Dawgbytes - 4/2

Another sunny day on Montlake, another UW football spring practice without pads. Not much to talk about, but Head Coach Keith Gilbertson did want to talk more about the quarterback battle and offensive line depth.

"They are all athletic," Gilbertson said about the race for position A between Casey Paus, Isaiah Stanback and Carl Bonnell. "Isaiah and Carl are the most athletic. Casey is the most skilled and knows our system the best. Isaiah and Carl probably run a little better, but Casey might have a little edge in terms of throwing and knowing where to go. It was fun to watch them work yesterday."

Routine is what Gilbertson has been trying to get back to after a difficult summer and fall of 2003. "It felt like the first practice of spring," he said. "Coming off of hiring a staff, getting our recruiting class put together, going through a good winter of conditioning - and then taking the field with spring football - that's the normal progression you go through. It finally felt like it's supposed to."

Nothing new on the injury front, minus a little scare with junior tailback Chris Singleton. "All of those guys with that fifth metatarsal injury have had the same experience," Gilbertson said. "They feel really good, but as soon as they get out on the field the scar tissue breaks loose and they feel like they did it again.

It happened to Jerramy (Stevens) and Khalif (Barnes) and just about every one else that has had it, so we'll hold him until Monday and we believe that he'll be fine."

All of the other players in redshirts - Rob Meadow, Tusi Sa'au, Joe Lobendahn, Dashon Goldson, Joe Toledo, Jason Benn - worked out when possible. Since tomorrow is Washington's first pads practice, there will be others joining the crimson brigade that are staying away from contact.

The offensive line, including the tight end position, has been hardest hit, with four players not available. "We really haven't had good depth on the line since the Rose Bowl year," said Gilbertson. "We have not been two-deep in three years. And when you lose Rob Meadow and Tusi (Sa'au) and you only have eight scholarship linemen out there for spring football, it's definitely a concern.

"It's going to take a couple of recruiting classes to build up the kind of numbers at that position that you need to have."

No go on Nate: Gilbertson on Nate Robinson; "As far as I know it's over. There's a lot of good kids that are out there that want to be coached and I'm excited about coaching them, so that's all I'm concerned about."

New Faces: These walk-on players have been added to the spring roster:
17 S Steve Horan 5-9, 190 RS-Soph Puyallup, WA
20 P/PK Hans Rassmussen 6-2, 185 RS-Soph Chehalis (Wash.) W.F. West
25 S Carlos Serrano 5-9, 175 RS-Soph Edmonds (Wash.) O'Dea
31 CB John Printz 5-11, 180 FR Sequim, WA
51 DE Mike Russell 6-2, 240 JR Bothell, WA
80 WR Matthew Smith 6-0, 180 Soph Spanaway (Wash.) Spanaway Lake
91 WR Sho Yoshinaga 5-9, 180 RS-Frosh Seattle (Wash.) Ballard

Just for kicks: Gilbertson mentioned that six players will be used in the kickoff return rotation for the time being - Charles Frederick, Anthony Russo, Sonny Shackelford, Derrick Johnson, Chris Singleton and Louis Rankin.

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