. Count me as one who believes the coaching change could have a huge effect here too, both in performance and recruiting. Dan Cozetto’s lines never seemed to reach their expected level, and new guy Chris Strausser is renowned as a teacher.

That’s enough for tonight. Defense is next in a day or two. Go Dawgs!

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Keys to a Breakout

Steve Sarkisian has done a solid job of transforming the Huskies from a winless and destitute program into a perfectly average squad.  They’ve won seven games for three straight years, marking 2013 as the time to step past average.  Realizing that it’s time for this to happen is easy, but actually accomplishing it is not.

While it’s not easy for bad teams to get back to mediocre or average, it’s also not terribly difficult.  When a team is terrible, especially as bad as the 2008 Huskies were, there are so many areas for improvement.  If every area of the team is bad, each area improved brings the team up.  The players brought in don’t have to be amazing, they just have to be better than the bad ones they’re replacing.  Often, just the change in coaching or attitude summons improvement from the holdovers.  Improving from terrible is not that hard.

Improving from average to good or great is hard.  Becoming good and then great requires good and great players, and unsurprisingly, those players are a lot harder to find.  Sometimes, coaching can elevate average players, and sometimes offensive or defensive schemes can neutralize talent disparities.  Most often, a team just needs to find better talent and better athletes.  Talent often underachieves, but poor talent rarely beats elite talent.  It’s just the way it is. Continue reading

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Looking At The Dawgs – Offense

In past years, I’ve tried to do position previews before Husky football season kicked off.  Usually these previews fizzled out somewhere between the linebackers and the secondary.  In an attempt to end this, I have simplified the previews this year.  I will be previewing the offense in one post and the defense in the next.  I will do a general overview of each side of the ball first and then break down the position groups (although I’m not going to make those all that in-depth).  I don’t plan on listing all 90-plus guys on the roster over these but I will try to give an idea of what I think about the starters and the depth at each position.  With these things in mind, let’s get started with the offense!130318123323-keith-price-top-single-image-cut

Offensive Overview:

Heading in to 2012, the Husky offense was thought to be a strong point of the team.  They had lost their top receivers and one of the great Husky running backs of all time but they had a stud tight-end, a few exciting prospects at running back, a returning offensive line, a decent receiving group, and a Heisman contender at quarterback.  Things didn’t exactly go to plan.

Before the season began, the Huskies were already down a few offensive linemen.  That continued throughout the season and caused the offense to fall apart.  The tight-end was great.  A star was found at running back.  But, the offensive line couldn’t pass block, a second, third and fourth receiving option was never found, and Keith Price went from a Heisman dark horse to a guy that some people wanted benched.  The offense was a disappointment, but it was one that people could make excuses for.

In the spring, the Huskies started to implement a no-huddle offense.  This has continued and will be used this season.  Apparently, the playbook is close to the same.  While they may have simplified it some, Sark has not moved to a spread offense.  I will talk about how this affects the defense in the next post but it has yet to be seen how it will affect the offense.  If the playbook really hasn’t changed much, I think the offense has a chance to special.  Sark has always been good at taking advantage of match-ups on the offensive side and as long as this is the focus of the offense and not just ‘going fast’ I feel confident in what the team can do.  The offensive line returns almost everyone and the depth of the whole offense could make running the no-huddle effective.

Position Previews –

Quarterback:
Starter – Keith Price (RSr.)
Keith Price was extremely efficient and productive in his first year as a starter in 2011.  Last year, he was a shadow of himself.  Price couldn’t move around very well, was constantly pressured, and made questionable decisions.  His efficiency in the red-zone, which was what made him great in 2011, slipped dramatically.  Price seemed to want to be too perfect at times and played scared at other times.  I’m hopeful that playing in the no-huddle offense will limit his thinking and get him back to just playing ‘Keith Price’ football.  He is only a few touchdown passes short of breaking the UW career record.  He’s had an amazing career, regardless of the last two games of 2012.  Here’s hoping he gets back to his improvising, accurate ways.  I’m glad he’s our quarterback.
The Depth – Cyler Miles (RFr.), Jeff Lindquist (RFr.), Troy Williams (Fr.)
It seems like what is listed above is the pecking order.  Miles has separated himself as the backup.  He is a good athlete and a play-maker.  His weakness seems to be his arm strength.  Lindquist came in with Miles and, while he may have fallen behind him now, appears to be in the running for the starting job next year.  Jeff is from Mercer Island and has a stronger arm but maybe not the big play ability of Miles.  Williams is a true freshman and was highly recruited around the country.  He is mobile and said to throw the best ball out of all of the quarterbacks (maybe not the most accurate, but the strongest and best spiral).  Expect Williams to redshirt unless everything falls apart.  Unlike last year, the quarterback depth appears to be in solid shape and they seem to be capable backups.   Continue reading

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A Few Quick Notes About The Washington Husky Football Team, Also Anagrams!

The Huskies have started Fall Camp!  Thank goodness because I can’t take any more talk of what ASJ’s suspension should be.  July is slowly becoming my least favorite sports month.  July is Mariners impending doom and endless speculation about dumb things.  Let me start over.

The Huskies have started Fall Camp!  On Monday, Steve Sarkisian had his annual ‘opening of the season’ press conference.  That was followed by, what has been, two practices.  There are no two-a-days this year, but the Huskies will practice every day aside from Sunday for the next few weeks.

There hasn’t been a ton of news, as the team isn’t even in full pads yet, but I’m going to try to recap the noteworthy information using bullet holes and then write some anagrams about the team after the jump.  Bullet holes!

  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins may or may not be suspended for the first game.  Same with Kasen Williams.  We won’t know until the first game and there is nothing wrong with that, at all.  I don’t know why so many people care about punishing college kids.
  • There were a few position changes announced yesterday.  Evan Hudson, who was a backup tight-end, is being tried out on the defensive line.  He’s a big and long guy, so there is a feeling that this might work.  Hudson played defensive end at Bothell and is being tried out at that position.  While he’s working as an end, from what I’ve read, he is on the inside of the rush end.  So, it’s almost a variation of defensive end and tackle. Derrick Brown is being switched from quarterback to H-back.  Many quarterback have gone through this change and come out successful so this seems to be worth a try.  He was blocked at the quarterback position.
  • There was also a position change along the offensive line, although we don’t know if it will stick.  Ben Riva and Micah Hatchie have flipped tackle positions.  Riva is now at left tackle and Hatchie at right.  The coaches have raved about Riva this off-season, so it would make sense to try him out at the most important line position.
  • John Ross, a freshman wideout, has been the guy who has raised the most eyebrows over the last few days.  He is a smaller guy but may have the best speed on the team.
  • Erik Kohler is the only guy that has been missing from practice and Sark said he has a foot injury.  He has had an injury plagued career and it’s hard not to wonder if this is the end.  I hope not.  Shane Brostek, another offensive lineman, was in a walking boot today after practicing all day yesterday.  We don’t know the severity of the injury.  Otherwise, injuries have been quiet thus far.  After the terrible injury bug last year, let’s hope we aren’t bitten again.
  • As a closing thought for the first two days, it really seems like this team has an attitude about it.  There isn’t much joking around in the interviews, Sark seems to have an attitude, and the goal is a championship.  The whole team is united and seems to be taking on their coach’s persona in the first two days.  They are tired of thinking of the terrible losses that closed out last year.  If they embody this edge and attitude they will be a team to watch this year.  The problem is they haven’t consistently done that yet.  Here’s to hoping that they do.

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The Dawgs Defend And Win!

The last time we saw the Husky football team on the field, they were in the process of giving up 67 points to the Baylor Bears.  That night, the defense was incredibly bad.  So bad that I’ve washed most of it from my memory.  Tonight was the first time the Dawgs had been back in a competitive game.  They gave up 12 points.  67-12=55.  You could score 12 points in 5 football games and still be a touchdown and a PAT away from 67 points.  I’m good at math and it’s 1:20 in the morning.

A lot will be made of how ugly the offense looked for the last 3 quarters of the game.  I’ll get to that in a minute.  A lot will be made about Rocky Long’s decision-making  in this football game.  His decisions were bad but he had said that his team would do this.  He stuck to his word, and it worked out for the Huskies.  After those two things, people will talk about the defense.  That’s a complete reverse of what it should be.  We’re all so cynical.

Justin Glenn is asleep.

The Huskies gave up 12 points, and 6 of those were on an illegal play.  Yes, San Diego State did drive for some yards and you could say that if they had settled for field goals, the game would have been much more uncomfortable.  That’s true, but remember that the Aztecs, on their only touchdown drive, went for it twice on fourth down.  If they settled for a field goal there, then they don’t get their touchdown, obviously.  There’s two sides to every coin.

Now, Ryan Katz and the San Diego State offense isn’t USC or Oregon.  But, they appeared to be a formidable foe, especially at some points.  The defense appeared faster than it has in a decade.  Desmond Trufant locked down his side of the field, until his injury.  The secondary was the best I’ve seen in… I’m still think about that because we haven’t seen a dominant secondary in a long time.  There was one blown coverage tonight and the trick play the Aztecs ran.  Can you think of any other time a receiver ran completely wide open?  Can you think of a time when bubble screens didn’t work against this team?  It was refreshing.  For most of the game there was a pass rush.  Containment on Ryan Katz wasn’t very good but I won’t be overly worried about that going forward.  The defense was good and people should talk about that first and foremost.

I’m going to keep this recap pretty short because I haven’t watched the game for a second time and it’s time for bed.  I’m just listing things about the defense now anyway and that isn’t beneficial to anyone.  I’ll just skip ahead to a few bullet points and then we’ll have a more thoughts as the week goes.

  • About the offense.  They were great in the first quarter.  They could do whatever they wanted and do it well.  Then, they kept moving the ball but didn’t score.  That truly is how I see it.  In my opinion, people are overreacting about an offense that was very vanilla and was saving things for next week.  Remember last year after the opener that Sark said he was embarrassed that they didn’t have a reception over 10 yards.  Then, the next game the Dawgs came out, threw vertically, and dominated offensively.  This was the same game plan.  How many times did the Huskies throw down field tonight?  I can remember 2.  One was a bad decision by Price and one was a touchdown called back that came on a broken play.  There were a couple of 20 yard passes but nothing that I would qualify as ‘taking a shot deep’.  This was Steve Sarkisian letting his playmakers beat the opponent and saving his intricate playbook for next week.  Of course, I could be proven wrong next week but I don’t think I will.
  • The one part of the offense that does worry me is the rushing attack.  They were bottled up in the second half and didn’t do much of anything.  Mike Criste struggled in trying to fill in for an injured Ben Riva.  Jesse Callier was injured.  There were things that didn’t break right for the rushing attack tonight but they need to be better than that.  They were pushed around and should be past the point of getting beat physically like that.
  • The injuries I mentioned above are the big ones.  Riva fractured his forearm and will be out for a couple of weeks.  Callier injured his knee and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s out for the year.  Knee’s just aren’t a good thing to injure.  Trufant is a little banged up but he should be fine.  Princeton Fuimaono may have suffered a concussion but I can’t confirm that.
  • I worry that the defense may struggle against power running teams like they did last year.  They are clearly fast and will do better against a spread team but the Aztecs seemed like they could have run the ball pretty effectively.  The numbers don’t support that but that’s the impression I came away with.  Also, the open field tackling against the running back was not good enough.  Give him some credit, but that can’t happen next week.
  • Keith Price was good and this was a bad day for him.  If that doesn’t make sense, just know that Price is very good.  Let’s hope that the offensive line can keep him healthy.  He took way too many hits tonight.  Slide, young fella!

Final comment:  I’ll just summarize by saying that these are the type of games we should start to expect from Steve Sarkisian openers.  Try to hold the opponent at an arm’s length away and don’t show much offensively.  Next week, I expect to see many wrinkles in the offense.  It may not be enough, but the offense will take more chances next game.  The defense won the game for the Huskies and it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to say that.  They really played well.  There were a few mistakes but they were miles ahead of last year.

Again, one of us will probably add some more thoughts about the game in the next couple days but I thought I’d throw out some of my thoughts before I get some much-needed sleep.  We’re 1-0!  11 more to go!  Go Dawgs.

Thanks for reading!

Andrew

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2012 UW Huskies: It’s Time for Football

I feel like I should write some kind of preview for the Huskies, but I can’t think of any clever or particularly interesting way to do it.  There are tons of previews out there, most of them much better than anything I can offer.  Still, the best day of the year comes this Saturday, so here goes nothing.  I’m just going to give the things I’m concerned with for this year’s team and the things I’m excited about, with the (potentially) bad stuff first.  In no particular order…

Things That Make Me Nervous

  • The new defense.  This one’s complicated, because I think the defense will be much improved (see below).  The problem is that they have a long way to come.  One of the coaches noted that, while the team has looked great in practice, sometimes players get into games and forget what they’re supposed to be doing, especially with a new scheme.  The talent looks improved enough to be at least average, other than possibly the…
  • Linebackers.  The bane of last year’s defense (at least on the field) do look improved, but they have plenty of issues as well.  After receiving a bunch of new bodies from the safeties this spring, they proceeded to average an injured linebacker a day through much of fall camp.  Nate Fellner and Jamaal Kearse are still out for a couple of games, but everyone else is now back.  The enlarged John Timu at middle linebacker has been drawing accolades and should be the one constant throughout the year.  Princeton Fuimaono is probably the number two guy right now.  Former safety Travis Feeney is holding down Fellner’s spot, although Shaquille Thompson will take over a good share of the time in the nickel package.  There’s talent, speed and athleticism here.  Now it just needs to translate to tackles.
  • The offensive tackles.  File this under lack of experience as well.  Both tackles, Micah Hatchie and Ben Riva, left and right respectively, have seen little or no game action.  They have lots of talent and the practice reports are good, but only games will show if they’re actually ready.  I’m optimistic, but without Chris Polk, this line needs to be a strength.  Unless these two excel, it will likely be average at best.
  • The new home field.  Century Link is a great place to play, and it should still be plenty loud, but it’s tough having to adjust to a new routine and a new home.  You know those first couple of months after you move into a new house or apartment?  No matter how nice a place it is and how excited you are to be there, it takes a while to feel completely comfortable.  Hopefully, the adjustment for the Dawgs will be short and easy, with no effects on the field. Continue reading

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Getting To Know Your Dawgs – Offensive Line

We’re only five days away from Husky football now, which means I’m not going to go quite as in-depth on these because I want to get most of them done before the first game (and I have other things to write).  The Huskies offensive line is the biggest question mark on the offensive side of the ball but it doesn’t make me as nervous as many people feel.  Sark said last week that this was the best offensive line they’ve had since he took over and I don’t have any reason to not believe him.  I won’t have a lot to add about these guys because I don’t know a ton about offensive linemen and their technique.

I think the team will have about 8 offensive linemen who could play and then the rotation will become smaller as the season goes on, I would guess.  I’ll talk about those 8 guys and 2 of the true freshmen who are on the verge of playing.  Here we go! (I’ll try to list the starters first, as there’s only one position still in question)

LT – Micah Hatchie (RS So.)

It’s always a little bit nerve-wracking to start a season with an unproven left tackle.  With that being said, there wasn’t much competition for this job.  Hatchie won the spot fairly easily and received almost all of the first team reps all camp long.  Micah played some at right tackle last year but never started a game.  Scout rated Hatchie as the top recruit from Hawaii when he came out in 2010.  This spot will be tested early against LSU and it will be interesting to see if Hatchie holds up.

LG – Colin Tanigawa (RS So.)

Tanigawa started last year before suffering a knee injury in the Oregon State game that kept him out for the rest of the season.  He made his way back during camp and participated almost fully the last three weeks.  Tanigawa has a hold on the spot, as he played pretty well last year and he should only get better.  The only question with him is if the knee will hold up.

C – Drew Schaefer (RS Sr.)

Schaefer is the veteran of the group.  He’s played the last four years and has played pretty well.  It’s good to have a senior at such a critical position.  If Erik Kohler had been healthy all camp, I wouldn’t have been surprised if Schaefer ended up playing at left tackle this year.  Watch for that as we go forward, if the line isn’t succeeding.

RG – Erik Kohler (Jr.)

Kohler came in as a highly rated recruit and didn’t red-shirt his first year on campus.  He started most of that season and played well for being a true freshman.  Last year was a little bit up and down for him but he comes into this season as the second oldest starting lineman.  He was injured early in camp but came back last week and has since got more and more work.  He’s engaged in the only battle left in the O-line with James Atoe but I expect him to win.  If Atoe does win, look for Kohler to move around and play multiple positions.  I think the staff feels comfortable with him at every position save left tackle (although they might feel okay about that as well). Edit: Kohler has been named the starter in the depth chart.

RT – Ben Riva (RS So.)

Ben Riva makes the fourth starter out of five who came to U-Dub in the 2010 recruiting class.  There are a few more who could be in the rotation as well.  Riva is the only guy out of the five who didn’t see a lot of time last year.  That makes you wonder if the question marks regarding the offensive line aren’t overblown.  Riva comes from O’Dea and was a fairly heralded recruit.  He challenged for a spot last year but didn’t play much aside from on PAT attempts.  It is a little worrisome that the two starting tackles are unproven, especially considering the early season gauntlet, but the coaches seem to feel fairly comfortable with them.  If they didn’t, Kohler would have moved to one of these spots.

The next 5 in line:  LG (LT) – Dexter Charles (RS Fr.), RG James Atoe (RS So.), RT Mike Criste (RS So.), C – Siosifa Tufunga (RS Fr.) G Shane Brostek (FR.), Jake Eldrenkamp (FR.)

I don’t have a lot to add about these guys.  Charles, Atoe, and Criste will all probably see game action on the offensive line.  Tufunga is a large man who could play center if things go really bad.  The two true freshmen I list are both probably headed to red-shirt years but they are also the closest to playing out of all the true freshmen.  Brotesk is actually on the two-deep so he may play but hopefully he red-shirts.

That’s about all I have to add about these guys.  If you have any questions about any of these positions, post them in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

Andrew

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Spring Football

There’s too much going on and too little time lately.  With all the sporting events to cover over the last few weeks (Husky basketball, the most interesting tournament I can remember, Spring Training, and Husky football) you’d think the Good Guys would be posting up a storm.  Unfortunately, it’s been a busy time and we haven’t got to cover all that we’d like to.

Of course, baseball season starts tomorrow.  To be honest, I didn’t know who played tomorrow night until earlier this evening.  When people asked, I just said that it was the Yankees and the Red Sox.  To my surprise, there are 6 games tomorrow and the Yankees and Red Sox don’t play each other.  There couldn’t be a much better way for the season to start than with a Verlander vs. Sabathia match-up and that’s what we’ll see tomorrow.  I’ll have more on the Mariners tomorrow and hopefully we’ll get some predictions for the season up here soon.

Getting to the actual topic of this post, the Huskies started spring football practice yesterday.  As usual, Bob Condotta has all the information we could hope for over on his blog, but I’ll give you a quick few thoughts on the spring because I get excited for college football of any kind, even if it is just practice.

First for a bit of news:

  • Johri Fogerson was out practicing yesterday with the team.  He had been arrested for being in possession and was suspended indefinitely.  Sark said that he still could be suspended in the Fall for a game, depending on what happens in his trial.  His trial date is set for June.
  • One of the most prized recruits of the 2011 recruiting class, Austin Seferian-Jenkins is now in school and practicing.  He’s expected to compete right away for a starting position at tight end, which was a weak spot for the Huskies last year.  He’s the only true freshman that enrolled early.
  • Chris Polk has lost about 10 pounds and apparently feels faster.  I don’t actually know if this qualifies as news, and is one of those things that is reported because a player is popular and fans are starving for news.  But, hey!  If Chris Polk feels even better, then sweet deal!

Here’s a few things that I’ll be looking for over the course of spring practice:

  • Price vs. Montana – Of course, this is on the top of any Husky fan’s watch list.  Keith Price will be dueling with Nick Montana for the starting quarterback spot over the course of this Spring (and probably into Fall camp as well).  There’s no clear front-runner and if there is someone ahead in Sark’s mind, us fans sure won’t know.  I’ll be getting a feel for each of these guys games.  Montana is more of a drop-back passer, while Price is more of an athlete who will use his feet more.
  • The Tight-End Position – With ASJ now in school and Michael Hartvigson returning from injury, we should expect to see a giant upgrade at tight end.  These guys are both freshmen, but they’ve come into school highly rated and provide a huge talent upgrade.  It’ll be interesting to see what Sark does to utilize the tight end position this Spring.
  • The RS Freshmen Offensive Linemen – Last year, the Huskies red-shirted 5 offensive linemen and then named them all scout team players of the year.  I’m thinking at least one or two of them will emerge and challenge for a starting job.  Keep an eye on Ben Riva, he was reportedly working with the starters in the first practice.  This could mean nothing at all or he may be a step ahead in the coaches eyes.
  • Linebackers – The Huskies have to fill in two spots at the linebacker position with the graduation of Mason Foster and Victor Aiyewa.  These are giant shoes to fill and may be even harder to fill than Jake Locker’s gap.  There are a few injuries here during the Spring, so we won’t have a clear picture until Fall but keep an eye on JC transfer Thomas Tutogi who looks to fill Mason Foster’s role.

That’s all for now.  I’ll be hoping to make it to a few practices and will have recaps from those.  Also of note, it was UW Pro Day today at Dempsey and Jake Locker had a very good day.  It looks like his draft stock keeps improving and let’s hope so.

Thanks for reading!  Tomorrow is baseball!  Go baseball!

Andrew

 

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