Dawgbytes - 9/3

The big news Wednesday coming from Montlake was the reinstatement of fullback Zach Tuiasosopo to game status. The 6-2, 250-pounder from Woodinville plea-bargained his malicious mischief case down to a misdemeanor, avoiding trial. But Gilbertson and the prosecutors still have some things for Zach to do before he's completely finished with this incident.

"He now has a misdemeanor on his record, but he has fulfilled all the obligations we've asked of him from from when this came down until today," Gilbertson remarked Wednesday afternoon. "There are some things still left to do between Zach and I, as well as the court-mandated things."

Zach pleaded guilty in King County Superior Court Tuesday to one count of third-degree malicious mischief, a gross misdemeanor, in return for the dropping of his felony malicious-mischief charge. Also under the terms of his plea bargain, Tuiasosopo will receive a one-year suspended sentence to ensure that he upholds his end of the agreement. He has already been performing community service and attending alcohol-treatment classes.

Gilbertson said that Tuiasosopo would definitely play Saturday, but left the door open as to whether or not he would start. "He hasn't had a lot of chances to play with the first and second-teamers," he said.

Jimmy Newell was named the fourth captain for Saturday's game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Husky Stadium. For the junior safety from Port Orchard, Washington, it's a reward for his perseverance and hard work in the face of numerous injuries and adversity.

Speaking of injuries, the Huskies appear quite healthy going into Saturday's out-of-conference matchup. Tui Alailefaleula's ankle is still a little 'nicked up', according to Gilbertson, while Charles Frederick is still taking it easy somewhat after sustaining an injury to his gluteus maximus during fall's final scrimmage, but isn't expected to have any problems whatsoever this coming weekend.

While Graham Lasee and Dan Milsten fight it out for the one starting defensive line spot, Gilbertson mentioned that Mike Mapu, the other DE in competition, just might redshirt if they are allowed that opportunity. "But it's a long season and you never know," he said. "But he's not in the mix right now and we'd love to redshirt him if possible."

The other JC player who arrived in spring, TE Jon Lyon, is very much 'in the mix'. "We need three tight ends, and Jon would have been our number two player if he hadn't missed time with his injuries," Gilbertson said. "He had an injury to his hand and his foot on the same day. He's back to around 85-90 percent. He still has to wear something on his hand."

There's still no word on the Clearinghouse in regard to Juan Garcia's status, but Gilberton isn't giving up hope that the young man from Yakima can make it in time before classes start. "School starts on the 29th (of September), so we've got some time," he said. "But it's the Clearinghouse. You just don't know. They definitely have their own pace, but they know he's a football player and hopefully that will help speed things up."

The Husky head man hopes to get a lot of looks with his three tailbacks, but acknowledges it's a tricky balance. "The thing about Rich (Alexis) is that he's a great receiver out of the backfield and he's great at pass protection and picking up blitzes. He's a valuable guy.

"But I would love to get a 3-1-1 (ratio) with him, Kenny James and Shelton Sampson. We know we have to run better and it's definitely a point of contention. But we have a gifted thrower and some gifted wide receivers, so we'll still be throwing the ball a little bit."

Finally, junior transfer walk-on Josiah Wilfong, from Kalama, Washington, has left the team.

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