Tag Archives: Cody Bruns

Getting To Know Your Dawgs – Wide Receiver

Camp is almost half over and the first game is 2 weeks away.  It seems as if training camp has brought a new injury with it everyday.  When you list everything out (which I will do after I run through the wide receivers) it doesn’t look as bad as what the perception is.

I’ve written about quarterbacks, running backs, and fullbacks so far in this series and I move on to receiver today.  The position is going through what seems to be a little bit of a face lift this year, with Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar graduating.  Those two had very good careers at U-Dub, although they both came with their fair share of frustrations.  Most fans agree that, while the 2012 group is young, they have a good amount of talent and shouldn’t see a huge drop off in production.  On to the names!  I’ll include most players (I will probably leave off some walk-ons who I don’t see as contributors this year).  The order I list them is in the order I perceive as the current depth chart.

Kasen Williams (SO.)

I was just reading Ted Miller’s blog (which is fantastic) and he was asked to compare Kasen Williams and Marquess Wilson.  He said that it wasn’t a fair comparison in comparing someone who is an All-American and someone who is mostly based on potential at this point.  This is exactly right.  Kasen Williams has as much potential as any receiver in the Pac-12 and maybe the country.  No, really he does.  He flashed it at times last year but he has hardly proven himself.  He’s not in the Pac-12 elite but I would be surprised if he wasn’t in that group by the end of the season.  Every Husky fan (and a few WSU fans) have the picture of Kasen leaping over a defensive back in the Apple Cup cemented into their memory bank and these are the type of plays that we hope to see all year.  Last year, Kasen caught 36 passes for 427 yards.  I expect him to double those yards.  By all accounts, Williams should be a star at some point, the question is if that will happen this year.  I sure hope so.

James Johnson (SR.) 

James Johnson has had an interesting career as a Husky.  He scored the first touchdown of the Sark era, as a true freshman.  Johnson then went on to have a great freshman year (39 catches for 422 yards), particularly in the first half.  He was then injured before his sophomore year and somehow got lost in the mix at the position.  He never really saw the field, aside from a few plays here and there.  Last year brought something of a comeback for Johnson (28 receptions for 366 yards).  He would have a few great games (Nebraska comes to mind) and then disappear for a game it seemed.  He did miss a few games due to injury.  This year is off to an ominous start, as he’s suffered a dislocated wrist and a few torn ligaments.  Sarkisian said that he’ll be out 4-6 weeks.  This is a blow to the Dawgs for the first few games as most people had James penciled in as the number 2 receiver.

Cody Bruns (RS SR.)

Speaking of interesting careers, I’m not sure any player could top Bruns in that category.  Cody Bruns played in his first game half way through his freshman year because Ty wanted to run some trick plays.  Cody would get on the field for about 3 plays a game and it wasn’t usually to catch passes.  Bruns was a bit lost in the depth his sophomore year and then played a little more his junior year.  He’s been labeled as a player who could do everything from holding on field goals, to passing the ball, to punt coverage, to actually receiving.  Last year, he was dealt an emotional blow as his father passed away.  The coaches and Bruns decided that a redshirt year would be best for all involved.  Now Bruns enters his last year and figures to be an integral part in the receiving corps.  He may be used in a more conventional way than usual but don’t be surprised to see him be on the field in many different capacities.  He has surprising speed and is said to be a sharp route runner.

Kevin Smith (JR.)

It’s easy to forget that Kevin Smith didn’t play all 4 years of high school football.  He started later but his athletic ability made up for however raw he was.  Now he’s an upper class-man who could be a pretty big contributor (208 yards receiving last year).  Smith is still recovering from an ACL injury and could be limited for the first month of the season.  If he does come back to 100% healthy, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s one of the Huskies 4 best receivers.  You may also see him back returning kicks and showing off his speed.

Jaydon Mickens (FR.)

Mickens was rated as a four-star recruit coming out of California and has been turning heads in the first 2 weeks of camp.  He has even been running with the starters in the last couple of days due to injuries ahead of him and his good play.  Mickens is the smallest of the receivers (5-10, 170) but has a ton of speed.  He’s almost assured to play this year and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start in 2 weeks.

Kendyl Taylor (FR.)

Much of what I said about Mickens rings true for Taylor.  He was a highly rated recruit coming out of Arizona who has been making plenty of plays thus far in camp.  He’s also 5-10 but a little bulkier than Mickens.  His high school mascot was a Husky so that’s cool, I guess.  Taylor will see plenty of playing time, especially as Johnson and Smith work their way back as the season progresses.  Sure, these 2 freshmen probably have their best days a few years down the road but we don’t have the luxury to wait for that since the Dawgs need them now.  I’m guessing they’ll come through with only a few hiccups along the way.

A few more guys and notes after the jump. Continue reading

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2012 UW Wide Receivers

Looking at the current roster, with minimal attention paid to the 2012 recruiting class.

Who They Lose

Jermaine Kearse

Devin Aguilar

Kearse had a very contentious career for a guy who is probably one of the five or so greatest receivers ever at UW.  He made play after play and caught a huge amount of touchdowns.  I can’t get the Husky record book to open right now, but he’s near the top in a number of categories.  The consistent issues with drops plagued Kearse.  More than a few had major effects on games and kept him from being a huge fan favorite.  He was never quite what he could have been because of the drops, but he is still a huge threat to replace.  Aguilar was a little more consistent but not quite the playmaking threat that Kearse was.  Still, he made a lot of catches at critical moments.  Replacing these two is a fairly tall order.  They both had flaws, but they are clearly one of the better WR combos the Huskies have ever had.

Who Is Back

Kasen Williams- Sophomore

James Johnson- Senior

Cody Bruns- Senior

Kevin Smith- Junior

The saving grace in an otherwise lackluster group is Williams.  It took him half the season to get going, but once he did, all the hype he brought with him seemed inadequate to the actual talent he possesses.  He looked faster than expected, and his overall athleticism is ridiculous.  His leap over a Cougar in the Apple Cup is already legendary.  I expect Kasen will take a huge jump forward this year and be one of the best receivers in a conference full of good ones. Continue reading

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UW Huskies Offensive Preview

In 2009, the Husky offense was largely inconsistent, often showing excellent playmaking ability up until the time they needed to score on the goal line or keep a drive going late in the game.  The hope is this year they will find that consistency and become the high-powered threat that their talent suggests.

Quarterback

Starter: Jake Locker  Maybe you’ve heard of this guy.  Senior starter who passed up millions to try to lead his team to a bowl game and make a run at the Heisman trophy.  He could be the best quarterback in the country, but he does need to make improvements, chiefly with his accuracy.  Sarkisian has him aiming for a 70% completion rate and 3/1 touchdown to interception ratio, which would be a season for the ages.  He likely won’t quite make that, but there’s no bigger threat at the position in the country.

Depth: Keith Price & Nick Montana  The two backups are still fighting for the job, although it appears Price has pulled ahead for now.  Price is more of an athlete who has struggled with his accuracy at times.  Montana, son of Joe, has the smarts but maybe not quite the arm strength or physical maturity yet.  Price will likely backup on a game to game basis, but if Locker went down for an extended period, either might take over.

Analysis: If Locker stays healthy, it doesn’t get much better.  If he goes down, it’s hard to say what would happen with Price or Montana under center. Continue reading

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Huskies Practice Report – 4/1/10

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get to the practice report sooner because I drove home to Yakima right after practice concluded.  It was another chilly day at Montlake today but the place was hoppin’!  There were softball and baseball games going on, those combined with the open practice made for a fun environment of about 3,000 people.  The team practiced without pads again today so it’s a little hard to get a read on who had a good day and who had a bad day.  They will get into pads and start tackling next week.

Sark seemed a little more animated today than he did on Tuesday (not that he wasn’t animated on Tuesday, just more so today).  He was getting after players when mistakes happened and shouting praise after good plays.  This coaching staff is extremely fun to watch; they’re almost as entertaining as watching the players sometimes.  If the team is lacking energy the coaching staff brings it.  I spent quite a bit of time watching the secondary coach, Demetrice Martin, and the running back coach, Joel Thomas.  These are two guys who move around as much as their players do.  Martin sticks up for his defensive backs and it’s easy to see that the players really enjoy him.

One of the stories of spring practice is the backup quarterback position battle.  The backup probably won’t be decided until Fall but it’d be nice if one or both of these guys had an amazing spring.  They both struggled at times today.  Montana threw some very good passes in the scrimmage session but during drills he threw 3 interceptions in a row.  Price is inconsistent and I don’t know if his arm will ever be something we can count on.  If the season started tomorrow I’d be worried.  Fortunately, it doesn’t and we have two of the best quarterback coaches in the country (Sark and Nuss) and one of the best quarterbacks in the country for these guys to learn from.  They are both trying to learn at every point; they are interacting with Locker in every opportunity they can and I saw both of them talking to Tui many times.  (Speaking of Tui, the quarterbacks were going through the routes and progressions with Nussmeier early in the practice and throwing the passes to Marques.  It was pretty cool to see.)

As if Locker wasn’t already a great leader, it’s obvious that he’s making even more of an effort this year.  It’s hard to explain just how much he interacts with the guys while trying to make himself better but it’s impressive to see.  I’m going to devote one of these practices to just watching him and will do a post on that. 

So, who had a good day today?  As I already mentioned it’s somewhat hard to tell without full contact but here are a few guys I came away impressed with:

  • Anthony Boyles.  Again.  I’m trying to not get too excited about him but it’s already getting difficult.  There were several times where I thought, “Wow, I need to text the fellow good guys to tell them how great Boyles looks.”  I’m not the only one who’s noticing either.  Jermaine Kearse, Devin Aguilar, and Jake Locker seem to be taking notice.  Boyles enjoys a little friendly trash talking after he or his fellow cornerbacks make a play.  Kearse doesn’t seem to enjoy that too much so after Boyles dominated for a while Kearse decided he would only go against A.B.  (that’s what the players call him, I figure the Good Guys might as well too.)  Kearse had his way a few times but Boyles held his own.  By my count, between drills and little scrimmages, Boyles had 3 pass breakups and an interception.  He got beat once by Kearse and heard about that from Locker and Kearse.  When he has those two talking trash to him about a completion I think that shows that he’s becoming a playmaker in the secondary.  (If you make it to a practice watch Boyles and Vonzell McDowell, they’re hilarious when they get going and extremely entertaining.)
  • Semisi Tokolahi.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to pronounce this guys name.  Tokolahi is a defensive tackle and it’s really hard to judge lineman when they aren’t blocking with all their effort.  Despite this Tokolahi has impressed the coaches enough to rotate with the other 1st defensive tackles (Alameda Ta’amu and Cameron Elisara).  Today he had a pass deflection and got in the backfield a few times.  He’s a big strong guy who could do a good job plugging up the middle of the defense.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tokolahi play himself into some playing time.
  • Jermaine Kearse.  Just get used to seeing his name on these lists.
  • Jake Locker.  Same as Kearse.
  • The entire secondary.  I already singled out Boyles for his good play but this entire secondary was pretty impressive today.  Especially during drills.  I really think we’ll see a lot more man-to-man defense this year.
  • Jesse Callier.  I forgot to mention him on Tuesday.  Him and Cooper are the two new freshmen running backs and both look like they could be Polk’s backup. 

Nothing really anything bad to report.  Sure there were some inconsistencies in the backup quarterbacks, a few dropped passes, a fumble or two, and some mixed up assignments but it’s the second day of spring practice and those problems are normal.

Cody Bruns appears to be the holder for the team.  The kicking was pretty bad today but I’m going to blame that on the wind and some bad holds.  I don’t think we need to worry about Erik Folk.

The punt-returners today were Deontae Cooper, Jesse Callier, Devin Aguilar, Jordan Polk and Johri Fogerson (I may have missed someone here).  My early money is on Cooper but I think any of these guys would be just fine returning kicks and/or punts.

One last practice note is that 2011 recruit WR Kasen Williams and 2012 recruit OL Zach Banner were at practice today.  Banner was standing on the field most of the day and is huge.  He was bigger than some of the Husky offensive lineman.  Williams was a little harder to find and wasn’t as involved in watching the practice as Banner was.  Williams is considered one of the best receiver recruits in the country and Banner is a lineman that the Huskies would love to get.

Well, that’s about it for today.  I write more words than I think I will on these.  As Dan noted earlier, this is our 100th post!  It’s a little bit of a shame that the 100th post is this lame but I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading.  This blog has been so much fun for me and I’m fairly sure the other Good Guys agree.  We look forward to keep writing to whatever audience is out there and we’re honored that you choose to read posts that we write.  As our friends over on Montlake Madness say, thanks for coming!

Andrew

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Huskies Position Overviews – Wide Receiver

This is where it gets exciting!  This might be the Huskies best receiving group since the days of Reggie Williams, Charles Frederick, and Paul Arnold.  This position is not only talented but also has depth.  Here’s my depth chart:

Jermaine Kearse, 6-2, 200, Jr:  Kearse became the Huskies go-to receiver last year.  He is very good at catching the jump ball and making catches in one-on-one coverage.  It was easy to see that Locker had loads of confidence in Kearse last year, that will only grow through more time.  Kearse has the potential to be in all pac-10 receiver this year.

What Kearse needs to improve on this spring:  Like all the Husky receivers, Kearse was prone to a few drops throughout the year.  He also went through a spell in Fall camp in which he struggled last year.  If Jermaine becomes more consistent and becomes even more comfortable in the offense the sky is the limit for him.  He is becoming one of the most exciting players to watch on this team.

Devin Aguilar, 6-0, 185, Jr:  I admit, I wasn’t a big Aguilar fan.  That was until his late season surge.  Coaches would rave about him and he’d always be in the starting lineup but never seemed to do much.  Then he went on to have huge game after huge game this season.  Although he was slowed with an injury last year, Aguilar had 5 touchdowns and was second behind Kearse with 42 receptions.  While Kearse is more of a down the field threat, Aguilar is more of a possession receiver.

What Aguilar needs to improve on this spring:  Like Kearse, Aguilar needs to improve on his consistency.  He seemed to do that towards the end of the season and if he continues that through spring he will become one of the best #2 receivers in the conference.  The more comfortable these top two receivers become in the offense the better the Huskies will be.  Developing an even better chemistry with #10 is a goal for the spring.

James Johnson, 6-1, 193, So:  Johnson was a freshman sensation last year.  Coming in without much fanfare, Johnson was fantastic in the first half of the season.  Like many freshman before him, Johnson hit a wall about halfway through the season.  He was still a contributor but drops became common and his receptions went down.  Despite this, James Johnson will be a very good player for the Huskies over the next few years.

What Johnson needs to improve on this spring:  Johnson needs to improve his strength and endurance so that he’s able to play a full season to his potential.  This won’t be done in the spring as much as it is being done right now in winter training, as he lifts weights.  This spring I think that the game will slow down for Johnson.  He will be able to read the defense and will be able to keep up physically.  The more time Johnson has on the practice field and the weight room, the more Johnson will mature as a player.  I expect to see the James Johnson that we saw in the first few games of the season this spring.

D’Andre Goodwin, 5-11, 183, Sr:  Goodwin went from leading receiver to backup last year.  In 2008 Goodwin was one of the few bright spots in the Huskies woeful season but last year he was hampered by a hamstring injury and never got back to the same level.  Goodwin seemed to be turning his game on halfway through the season but then suffered a nasty concussion against Notre Dame and didn’t play much after that.  D’Andre is very capable of being a good receiver, it’s just a matter of him being healthy.

What Goodwin needs to improve on this spring:  First of all, D’Andre needs to be healthy.  He suffered an injury in spring last year and never truly recovered.  Goodwin relies on his speed to get open and if he’s suffering after effects from his hamstring he will be buried on the depth chart.  Once he is healthy, Goodwin just needs to go out and play.  Husky fans know what he can do but the coaches have yet to see his full potential.  If he’s at his full potential I think Goodwin could be a starter.  This is a big spring for Goodwin, so go out there and show the coaches what you can do D’Andre!  (Cheesy, I know).

Jordan Polk, 5-7, 162, Jr:  Everyone loves Polk’s speed.  The kid is one of the fastest players on the roster but doesn’t play much because of his size.  It’s hard to jump over cornerbacks to catch a pass when you’re 5-7.  He adds excitement to the game with his speed but hasn’t shown that he’s an every down player.  Last year Jordan came in to run the ball on reverses or be a decoy on a reverse, not to catch passes.

What Polk needs to improve on this spring:  Jordan needs to show that he can be an every-down player.  If Polk comes out this spring and shows that he can go out and catch passes with regularity than he will get more playing time.  Polk needs to find ways to get open using his speed and neglecting his size.  There’s no questioning Polk’s work ethic it’s just tough for a guy his size to be a pac-10 starter.  Hopefully he has a good spring and we get to his speed on the field more in the fall.

Cody Bruns, 5-11, 180, Jr:  I watched Cody Bruns carve my high school football team up for 3 years in a row.  He set records in Washington for most receiving yards as a high schooler but has disappeared since coming here.  Bruns gets in during blow outs and trick plays because he has a pretty good arm.  Coaches say he is a good route runner but I don’t think he matches up physically enough to play regularly. 

What Bruns needs to improve on this spring:  Like Jordan Polk, Bruns needs to improve in the weight room so he can match up physically.  You can run a perfect route but that doesn’t overcome natural talent.  I’m not saying that Bruns doesn’t have natural talent, he just might not have as much as the guys in front of him.  I don’t think Cody has had much chance to prove himself at UW so this spring will be his chance.  I think he can play at this level and play effectively but he needs to show the coaches that.

Luther Leonard, 6-2, 208, RS. So:  Leonard came into school as a quarterback but has been switched to wide receiver since.  Leonard is really buried on the depth chart and not many people have seen him play a lot.  He looks the part with his 6-2, 208 frame but he hasn’t done much on the field.

What Leonard needs to improve on this spring:  To be perfectly honest, Leonard needs to improve on just about everything.  He has a very talented group ahead of him on the depth chart and it will be tough for him to see playing time.  Leonard is a gifted athlete and is capable of showing the coaches something but he hasn’t done much so far to make me think that he’ll see playing time.

There are several good freshman coming in this fall who could challenge for playing time but they won’t be here for spring practices.  This is a great position for the Dawgs.  The future is bright for this position also; there is only one senior in this group. 

UW Dawgpound also did a receiver overview the other day, you can find it here http://www.uwdawgpound.com/2010/3/10/1366519/spring-outlook-wide-receivers.

Thanks for reading!

Andrew

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