Heavy clouds and wind made for a fairly cold, but surprisingly dry, fifth spring practice. The Husky defense picked up where right where it left off, starting the second week of spring practice strong. However, that didn’t happen without the offense drawing first blood.

In the initial 11-on-11 period, Chico McClatcher beat Darren Gardenhire down the sideline and hauled in a pass from Jake Browning. The play was whistled dead after a substantial gain, but could have easily been taken the distance in a game-speed situation. A nice deep ball from Anthony Burg to Max Richmond during the one-on-ones was the only other ‘touchdown’ for the offense today.


Shortly thereafter, the defense answered with the highlight of the day. Joe Mathis hit Browning’s arm as he threw, causing the ball to fall into Jaylen Johnson’s arms; Johnson converted that interception into a touchdown. Just before that play, Mathis had a touch sack of Browning. The converted BUCK linebacker was one of the many defensive standouts today for the Huskies.


De’Andre Watson intercepted Tony Rodriguez when the quarterbacks, receivers, and defensive backs ventured over to Husky Stadium for the one-on-one drills.


Dante Pettis and Jake Browning looked to be on the same page today, connecting on multiple instances in both seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 periods. After hauling in a pass while being covered by Jordan Miller, Pettis started a little banter. Pettis then walked away, but Miller picked up the football and threw it at Pettis’ back. Darrell Daniels decided to get involved after that. Nothing outrageous happened, but it was fun to see players’ competitive natures get the best of them.


With Trey Adams limited today, the first team offensive line (from left to right) was Andrew Kirkland, Michael Kneip, Coleman Shelton, Shane Brostek, and Kaleb McGary. Kirkland taking reps with the first team forced Hilbers to step in as the second team left tackle. The rest of the second team line was Henry Roberts, Matt James, Jesse Sosebee, and Devin Burleson.


The defensive first unit featured Elijah Qualls, Greg Gaines, and Jaylen Johnson on the defensive line, unless the Huskies switched to packages with extra defensive backs, in which case Johnson would be off the field. The linebackers remained the same, with Psalm Wooching (SAM), Keishawn Bierria (WIL), Azeem Victor (MIK), and Joe Mathis (BUCK). Jordan Miller got a lot of reps with the first unit as one of the corners, while Kevin King manned the other corner spot. Darren Gardenhire would come in as an extra defensive back. Sidney Jones was limited in team periods. Budda Baker and Jojo McIntosh again manned the safety spots.


Benning Potoa’e got a few reps with the second defensive line unit, getting snaps at tackle as well as end. For the most part, however, Shane Bowman, Vita Vea, and Damion Turpin composed the second team line.


The second unit stayed relatively static with Ben Burr-Kirven and Sean Constantine as inside linebackers and Tevis Bartlett with Connor O’Brien as outside linebackers. Further into the depth chart, Bryce Sterk, Jusstis Warren, and Amandre Williams got reps as outside linebackers, while Matt Preston, Jake Wambaugh, and DJ Beavers manned the middle.


Towards the end of practice, Washington devoted a seven-on-seven period to third down conversions. After each play, regardless of result, the yards to go would increase by about two or three, ensuring that both the offense and defense got to practice third and short, third and long, and everything in between.


Daniel Bridge-Gadd had an impressive throw to Drew Sample that looked to be a gain of about 20 yards. However, he was intercepted by Darren Gardenhire on the very next play. Later in the period, Trevor Walker hauled a tipped pass from Bridge-Gadd, making it another multiple turnover day for the freshman.


Nik Little had an impressive diving catch from K.J. Carta-Samuels, but it was negated by a flag thrown by Coach Petersen near the line of scrimmage. The defense took advantage of that mistake when Ben Burr-Kriven intercepted Carta-Samuels on the next play.


On the final play of the seven-on-sevens, Browning rolled out and had his passed batted down by DJ Beavers, who had to get way up to prevent Browning and Dotson connecting for a first down. The offense then ran a gasser.


The practice ended with one final 11-on-11 period. On fourth and about five, Browning threw deep for Pettis, but Kevin King sailed in for another interception.


After one gasser from the offense, practice ended with Kaleb McGary successfully catching a Tristan Vizcaino punt. It’s hard to tell, but it looks like McGary saved the offense from an extra gasser, and ended the practice on a fun note by doing so.

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