Offensive Line is getting there: Spoke with Dexter Charles after practice, and he said the offensive line really feels like they are progressing along and you can definitely see it on the field. The starting line remains intact (LT - Micah Hatchie, LG - Charles, C - Mike Criste, RG - James Atoe, RT - Ben Riva) and they consistently opened holes for the tailbacks to get through today. They also were solid in pass-protection, something Charles said has been building as the unit continues to work on their communication.
Tailbacks look great: Bishop Sankey made a couple of defenders look silly while shake them on what turned out to be a long run and he just continues to look like he's poised for an even better junior season after posting over 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns last fall. That being said, Erich Wilson and Dwayne Washington both had their moments in Saturday's workout with Wilson showing great vision and a good forward lean to always get positive yards. Washington accelerated through the line on a big run up the middle and also punished defenders almost every time he got the ball in his hands.
Brown is an enigma: It's hard to tell at this point what the quarterback depth chart looks like, but for the second-straight practice, Derrick Brown did not get one snap during the team, 11-on-11 work. The player who got the most snaps with the second unit was Cyler Miles and he looked like he struggled to make decisions quickly, allowing the defense to move on his receivers. Jeff Lindquist got quite a few reps as well and he looks like the game is really slowing down for him. Troy Williams also had his moments. With all of the younger signal-callers getting most of the reps, it's hard to tell if Brown is now an afterthought for the staff or if he's going to get a majority of his game-situation reps during the second set of spring practices (starting on April 2nd).
Lawyer makes his presence felt: A young linebacker who had a great practice was Scott Lawyer. He got in the backfield to make a play on Washington and dropped the redshirt freshman for a five-yard loss, then, a couple of plays later, he flashed his coverage skills by knocking away a pass intended for James Johnson. He also "spied" Miles and tackled him for a short gain on what could have been a long gainer (he didn't take Miles down, but was in position to do so).
Defensive line in flux: The defensive line had a lot of players rotating through at different positions. Taniela Tupou played some nose guard while Jarett Finau and Connor Cree also rotated in to get some reps with the first unit. Damion Turpin got plenty of reps with the starters along the line (Josh Shirley, Andrew Hudson, Josh Banks and Danny Shelton) and all four youngsters had their moments.
Big day for Mickens: Jaydon Mickens had his best practice of the spring, showing good hands, the ability to get open as well as the ability to make people miss in the open field. On one play right in front of us, he took a short pass from Price, appeared to be hemmed in and then made two moves to get into the endzone 15 yards later. He also made a very nice reception in traffic, taking a big hit from Will Shamburger.
Defense lays the lumber: Shamburger was doling out the big hits today, lighting up Washington on a running play (granted it was 15 yards down the field) and another solid hit on Mickens later on. Evan Zeger also made his presence felt, getting into the backfield for a big hit on Washington which forced a fumble that was picked up by Jamaal Kearse and taken to the house for a defensive touchdown.
Faces in the crowd: Lots of recruits and family members were in the Dempsey today. The 2013 signees we recognized were Elijah Qualls, Andrew Basham, David Ajamu, Ralph Kinne (walk-on) and Ryan Turman (walk-on). There were also quite a few 2014 and 2015 guys in the house including Ross Bowers, Chico McClatcher, Budda Baker, Marcus Griffin, Tui Talia (JUCO DL who will sign with a school in December) and Matthew Dickerson. There were also quite a few others as well.
Former Husky offensive coordinator and head coach Keith Gilbertson was also present, taking in practice and he spent some time after practice talking with Dan Cozzetto.
A little rest for the weary: Now the Huskies will take two weeks off to get healthy, recruit, watch film and go home to see their families (spring break begins next week) and then they will return to the field on April 2nd for the start of their final nine spring practices, culminating with the spring game which will be at Memorial Stadium at the Seattle Center on April 20th, starting at 4 p.m. Admission is free to the event and the Huskies are hoping to get as big of a crowd as possible there.
Practice Impressions: Day Six
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