Dawgbytes 4/12

After taking the Easter weekend off to evaluate some of the happenings of last Friday's scrimmage, it was back to work for the Huskies on Monday. With just under half of the spring already in the books, the work is not close to being done, with head coach Keith Gilbertson planning to use the rest of spring to work out the finer details.

Gilbertson addressed the media on a few topics before running out the tunnel to lead practice this afternoon.

"I don't feel any differently about the quarterbacks than I did," said Gilby of the three-man competition. "They all kind of got the same reps and things to do. I saw some really good things and I saw some things that I wish they hadn't done. I don't feel like right now that anybody has really separated themselves."

Gilbertson believes that Redshirt freshman Carl Bonnell has had a reality check, and it's a good one. "I don't think Carl really thought of himself as a contender for the position. I always thought he was but I really don't think that he did. After Saturday, he may think that he really has a chance now."

"But right now, there is no one that makes me say, ‘This guy is really taking the job over.'"

Gilbertson also spoke about Stanback's scrimmage situation last weekend. "Isaiah made the comment that he didn't get as many passes, but he got as many calls as the other guys. He got a few scrambles, but he got the same as everybody."

Of the offensive line, Gilbertson isn't quite sure to be optimistic about their progress or pessimistic about the guys they are lined up against. "They (offensive line) looked OK. But I don't know if it was just really good offense or really bad defense."

The receiver situation is beginning to look even deeper now. ""When Corey Williams is on top if it, he is a really terrific player. Someone who surprised me was Charles Smith. We didn't see him at all in the fall because of his hand and he's really had himself a good couple of weeks of spring football. I think (Anthony) Russo will jump out at you, Sonny (Shackelford), and Jordan Slye have all had good springs," .said Gilbertson of his young receiving corps.

Evan Benjamin is making a successful transition from the secondary into the linebacker corps. "It's similar to what Greg (Carothers) was but it's a little bit more walk-away," said Gilbertson. "Evan's always been tough. When he played safety last year I thought he played very well up by the line of scrimmage. I think it's a good place to him."

"Durrell Moss and Robert Lewis are there backing him up but are not in the position to challenge him for the job."

James Sims is also finding success at his new position. ""He's certainly not ahead of Zach (Tuiasosopo) but we certainly have no hesitation putting him in the game and getting some snaps," said Gilbertson of his newest fullback.

"There's a significant difference (in blocking between Tui and Sims) but the one thing is, Zach had knows all the schemes because he's been doing it for three years and James is getting a crash course about picking up blitzes and protection."

Sims brings a dimension to the position that the Huskies haven't had in a while. "Obviously he's very fast. He's run a 4.4 consistently and he verticals 42 inches. He's athletic. He's going to get to the line of scrimmage. I think it will be nice to put 10-12 pounds on the guy with the durability factor. Fullbacks hit a lot of people. There are lots of collisions."

Behind Zach and Sims, the competition is hot and heavy. "There's really great competition at the tailback spot. No back has taken themselves out of the race," said Gilbertson.

As the team winds down toward the spring game, Gilbertson isn't sure what the Huskies will do for that final scrimmage. "There are no plans yet. We will wait and see who we have available for the Spring Game.
Injury Updates: Manase Hopoi, who has out nursing a sore knee, noticed some swelling and had an MRI done today. Gilbertson said that there might be some cartilage damage to the knee and the results of the MRI should be known by tomorrow. Dan Milsten was also out of all contact drills today and will be out until Thursday. Ben Bandel is also out today and listed as "on again, off again" for the rest of spring due to a sore knee. According to Gilbertson, Bandel has had an "arthritic condition in his knee" since high school and will have his knee examined frequently.

Back in action: On the flip side however, Chris Singleton and Sonny Shackelford tossed their red jerseys aside and went at full speed today.

There will be no practice on Wednesday. Saturday's scrimmage will begin at 10AM.

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