Monday Practice Report

Under sunny skies, 101 Washington football players took part in a 150-minute practice at Husky Stadium, their first practice of fall camp. It was the first of five mandated non-full pads practices, but the team still put in a lot of work. For most, it was business as usual; for 28 true freshmen - six of those players walk-ons - it was a different matter entirely.

"I thought it was good," Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian said Monday after practice. "Lot of guys…we're running threes, which we haven't really done since we got here. We got a lot of reps. As practice went on, our tempo got a lot better."

It's been a while since there was a No. 6 at quarterback, but Derrick Brown filled out his yellow practice jersey with style. At 6-foot-3, and 236 pounds, he definitely looks the part of a guy that you would expect the Huskies to bring in to emulate Jake Locker. He's got a big arm, and showed that off on Monday.

"He's a pretty talented kid," Sarkisian said of Brown. "It's hard. Your first day of practice at quarterback, a true freshman, and he showed flashes today. One of the things I was most encouraged about, apart from his physical tools, was just his presence. He didn't get rattled. He botched a couple of calls, different things, but that didn't affect him the rest of the day. He was able to bounce back, which was really encouraging."

Kasen Williams, complete in his father Aaron's old No. 2, worked out for the first time in purple and gold, and he looked right at home. On one play during a skeleton drill, the current 4A High Jump champ went between two defenders to bring down the football.

"I thought he showed the things we hope he can do," Sarkisian said of Williams. "He went up and made a nice play on a deep ball over there on 7-7; he showed some real hand-eye coordination, strong catcher. But again, first day - you're swimming. As he grows through this first week of trying to get two feet on the ground and not thinking so much, we'll only see him get better. But it'll take some time."

Freshman running back Bishop Sankey looked every bit his claimed 4.39 40 time, sprinting away from defenders during team drills. On defense, Travis Feeney, James Sample and Marcus Peters already looked like veterans roaming the secondary, and Danny Shelton powered through would-be blockers, showing why he was such a coveted defensive lineman coming out of Auburn High School.

"Just in general, this freshman class is a little bit bigger and longer," Sarkisian said. "It's a long, athletic group, whether you're talking about Kasen or Austin (Seferian-Jenkins), or a (Travis) Feeney at safety, or Scott Lawyer…you go inside with Danny Shelton, Tani Tupou, Jarett Finau on the edge…it's just a longer group. They are taller, longer, bigger."


Price impresses: Keith Price, Washington's No. 1 QB, had a strong opening workout, nothing you wouldn't expect out of the 6-foot-1, 195-pound sophomore. Sarkisian named him the starter a week after Spring Game. "There's a couple plays he didn't make today, what we call gimmes," Sarkisian said. "But what I was impressed with - when a guy is really competing for a job, those plays can sometimes harbor and they can affect the rest of your practice. Keith missed a couple of throws, but that didn't ruin his day. He went out and made a couple other plays and did some good things, and that's the mentality you get when you feel like you're the starter."

"I was excited," Price said, recalling the news. "But still, I knew I had a long way to go. We still have four weeks before the season, so I'm just going to keep trying to get better. I'm still pushing. Anything could happen from now until the end of camp. I still see it as competition. I'm still trying to better myself."

Sarkisian explained why he decided to name Price the starter before the summer. "One, it's for the young man," he said. "If you feel like he's earned it, and it's the right thing to do - it's what he deserves and what he gets for the summer and for his confidence and his own growth. And for the team, there's a bit of a calming effect when you know who your guy is. For the guy that is deemed the backup, it's great fuel for the fire. And I thought Nick had a termendous day today. For everyone involved, there's a lot of importance."

Places, places: Sarkisian was true to his word, as he used walk-on frosh Nick Holt at fullback for a few plays Monday. Holt is the son of UW DC Nick Holt. And another frosh, Dezden Petty, earned plenty of reps running the ball along with Sankey behind Chris Polk and Jesse Callier. Johri Fogerson also took a few snaps, and looked very sharp.

OL/DL: It appears that the Huskies are going to try and see what they can do with Colin Porter and Erik Kohler anchoring the right side of their OL. That was the group that started out Monday, with Senio Kelemete and Colin Tanigawa on the left side. Nick Wood, now healthy, backed up Tanigawa, while Ben Riva and Skyler Fancher took turns backing up at RT. Porter was Drew Schaefer's backup, followed by Mike Criste. On defense, it appears newcomer Corey Waller is slated for the same role that Josh Shirley currently occupies - speed end.

Receivers show up: Redshirt frosh DiAndre Campbell physically looked the part of a player that's going for it this fall - a receiver that's looking to make his mark in the rotation. Receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty mentioned him after practice as a one to watch in his position group, and that's a tall order considering the players around him - Jermaine Kearse, Devin Aguilar, Kevin Smith, Cody Bruns, and James Johnson - for starters. And that's not even talking about the true frosh. "I thought DiAndre looked great," Sarkisian said. "All the guys, it's first day - fresh legs. But just about every receiver made a play. That was encouraging. We're getting there. It's a pretty tall, long group. There's not a lot of small guys. When we get Marvin, it'll look a little different. He's not the biggest guy, but he can really run."

Injury Report: There was no one in red shirts today, but there were some players limited in workouts - like Sione Potoae, Semisi Tokolahi, Taz Stevenson, and Evan Zeger. Justin Glenn worked the whole day through his ankle sprain, but Desmond Trufant was held out at the end when he started tightening up. Sarkisian said precautions will be taken all fall to make sure the team is as pain-free as possible by their September 3rd opener against Eastern Washington. "I just want to get them healthy," he said. "We can go through this camp and beat each other up and get to the season limping. I don't want to limp into the season; I want to be a fresh, hungry, healthy team."

Faces in the crowd: Joe and Jennifer Montana, Duff McKagan, Juanita players Nathan Dean (a UW commit), and 2013 ATH Darrin Laufasa.

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