8/15 AM Practice Report

Juan Garcia has rallied the troops. For a couple of days, he was all alone in red, but the same definitely could not be said for Sunday's workout in Husky Stadium. The Red Brigade swelled to double-digits, as the Dawgs suffered an odd array of injuries and medical conditions. But that didn't stop the rest of the team from another long, productive practice.

"We have a lot of guys with nicks and bumps and bruises," Washington Head Coach Keith Gilbertson said after practice. "And we have quite the assortment of ailments. Quintin Daniels had a problem with a toenail, Joe Lobendahn had a wisdom tooth pulled. Josh Okoebor will have (ACL) surgery on the 24th, so his season is done. Jon Lyon got kicked in the leg. There are some guys with hamstring problems - (Donny) Mateaki, Clay Walker, Charles Smith. It's just training camp stuff. I don't know if we're unusal in that way."

It's unclear right now whether Okoebor, a junior college transfer, will be able to get a redshirt year. Chris Hemphill got carted off with a possible shoulder injury and Shelton Sampson had a migraine and sat out some of practice. Chris Singleton reinjured the foot that caused him to miss the 2003 season. "It's that same foot that's bothering him," Gilbertson said. "He can go for a while and then he can't."

To add to the MASH unit, there were two players - Graham Lasee and Erik Berglund - who have left the team. Lasee participated in the running conditioning tests Thursday, but never showed up for practice. Berglund appeared to be suffering mightily during Saturday's morning practice and did not show up for Picture Day.

"I guess he didn't think he could play here," Gilbertson said of Berglund. "He decided there was something else he wanted to do. I doubt he'll be in school. I wish those guys well, but I only want the guys that are dying to be here."

Partly as a result of Berglund's departure, Jason Benn has been moved to the offensive line. He played Sunday at guard, wearing number 64,

"I think it's a good move for Jason," Gilbertson said. "We kept trying to keep his weight down, but now we can let him go and I feel that it might be more of his natural position."

Tui Alailefaleula, who backed up Ryan Brooks during the spring, has moved inside to guard for the fall.

Another name was added to the roster Sunday. Wade Gurnett, a 5-11, 185-pound cornerback from Shorewood High School, started camp today as a walk-on.

Gilbertson was asked, based on the practices to date, who has impressed. He picked three players out for mention. "I think on the offensive line, Khalif Barnes and Tusi Sa'au have done a nice job," he said. Dashon Goldson was the one mentioned on defense. "He's making a lot of plays," said Gilbertson. "I hear his name a lot. He jumps out."


Notes:
Not getting a kick out of special teams: While Gilbertson singled out Sean Douglas for his punting efforts so far this fall, nothing has been decided when it comes to the placekicking chores. "It's still up for grabs," he said. "I thought Michael (Braunstein) kicked it better today. There's definitely competition there." Gilbertson is also hoping players like Matt Fountaine can be a difference-maker getting to kicks. "We want to add on to that dimension. We have more team speed, so I think we have a chance to be more of a threat that way."

Buff Bradley: Sophomore corner Derrick Bradley may not be able to play this year, but he still came to camp ready to compete. "He's going to be a really good player," Gilbertson said of Bradley. "He had his shoulder operated a year ago and came in here and benched 320 pounds. And he can go. He's a guy a year from now we'll start to work into the kick return position. He needs a year of school first."

On the road again: The team packed up and headed down to the Evergreen State College in Olympia for a week of camp there. Gilbertson hinted Sunday that when the Conibear Shellhouse is complete next year, the team would probably stay in Seattle for fall camp. "I think it would make sense to stay home," he said.

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