"It was just a walk-through today," Washington Head Coach Rick Neuheisel said after the walk-through was complete. "We felt like we got a lot of work done in yesterday's scrimmage. We're just trying to keep teaching, keep 'rehearsing' if you will, and hopefully we'll have a great practice this afternoon. Spirits are good, and the guys know that they've got to heal up, so that we can be as close to full speed as possible for the Michigan game, and I'm hopeful that that will be the case. I like our situation and have my fingers crossed that we can make it to the game healthy."
Receiver Justin Robbins and linebacker Jafar Williams did not wear red this morning. Neuheisel is hopeful that Robbins may be able to participate in the scrimmage tomorrow. Williams has not practiced all fall and may have forgone the red today because it was only a walkthrough.
A pleasant surprise was Will Hooks, was out there going through the motions and not wearing his sling that he had on yesterday. Neuheisel said that Hooks would be questionable for the Michigan game.
Neuheisel addressed the media after the morning walkthrough. A large contingent was present to get the latest word on Charles Frederick, who left practice on Monday and hasn't returned.
"He and I had a conversation last night," Neuheisel said. "He is still mulling his options, how much he wants to play football. As I told him last evening, we are not going to slow the team down for his sake, but I certainly do understand that he's a long, long way from home and don't want him to make a decision of this magnitude and give him a real short timeline. Certainly at some point we'll have to 'cut bait', as they say, but my hope is that we'll have him back in the near future. I talked to the rest of the team and the team hopes that will be the case too. But football is not for everybody. We'll see how he decides."
Neuheisel has also talked to family members and coaches back in the Sunshine State and was buoyed by their responses. "I've talked to people back in Florida. It's been 100 percent unanimous, hopeful that he'll stay and get through it. I haven't found one that has told him to come home. My position right now is that it is going to be wait-and-see, and I haven't decided on a final timeline or all that kind of stuff. There have been players that have left and come back who have ended up as prominent players on this team. I don't feel the need to put a deadline on it, but it's nearing."
The Husky head coach was hopeful that Charles would make it to practice this morning, but that didn't happen. "At the conclusion of our meeting last night I had hoped that he would here this morning, but he's not, so obviously it's not resolved yet in his mind."
Neuheisel left the reasons behind why Frederick departed alone, preferring to have Charles talk about them himself. He did believe that the biggest factor was distance from home, however.
"This is not just an opportunity for football, this is an opportunity to learn a lot of life lessons," he said. "This is a great opportunity for an education at a premier institution. It's a great opportunity to find out about yourself being away from home and having to deal with the struggles of being away. You become more independent and you learn to appreciate those people that have been close to you at home. It isn't something that he's the first to go through, and he won't be the last to go through it. And the bottom line is, I told him that quitting is the worst of all the options, because once you quit something you're more bound to do it again. And almost every player on this team and every coach on this staff has at one point been in this similar circumstance, and every one of them that has found a way to be successful has found a way to get through it. History has millions of examples of that, not just athletics. My hope is that he does not do that, and finds a way to hang in there so we can both benefit from it."
Both placekicker John Anderson and tailback Rich Alexis are former teammates of Frederick at Pope John Paul II High School. Neuheisel is trying to make sure they aren't disrupted by the entire situation.
"I've talked to both Rich and John and while I want them to be supportive, I also want them to take care of their own issues. This is not their fault. This is not their issue. They can be there as a friend for Charles, but they've got to get themselves ready to play and I don't want them to feel guilty. And really, this is a point in Charles' life when he needs to take care of himself too, and make a good decision for himself."
This afternoon's practice is at 4:15. Tomorrow's scrimmage will be at 4:00 and will be closed to the public.
8-29 AM Walkthrough
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