Day One Observations

The football gods sent the sun to burn off what was an overcast morning as the Washington Huskies opened their fall camp under blue skies and enhanced expectations. Here are some sun-soaked observations from Dawgman.com Intern Extraordinaire Scott Panitz.

A good season starts with the off-season: UW Strength and Conditioning Coach Ivan Lewis is continuing to foster the turnaround of the program with his off-season regimen. The defensive line looked particularly good, as nose guards Alameda Ta'amu and Lawrence Lagafuaina came into camp trim and fit. Their bodies simply look big, tight, and powerful, which makes it all the more remarkable that true freshman Danny Shelton seems to fit in as well as he does despite not having the benefit of much work with Lewis to date. Sarkisian already referred to him as one of the stronger guys on the team in his noon presser, and with calves the size of my head, it will be very interesting to see what the future holds for the big man from Auburn.

The award for biggest transformation, however, goes to Everrette Thompson - who looks like an absolute monster, reportedly putting on 20-plus pounds. A guy who has always had the frame to add weight but has never had a healthy offseason to do, Thompson looks beastly at 6-foot-6 and 272 pounds.

Keith Price is resilient: Sean Parker collided with Washington's starting quarterback on a roll-out in the middle of practice, knocking him to the ground. Onlookers breathed a unified sigh of relief when the Price popped right up, no worse for the wear.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Kasen Williams are the real deal: Though the two 5-star recruits found themselves lost at times during their first fall practice, their talent was readily apparent. ASJ towers over defensive backs and linebackers alike, and runs so smoothly he looks like an ice dancer.

Williams was even more impressive, making an unbelievable leaping catch over sophomore corner Gregory Ducre in 7 on 7's on a well-thrown deep ball from Price. He has the leaping ability, concentration, and hands to seemingly go up and get anything thrown to his half of the field. Almost more notable than the catch over Ducre was one he wasn't able to corral. Going after a ball that looked to be at least four feet out of bounds, he was able to get his hands on it while keeping his left foot in play. I can't wait to see him display his sick athleticism on Saturdays.

Bishop Sankey plays without fear: There is no hesitation in this guy. He sees the hole and hits it, trusting his instincts. In addition, he displayed more than a bit of shiftiness, which left a few defenders grasping at air.

Coach Sarkisian is getting his guys: In his noon press conference and again after practice, Coach Sark mentioned that, now in his third season, the players on his team are his guys. He harped on depth, length, and size, all of which was on display at practice today. There is competition and talent at every position (even punter!) and for the first time in many, many years it looks like some good players are going to be spending time on the sidelines.


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