MONDAY: 8/27 PM

"We were much more crisp. I thought this afternoon we improved," said Neuheisel. Still a pall was cast over the workout when freshman wide receiver Charles Frederick left practice after a brief skirmish with a teammate.

Frederick, the Parade All-American receiver from Lake Worth, Florida, had been practicing with the receivers and looked pretty good during one-on-ones. Then an argument broke out between Frederick and another player and a very irritated Rich Alexis jumped in and pulled Frederick aside.

"There was a scuffle with another player and he walked off the practice field," said Neuheisel of Frederick's early departure.

Neuheisel didn't want to address it immediately, preferring to let some steam blow off. "Hopefully we'll get everything settled here at another time," said Neuheisel.

The Husky coach sent junior placekicker John Anderson to go back up the tunnel and into the locker room to see if Frederick was still around but the receiver had left the stadium.

"Charles is very frustrated right now. He's been hurt and unable to participate at the level that he wants to. Part of this freshman experience is growing up and learning to deal with adveristy. Hopefully he'll learn a great lesson from this and come back and become a bigtime member of our team," said Neuheisel.

The good news at receiver today was Paul Arnold. "I'm thrilled with him. He's worked hard to learn the nuiances of the position and he certainly has big play ability," said Neuheisel.

Randy Hart's group of defenders grew by one today. Spencer Marona, who just last week in Olympia was considered the number one fullback, was moved back to defense today. Neuheisel was gracious that Marona was willing to move once again.

"I want to say how grateful I am for his attitude," Neuheisel said. "We felt with Matthias Wilson's emergence and Kenny Walker's return and with Braxton Cleman being able to give us some snaps there that we would get more out of Spencer on our defensive front. He looked at it from a team standpoint and anytime you have kids like that it's very fun to coach. Kids that are willing to look at the big picture."

"I can't say enough good things about Spencer and his attitude about handling the decision."

Marona will challenge for the spot behind Marcus Roberson. Currently Geoff Shelton is running number two at the position they call "HUSKY", or defensive end, and Marona will be in that line.

Despite the better pace to this afternoon's practice, the receivers went through a five minute period of Hell when six straight passes were dropped. It brought back shades of last fall, but GA John Pettas quickly corrected the gaffes.

Safety Rod Green looks to be back to full speed and ran with the first team today next to Greg Carothers. Freshman Evan Benjamin is taking his best shot to be in the rotation. With Owen Biddle resting his sore Achilles today, Benjamin got more reps and is proving to be a big, physical hitter. Wondame Davis continues to be very active and will help in the secondary this year.

Fullback Ken Walker got the hit parade going when he led Hurst into a hole and just levelled linebacker Tim Galloway. The two heated thumpers had to be separated after the play. The very next play the two tangled again and Walker took him out once again. Galloway's tenacity showed through as he showed anger, but gave Walker an affectionate smack to the helmet to let him know it wasn't personal.

The competition seems to be really heating up between Defensive Tackles Jerome Stevens and Terry Johnson, who equally shared duties with the first defense today. It appears as if both want it bad and won't relinquish their hold, which has to make DL Coach Randy Hart extremely happy.

Once the main 11-on-11 drills were complete, the offense and defense again split up and were run into the ground with conditioning drills and working on lining up correctly while tired. Offensive Coordinator Keith Gilbertson and Coach Neuheisel ran the offense on the East practice field on clock management, and also did their fair share of running.

Tonight's practice had a definite sense of urgency to it.

Notes:

It's a kick: John Anderson reached the North Upper Deck while punting with Derek McLaughlin and Jim Skurski from the Husky Stadium Track. He also hit the facade of the Upper Deck as well.

Is it Larry, or E.F. Hutton?: Larry Tripplett reminded all of his defensive teammates that he's the man in charge when he quieted the boys in white while Tim Hundley was trying to get them to run a drill with some choice words we can't print here. The whole defense went silent.

Who's returning?: Willie Hurst is going to be the number one option returning punts. He has been outstanding in that role all fall camp. Paul Arnold has one kickoff return spot locked down while the other spot will either be filled by Roc Alexander or Wilbur Hooks. Neuheisel is hopeful that Frederick will return and be a threat returning kickoffs as well.

Dented A Lexus: Running back Rich Alexis dinged a shoulder during a tackle drill and was held out of a few drills. After the Frederick incident Alexis returned to the field at full speed. "He's fine. We just held him out for precautionary reasons," said Neuheisel.

Dawgman.com Top Stories