Shyne on you crazy diamond

Washington has gained two more cornerbacks this spring. Although potential starter Roc Alexander will sit this spring out while recuperating from shoulder surgery, Derrick Johnson has made his return to the field after a yearlong hiatus where he rehabbed a horrific foot injury. In addition to Johnson, the Huskies also get Eric Shyne into their secondary mix.

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Shyne was a highly sought after skill player out of Pomona High School and Washington was happy to get him last February. However, his arrival was delayed when he was unable to attain a passing SAT score.

The freshman-to-be came to Seattle in the summer and began studying for his next exam. In December he achieved a high enough score to enroll in the Winter quarter and participate in off-season workouts.

Now Shyne has participated in his first two practices, and is all smiles.

"It's been cool, I've got a little bit to work on. I need to work on the coverages but that's what the coaches are here for," said the confident young cornerback.

Secondary coach Bobby Hauck says of Shyne, "The first couple of days we're not in pads, but with all things considered, being his first two days, I think he's doing a good job. He's a quick guy and he shows promise."

Shyne hopes to add depth to an area where it became razor thin last season when Johnson was shelved and Alexander and Lowe all battled various injuries. "I've gained 16 pounds since I've been here. I'm a lot bigger and a whole lot stronger than I was. There's been a lot of improvement over the past couple of months. It's going pretty well, really."

Shyne needed the weight and strength in order to play Pac-10 football, so he quickly found his way to the training table and kitchen. "I've just been eating. I eat every night as much as I can, and I've been lifting weights. The whole program has built me up and got me a lot stronger," he said.

The caliber of athletes that the Huskies have in the secondary has made an early impact on Eric. "There are a lot of good guys out there. Guys like Derrick Johnson and Roc Alexander, I have a whole lot of work ahead of me to compete with guys like that. I look up to those guys, they teach me things when I mess up."

He is getting a very early education this spring, facing receivers like 6-4 220-pound Reggie Williams and 6-0 200-pound speedster Paul Arnold for two days. Those two are as good as anyone in the conference so the young corner from Pomona will find out very early just how far he'll need to come to help the Huskies.

"I think coming in this spring is kind of an advantage for me," said Shyne of his delayed enrollment.

"It's allowed me to get used to the speed of the game. It's a lot different than it was in high school. It was almost like I'd forgotten a lot about the game, it's been a while since I've played. But it's coming."

August is coming as well, and fast. Shyne hopes to be there on the field at the Big House when the Wolverines entertain the Huskies. He's a diamond that hopes to shine very soon.
For those that are not fans of the band Pink Floyd, I apologize for the obnoxious title to this article.

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