Seferian-Jenkins is ready to make his mark

When Austin Seferian-Jenkins committed to the University of Washington almost a year ago this week, a collective sigh of relief went up from Husky nation. Teams from across the country were courting the talented tight end with the size, athleticism and hands to be one of the top prospects in the country and with no upper-classmen to deal with he knows he has a chance to make his mark...

"I saw an opportunity," Seferian-Jenkins said after the second day of fall camp. "I chased an opportunity and felt like I just wanted to be a part of something special.

"I knew this was special. They didn't have a tight end. They still have Mike Hartvigson and they still have Evan Hudson. Now all three of us are working together, so it's going to be a great combination of all three of us."

Last year, Washington's tight ends combined for six catches for 41 yards and one touchdown, so any productivity would be a step up from what the Huskies have become used to. However, the talented freshman from the Olympic Penninsula has a lot to get used to including playing a more traditional tight end role.

"I never really played tight end before," Seferian-Jenkins said. "I played a little bit in high school.

"Just learning it, learning the concepts, learning how to block, I'm still doing all that right now. I'm never going to be perfect and I'm always going to keep striving to get better and better."

"I think it's somewhat of a curve just because he wasn't asked to (block) as much in high school," Husky head coach Steve Sarkisian told the media after practice Tuesday. "But to his credit he's been very willing. It's not like he doesn't want to do it. It's the fundamentals.

"He's a great athlete and he has the ability to use the techniques and the fundamentals but all the sudden you get into the heat of the battle and Hauoli Jamora is lined up across from you or Talia Crichton or Everrette Thompson and those fundamentals get thrown out the window."

From a physical standpoint, the Seferian-Jenkins that showed up Monday for practice is a lot different than the young man that enrolled last March.

"I've lost weight since high school. I was like 280 when I first came here. I was like 280-275. Coach Ivan (Lewis) got me right," Seferian-Jenkins admitted. "I just get in the weightroom, and I love to work out. I love what I do. It's a privilege to play Husky football. I'm going to take every advantage of it."

Enrolling in the spring certainly helps a young man make the quick transition and it is something that Seferian-Jenkins said he's glad he did.

"(Showing up in the spring) really helped a lot," he said. "Coming back now in whatever you call this camp, the fall camp, everything's just easier. I'm so happy that I came in the spring.

"It's just fun. It's a part of growing up. I'm just thankful for the opportunity to be able to graduate early. They wanted me to come here early. My advice to people who want to do it: ‘Do it.' It helps you out tremendously. It gives you and advantage over all the other people in the competition. It just gets your mind right for fall camp and things like this."

"For him (Tuesday) was practice number 17 compared to these other guys for whom it's practice number two," Sarkisian noted. "But these other kids will catch him over time, that's natural. But I just think in general his comfort level, not only on the field but just in general in meetings and with the team is just accelerated compared to the other guys."

And because of that head start, he's helping his classmates get acclimated to their new environment and team.

"Whenever something happens when they're having a hard time or something like that, I make sure they just keep going," Seferian-Jenkins added. "It's only their second day here, so some of them are too hard on themselves. And I was doing the same thing in spring ball. I just try to give them helpful encouragement so they can get better and make this team better."

The opportunity to make the team better is there for the taking and now Seferian-Jenkins, along with the rest of the 2011 recruiting class, have a chance to make their marks. Top Stories