Practice Impressions: Day Nine

Due to the weather conditions on the western shore of Lake Washington, the Huskies decided to stay inside the relatively comfortable confines of the Dempsey Indoor for practice number nine of the spring and while several of "starters" were given the day off to heal up from bumps and bruises, that just allowed some youngsters to get out and shine...

Bumps, bruises and nicks: Husky head coach Steve Sarkisian said that players like Bishop Sankey and Shaq Thompson, among others, were given the day off to allow them to heal up from some "nicks" and that allowed several of the young players to get a lot more reps. Other players sitting out included projected starting corners Marcus Peters and Greg Ducre as well. Since Sarkisian and Washington do not comment on injuries, it is unclear how sever the "nicks" are, but none seemed too concerning when the Husky head man was asked.

Williams makes it look routine: Kasen Williams had the play of the day, hauling in a beautiful 30-plus yard touchdown pass from Keith Price over Cleveland Wallace. On the play, Williams and Wallace were running stride for stride down the sideline when Price released the ball. Wallace appeared to be in perfect position to make the play, right in Williams' "hip pocket", but the pass from Price was right where it needed to be and Williams brought it in with one hand while diving and keeping his feet inbounds. The sad thing is, a spectacular catch like the one he brought in on Saturday has turned into a "ho hum" or "that's just Kasen being Kasen" effort on his part, but no matter, it was still very impressive.

Who is the backup running back?: It's really tough to say right now who the backup to Bishop Sankey would be if we were playing a game tomorrow. The trio of Erich Wilson, Dwayne Washington and Ryan McDaniel all looked good and each one appeared to be pretty explosive when he to the opportunity to play. Wilson is the one that most resembles Sankey with his quick burst and "one-cut-and-go" mentality, but Washington and McDaniel also showed great bursts and really punished defenders when they came up to make the tackle. When Jesse Callier gets healthy, it will be a very crowded backfield for the Dawgs and that will be a nice problem to have.

Offensive line is progressing: Sark really seemed to be happy with the way the offensive line continues to improve. The starting offensive line has remained the same since the start of spring with Micah Hatchie at left tackle, Dexter Charles and left guard, Mike Criste at center, James Atoe at right guard and Ben Riva at right tackle. He seemed to indicated that with the new emphasis on speeding up the amount of snaps has really helped all of the linemen and Sark also was happy that the depth is starting to show up as well.

Shamburger lays the lumber: Will Shamburger had a huge pop on Michael Hartvigson early on and continues to have a very solid spring although it's be a quietly solid effort. Shamburger is in a real battle for the starting free safety spot with Brandon Beaver and Trevor Walker, two highly-acclaimed youngsters who are both hungry to get on the field.

Dixon looks comfortable: Early on it appeared that Travell Dixon was thinking a little too much, but he's seemed to settle down and really has been showing off both his coverage skills and his hitting ability, coming up and really smacking DiAndre Campbell on a short pass. Dixon, Ducre and Wallace all appear to be locked into a battle for the starting spot opposite Peters and, again, this is a very good problem that the Huskies are faced with.

QBs are coming along: Price had another solid afternoon while redshirt freshmen Jeff Lindquist and Cyler Miles both were up and down. When Lindquist gets going, he will really be a load for defenders to take down and things appear to be slowing down for him while Miles is an impressive looking athlete who has struggled at times, but then he comes up with a brilliant play that has you excited for his future. Neither Troy Williams or Derrick Brown did much during the two-hour workout.

Good day for Van Winkle: True Freshman Cameron Van Winkle had a solid afternoon, hitting on all three of his attempts while Travis Coons missed one of his three attempts. The long attempt for both was 37 yards (or at least that's what it appeared to be).

A few more big plays and big hits: Washington exploded into the secondary on a run, but then had the ball stripped away by Tre Watson. After a mad scramble, redshirt freshman OL Jake Eldrenkamp came up with the loose ball and gave the offense a first down inside the five, setting up a two-yard touchdown run two plays later by McDaniel; McDaniel took a handoff off the right side and started to pick up speed, but out of nowhere, Beaver came up and unloaded on him, stopping him right in his tracks. McDaniel got up much quicker than Beaver, but the hit was a big one nonetheless; TE Michael Hartvigson got free on a mid-range route and hauled in the pass before being ridden out of bounds by Walker; Miles got free for a big gain off the left side on a broken play, scrambling for 20 yards; Jaydon Mickens had took a short pass, made two moves and got a first down before being knocked out of bounds by Watson; McDaniel and Miles were unable to connect on a pass and as the second-year running back dropped the ball, Taz Stevenson came up and gave him a pretty nice shot, letting him know he was in the area.

Visitors in the house: Two 2013 signees -- Andrew Kirkland and Darrell Daniels -- were both in attendance. Kirkland looks much bigger than he did last year when I saw him and Daniels has the wow factor when you see him live. He's a legit 6'4" and is easily 215 pounds. He spent a lot of time talking with Jermaine Kearse who took in practice. Desmond Trufant showed up after practice to workout at the Dempsey as well.

Next Practice: Washington will take the next two days off before hitting the field again on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. Top Stories