FRIDAY: 8/24 AM

The Washington Huskies took the field this morning for their final non-full contact practice of the fall camp to be held at The Evergreen State College. Although the team didn't wear full pads, there were plenty of good hits and the action was non-stop.

Defensive line Coach Randy Hart had his troops working hard, as the 13-year Husky coach still searches for quality depth. He's found it on the inside. DT Terry Johnson was a partial qualifier last year and ineligible to play in games but he's found a home at the tackle position. "It doesn't matter to me, I'll play anywhere Coach Hart wants me to line up," said Johnson, who is quick enough to line up at any of the frontline positions.

Johnson's volleyball background in high school and his work as a tight end helped him develop quickness that is still with him now that he weighs 275 pounds. Coach Hart is enjoying what Johnson is doing. "He's a fine young player with a big time motor," he said. "Terry is still learning and we're hoping that we can put him out there and get some quality play out of him. He's working hard and fighting in this camp and I think he's very capable. Now he has to go out and do it."

Johnson has a great first step, much like Larry Tripplett does. The two together make a nice tandem inside. Jerome Stevens provides Hart with more size, experience, and depth on the inside. All three will play a lot of downs. "I've not met anyone yet that can play an entire football game at defensive line," said Hart.

True freshman Tui Alailefaleula is making a nice push for playing time as well. He is an explosive player at 300 pounds and looks as if he may be in the rotation when camp breaks. Redshirt freshman Josh Miller is also getting more active since coming back from a wrist injury.

LB Anthony Kelley had a solid morning of practice, knocking two balls away that would've gone for first downs.

Tight End Jerramy Stevens set a school record by snagging 43 receptions last year, the most by a Husky tight end in one season. Both his hands and his speed have not dropped off one iota despite putting on more size. Stevens now weighs over 260 pounds and looks forward to another big season in 2001. "I was doubled and scraped a lot last year and still got open. Now that I'm bigger and stronger I think that will help me. I want them to throw the ball to me," said Stevens.

Every ball thrown to him this morning was a reception except for the ones Anthony Kelley was able to get a hand on.

The offensive line has worked hard to get to where they are now and it looks to be paying dividends. They know that they are the youngest unit and will be the one area that a lot of people will question.

Freshman safety Evan Benjamin has gotten better every practice. Today he had another nice hit on a running back. After the scrimmage Saturday Bobby Hauck will begin to have a better idea of where he is in terms of who will be his rotation.

Safety Greg Carothers made some good hits this morning, something he's known for. At 6-3 and 205 pounds he's an intimidating presence in the back 40. He has let his hair grow out, picked up a new diamond stud, and rides a very loud motorcycle. Tough as nails, that's Carothers, and the coaches love him.

One final note of interest was that Charles Frederick not only returned to the offense and ran with the wide receivers today, he also was no longer wearing a red jersey. He looked a little lost on some patterns but that is to be expected with the amount of practice he's missed. Just getting the speedster from Florida back onto the field was a welcome sight for Coach Rick Neuheisel.

Once again cornerback Omare Lowe turned in another solid practice. He is Chuck Heater's leader on the corners and he's showing up for work every day with his lunch pail. He was able to stick with every receiver all camp. The senior from Maple Valley has come a long way from the days when he was a sophomore that had all the tools but lacked confidence.

This afternoon's practice will be on the soccer field. The two fields the Huskies have been using all week have been reduced to sod heaps.
Husky Notebook:

Swish part two: During the quarterback drills where they drop back and have to throw into a basket sewn into a stationary net, Taylor Barton once again shined. Much like Calvin Murphy or Mark Price at the free throw line, Barton was money from 25 yards out. He missed but one that we could see. Pickett and Paus also did well on the swish drill.

Ben lowers the boom: The biggest hit of the morning came when Todd Elstrom ran a look in across the middle. He made the catch and then was flattened by Ben Mahdavi in a fierce collision. Elstrom hung onto the ball and popped right up.

Play of the day: Cody Pickett found Reggie Williams and lofted the ball perfectly to where Williams could run under it and out-leap RayShon Dukes for a long gain.

Fresh legs: With Braxton Cleman possibly moving to fullback, there is an opening for the number three tailback position. If we had to pick a number three right now the nod would go to true freshman Chris Singleton. He is very talented and picking up the offense pretty well, but does suffer a little bit from freshman nerves and drops the ball on occasion. He has gotten much better in that department, however. Fellow freshman Ty Eriks also is taking reps with the threes, making for a good competition. Eriks and Singleton have different styles from one another and both bring good skills to the position. Singleton looks quicker but Eriks has played fullback for the past three years and is really just learning his new position.

PQ stands for…: Partial qualifier, which Manase Hopoi is this year. That means he cannot play in any games this fall. However he is perhaps the best of the three freshmen defensive linemen. Hopoi has opened eyes with his charges from the outside. At 17-years of age, he plays like a man. His 6-4 245 pound frame should fill out measurably in the next year. PQ may stand for Painfully Quick in the very near future. Until next fall he's on the shelf, so be patient.

DB curse strikes again: Freshman James Sims was in red today and sporting a cast on his left hand and forearm.

Scrimmage Saturday: Saturdays' scrimmage will be in Husky Stadium and begins at 2:30. It is open to the public but no video cameras are allowed. The second scrimmage next weekend will be closed to the public.

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