8/14 AM Practice Report

The temperatures were up, the recruits were in attendance and the shoulder pads were on for the first time. The Washington football team finally were able to take out their frustrations on the field for the first time during fall camp, and while it was still at a 'thud' tempo, that didn't stop the players from getting their licks in.

"I'm happy about it," Washington Head Football Coach Keith Gilbertson said after the nearly three-hour workout. "No one seems to be shy about hitting anybody, so I like that." Today was also Picture Day at Husky Stadium, where the fans get to go into the stadium and get their pictures taken with their favorite players and coaches.

It only took three practices before the first skirmish of camp. Zach Tuiasosopo rolled Jimmy Newell, and the senior safety took exception, causing a little tiff that ended up on the track surrounding the field at Husky Stadium. The defense wasn't about to take anything from the offense, as Joe Lobendahn ended up with Sonny Shackelford's helmet.

And in general, the defense seems to have the offense's number early in camp, which is not unusual at all. Guys are flying to the ball in unison under the orchestration of Defensive Coordinator Phil Snow.

Carl Bonnell had another nice day throwing the ball, and seemed to be the best at not trying to force things. When there was trouble, his arm was able to get him out of jams. For example, the redshirt frosh from Kent was able to snake a pass through three defenders to connect with tight end Dash Crutchley. But Crutchley was not able to avoid the three-man sandwich that happened at the end of the play, and the ball was jarred loose.

A few of the guys really delivering shots included DE Ty Eriks, LB Joe Lobendahn and safeties Chris Hemphill and Dashon Goldson. Eriks had a nice helmet-slapping party with Clay Walker and also accidentally sent QB Casey Paus flying after Paus handed the ball off to a running back and finished off his play fake.

After Lobendahn decided to take Shackelford's helmet, he decided to punish another receiver, putting WR Bobby Whithorne to the turf. Whithorne, to his credit, held onto the ball and popped right back up. The two safeties, Hemphill and Goldson, are showing just why the Dawgs are going to be a lot stingier down the middle of the defense.

It seemed like Chris went out of his way to personally pick out frosh RB Johnie Kirton to deliver his shoulder-pad salutations, including a pretty severe stiffarm that sent the big ballcarrier backwards for a second. Kirton, who is definitely heavier than the 248 pound advertised on the roster, didn't seem to mind Hemphill's punishment too much, but they were nice shots nonetheless. Goldson has also delivered his presence with authority, as many receivers have suddenly come away with a case of alligator arms coming across the middle of his secondary.

Other players that had nice days include Sam Cunningham, Isaiah Stanback, Rob Meadow, Charles Frederick, Cody Ellis, Matt Fountaine and Sean Douglas.

Cunningham had a pick gift-wrapped to him from Paus and is making the quarterbacks' life hell in general. Stanback showed some nice patience today by tucking it up and running when confronted with the possibility of a tougher throw downfield. He's always had that ability, but he's masking his intentions a lot better than before and is becoming more of a throwing threat every day. The more that happens, the more dangerous he will be as a runner.

Meadow looks fantastic. He rolled frosh DE Caesar Rayford and made him look like it was his third day playing college football. As far as the offensive line, it's all going to come down to health. That's it. If the two-deeps can remain healthy all year, Charlie Dickey will have them more than ready for the rigors of Pac-10 play.

Frederick is so far above the other receivers right now it's too obvious. On one 1-1 drill, 'ET' was playing cat and mouse with 'Dre Simpson, trying to get around the sophomore corner, using all his moves to outsmart the younger DB. Ellis continue his solid play in the rotation, coming in when the defense wants to use more players in the deep third. He's got catch-up speed, and you can't teach that. Fountaine is not only making his mark on defense, but he's also playing stellar special teams. He got his hand on a field-goal try by Mike Braunstein, forcing it way off line.

And last, but certainly not least, is Douglas. The soph from Nebraska was booming 'em Saturday. He had a few well over 60-plus yards, but still has to work on consistency. That's his only downfall at this point, as he clearly has the strongest leg of anybody in camp.

The Huskies have one more practice in Seattle on Sunday and then they will pack up and head south to Olympia.
Recruits in the House: There were roughly twenty high school prospects on hand this morning to watch practice. The biggest name there? Timberline's Jonathan Stewart, sporting an old-school Priest Holmes jersey. Also, PK Ryan Perkins and RB Brendan Manning came with 'Snoop' Stewart. Others expected to attend Saturday's practice include Anthony Felder (O'Dea), Colin Kennedy (Bellarmine Prep), Adam Grant, Wyatt Ellis and Johnny Spevak (Puyallup), Dan Winter (North Thurston), Taylor Rank (Evergreen), Erik Krohn and Ryan Stokes (Kentwood) and Travis Nauta (Kentwood). There was also a scout from the Indianapolis Colts in attendance.

Seeing Red: Juan Garcia was in red again, and he was joined Saturday by Ben Bandel (knee) and Donny Mateaki (hamstring). "Ben has always had that problem," Gilbertson said. "He's good for a couple of days and then we have to sit him down and let his knee settle down." Cornerback Josh Okoebor twisted his knee, and his status is uncertain. "I saw the injury and I'm a little more concerned about him," said Gilbertson. WR Quintin Daniels is expected back after getting his big toe stepped on, an injury that apparently looks more painful that it really is.

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