Sunny practice darkened by WR departure

In what Coach Neuheisel deemed a spirited practice this afternoon in the sunshine that bathed Husky Stadium, there was some bad news at the end of practice. Charles "ET" Frederick, the 6-0 180 pound wide receiver and freshman all-American kick returner from Boca Raton, Florida, was suspended from the team indefinitely by Coach Rick Neuheisel for violation of an undisclosed team rule.

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"It's unfortunate, but I have to suspend him from our football team," said Neuheisel after practice today.

Frederick sat out the last half of Monday's practice with an aggravated right shoulder and missed Tuesday's practice as well. Apparently that absence was an unexcused one.

"Charles missed some team functions. I spoke with him yesterday and laid out the guidelines and told him what I expected from him. I came to the decision that he should be suspended from the team indefinitely," said Neuheisel.

"It's unlikely that he'll come back."

Although not mentioning anything specifically, Neuheisel's comments appear to question's Frederick's commitment to the football program.

Frederick is burned out from playing two sports. He's had no time off during his time at Washington, having gone straight from football into basketball, and now straight into spring ball. He said this evening that his body is worn down. He has yet to meet with new Men's Basketball Head Coach Lorenzo Romar but it's believed that he'll now just focus on one sport – basketball.

Frederick was ranked the #9 point guard in America by PacWest Hoops when he came out of high school, but wasn't able to get off the pine on Bob Bender's team. If the school switches his scholarship from football to basketball, Frederick becomes ineligible to play football again at Washington. That all still needs to be worked out. Right now Frederick wants to leave the door open for football but after Neuheisel's comments today, it doesn't sound very likely.

"Ultimately we are privileged to be coaching here and it's a privilege to play football here. We owe it to that tradition and to those that want to be here," said Neuheisel.

Although Frederick had yet to catch a pass in a game, he was expected to play a big role in the offense this season as well as on kickoffs and punt returns.

His suspension, should it lead to permanent departure, leaves a void at wide receiver. Currently on scholarship are Reggie Williams (6-4 220 soph), Paul Arnold (6-1 200 senior), Wilbur Hooks (6-0 195 senior), and Justin Robbins (6-0 180 soph), but Robbins is expected to miss the entire 2002 campaign with an ACL injury.

The Huskies have petitioned the NCAA to get a sixth season of eligibility for WR Patrick Reddick, which would bolster the situation somewhat. "We're working (it) and it's in the hands of the NCAA right now. We're hopeful about it," said Neuheisel.

Neuheisel also added that incoming JC receiver Eddie Jackson (6-4 210), incoming freshmen Nate Robinson (5-9 180), Jordan Slye (6-5 190), and sophomore RayShon Dukes could also add more depth at receiver in the fall. Dukes has been moved to safety but is sitting out spring with a shoulder injury.

In the interim, walkons Matt Griffith and Matt DeBord are running a lot more reps than normal and both are producing. "DeBord and Griffith have been ‘Johnny On The Spot'. They are a perfect example of guys who want to be here and show up every day to give their blood, sweat, and tears to the program. We have to preserve that tradition, that it's a privilege to play here," said Neuheisel.

LB Kai Ellis still remains in red but his rehab appears to be going OK. "Kai is in good shape and has put on a bit of weight. He's up to about 250 and now needs to get stronger. He'll sit out the rest of the spring and we'll try to get him healthy for the fall," said Neuheisel.

Today during running back blocking drills, Chuck Heater had his tailbacks really working hard. Rich Alexis looked particularly good on picking up the blitz. His best work came against linebacker Tyler Krambrink, who was pancaked to the turf.

There were no changes in lineups with the starting defense today. The line was Terry "Tank" Johnson and Houdini Jackson on the ends, Jerome Stevens and Josh Miller inside, Joseph Lobendahn and Tim Galloway at the inside linebackers, Jafar Williams on the outside, cornerbacks Sam Cunningham and Derrick Johnson, and safeties Jim Newell and James Sims.

During non-contact drills, Ben Mahdavi takes over as the starter for Galloway at the WILL position.

Both Galloway and Sims had very nice interceptions today. Galloway's came when he laid out in front of TE Joe Toledo and made a grab with his body parallel to the turf. Sims' came when he broke on a ball that Pickett floated and the safety was able to get in front of Reggie Williams and pilfer the rock.

Cunningham had an interception as well when he got in front of Williams. On the very next play he was able to dive and get a paw on a ball intended for Paul Arnold across the middle. The sophomore to be from Los Angeles is really stepping up with Roc Alexander and Chris Massey both sidelined with injuries.

It is such a great sight to see a healthy Jafar Williams. He is moving so much better this year and looks pretty good in coverage. He knocked down a few passes today intended for tight ends in the flat.

Cody Pickett is regaining the velocity on his throws, but had trouble getting the touch on his deep ball dialed in this afternoon. He was overthrowing receivers, but he is still getting warmed up after four months of inactivity. It is great to see the tight spirals and velocity back after just 10 practices.

Freshman Casey Paus looked fantastic today. He was throwing the out ball well and the deep ball particularly well. On the outs he hit TE Kevin Ware for big gains and on one touch throw across the middle he threaded it to FB Adam Seery for a 15 yard pickup on third down. Paus threw a beautiful rainbow to Arnold for a 50-yard score and followed that up with a dart between the safeties to Reggie Williams on an intermediate route that went for 20.

The one change on offense today was on the second team. Ryan Brooks, a 6-6 300 pound tackle from Richland has moved ahead of Francisco Tipoti in the fight to back up Khalif Barnes. Tipoti, a JC transfer from City College of San Francisco, is not in shape yet and needs to work on strength.

Brooks joined fellow tackle Robin Meadow, guards Jason Simonson and Aaron Butler, and center Brad Vanneman on the second team line.

During practice today, several ex-Huskies were in attendance. Anthony Vontoure, Ink Aleaga, Derrell Daniels, Jerramy Stevens, Omare Lowe, Rod Jones, Ken Walker, and Gerald Harris were all taking in the action this afternoon. Tonight there is a fund raising event for Curtis Williams and they will all no doubt attend that dinner.

Washington is off tomorrow and will scrimmage Saturday in Husky Stadium. When asked what he'd like to see on Saturday, Coach Neuheisel replied, "A bunch of guys that want to scratch and claw, and can't wait to play Michigan on August 31st."

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