Fall Camp Day 5 News, Notes, Wrap

It was a stormy Wednesday at Husky Stadium, but that didn’t stop Washington from getting in their work - even if they had to move to do it. It was Day Five of the Huskies’ fall camp, and they had to finish it inside the cozy confines of the Dempsey Indoor Facility.

Mother Nature decided not to cooperate with the Pac-12 Networks, in town to film their pre-season special on Washington Football. Mike Yam, Yogi Roth, former Oregon Defensive Coordinator Nick Aliotti, and Husky legend Lincoln Kennedy were all on hand. Our conversation with Lincoln can be found HERE.

Things looked okay for the first hour, with Washington getting all their stretching and warmup work outside in Husky Stadium, but that all changed once the first belt of thunder was heard a few miles away. The team scampered for the cover of the Dempsey Indoor to finish out the final 90 minutes.

It was the first day of full pads work, which meant hitting. Everything was still thud tempo, meaning close to full speed but not taking anyone to the ground. The practice finished with Brandon Beaver de-cleating an unsuspecting receiver, and that kind of encapsulated the day, with the defense definitely running the show over the offense during the final team periods.

The other main highlight was when freshman quarterback Jake Browning was leading the offense down the field after roughly a 40-yard completion to Brayden Lenius. He tried a long cross-field throw that was anticipated by Darren Gardenhire and easily picked off.

I always like to watch the first full pads 1-1’s between the offensive and defensive line, because the intensity and energy get ratcheted up to another level when they hit for real. Sifa Tufunga, Matt James, Dane Crane, Trey Adams, and Boomer Sosebee all had good turns for the offense, while Shane Bowman, Vita Vea, Joe Mathis, and Psalm Wooching did the same for the defense.

In talking with Wooching after practice, he knew he had to turn it up during the 1-1’s. He rolled left tackle Jake Eldrenkamp, followed by some words in the face of Eldrenkamp while he was on the deck - probably taunting if we’re keeping score. Both sides came together for a quick skirmish, and then the coaches made Wooching and Eldrenkamp line up again. Jake got the better of Psalm the last two reps.

The offensive and defensive lines continue to really get mixed in terms of personnel, something the coaches have been asking for the first couple weeks while they sort out relative strengths and weaknesses. That being said, the number-one offensive line feels set except for one position - right tackle. Jake Eldrenkamp, Dexter Charles, Sifa Tufunga and Shane Brostek have been very consistent performers, but it still looks like a battle royale between Coleman Shelton and Matt James for that right tackle spot - with Kaleb McGary breathing down their neck.

Shelton spent some time too at left tackle, along with Andrew Kirkland and Trey Adams. Dane Crane and Henry Roberts are backing up Charles, with Michael Kneip and John Turner backing up Sifa at center. Sosebee and Jared Hilbers are the backups right now at right guard.

Defensively, it’s a real mash up. Damion Turpin spent a lot of time with the ones today, and he played well. He’s mostly inside as a 3-technique or 4-i, and he played typically next to either Elijah Qualls or Vita Vea. Vea also continues to have a strong fall camp, and Jeff Choate said after practice he’s simply looking for Vea to retain that consistency despite the fact that he hasn’t played competitively in over two and a half years.

Watching the non-bigs popping pads, the pass protection drill between running backs, tight ends, and linebackers is always fun to watch. Some of the true frosh, like Benning Potoae and Myles Gaskin showed up well in this drill, while the vets like Joshua Perkins and Dwayne Washington wanted to show the younger guys how the drill is properly done.

Perkins got tangled up with Washington and they both started scuffling a bit before being separated. Washington, despite coming in originally as a receiver, takes pride in blocking, and it definitely showed up today.

Just a quick note on the quarterbacks to close. There really wasn’t too much separation between the quarterbacks today. But during the final team period I was curious to watch Jake Browning as he stood roughly 10-15 yards directly behind Jeff Lindquist as Jeff was leading the offense. He was mimicking what Lindquist was doing at the line and it was clear how Browning was taking mental reps. Soon after, K.J. Carta-Samuels joined him.

Obviously it’s a fool’s errand to try and make much out of the quarterback competition up to now, but with Browning starting out the final team period with the ones and the way he’s also taking mental reps, it’s clear the frosh is aligning himself to take over as the starting quarterback at Boise State. I have no idea if he’s going to be the guy, but everything he’s doing right now in his preparation points in that very direction.

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