Spring game notes and quotes

Here's a sampling of reactions from Husky players today after the Purple defeated the White 27-17 at Husky Stadium Saturday afternoon. Most felt good about their performances, but almost to a man expressed the desire to get back after it in the summer to improve their games.

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Manase Hopoi:

On his performance - "I think I did pretty good. It wasn't one of my best games but I executed well at times. All I can do is go out there and do my hardest."

On breaking out this spring - "It meant a lot to me, because last year I had to sit out I felt like I let the team down by not doing my thing in high school. So when I sat out I tried my hardest on the scout team. Now that I came out this year I think I need to be twice as good."

What he'll work on over the summer - "My hands. I'm a man. I'm physical, and I like to put my shoulders and my head into people. But that's not getting me anywhere. The more I use my hands the more I'll get past people, making tackles and making sacks. I've learned a lot by using my hands."
Adam Seery:

On his switch to fullback - "It's been good. It's been exciting. I've learned a lot but I need to improve a lot."

The hardest part of the move - "The hardest thing is that I need to gain a little bit of weight. I'm only at about 215 or 220 right now and I need to be at 235 next year. But other than that I feel like I'm doing OK. My pass blocking I need to work on a little bit. But I'm excited to be here and I'm looking forward to next year."

On his spring game performance - "I think I did OK. I dropped my first pass of the entire spring, so I was a little PO'd about that. But other than that I thought I did OK, because obviously there's things I need to improve on, but I will go back and watch the film and see what I need to improve on."
Josh Miller:

On his improvement over the course of the spring - "I felt pretty good. I feel like I improved on the run and on the pass. I feel good about going into fall camp."

On getting better - "Truthfully, every scrimmage was an improvement for me. The biggest thing I think I improved on was my running."

On job security - "Not yet. I've got a long way to go until fall. I still need to improve on the run and the pass."
Derrick Johnson:

On getting back on the field - "It felt pretty good to be out there. I just played the spring to see where I'm at so I can work on things during the summer. I'm happy and excited that I was able to participate, just getting back into the groove of things and being back on the defense. Last year I was able to learn on the sidelines and now I'm able to learn on the field."

On his foot - "It's sore. I need to do some work on it during the summer. I have some catching up to do."
Matt Griffith:

On his spring breakout - "I don't know what to say. It's crazy. I found myself in a lucky situation. It's unfortunate what happened to Charles, but it looks like he's coming back so that's pretty cool. As far as getting an opportunity to play...when you have a couple of players hurt and Pat with his eligibility there...it's good to have those guys coming back but there was a little window for me to show what I could do and I'm glad I got the opportunity."

On today's performance - "Today was great being out there. I felt I could do more out there but it was still a lot of fun. It was a dream come true. I remember coming here when I was a little kid, coming up here with my Dad and it was weird coming out and signing autographs, playing and actually being a part of it. It was a trip."
Dan Dicks:

On his chance with the ones this spring - "Well it was nice to get the opportunity to go out and practice with the guys coming back last year from the ones, getting to work with them and just getting a chance to improve and work with guys that have gotten a lot of experience. I think that helped me over the spring."

On today's game - "I felt good. "I think we need to work on running the ball. But I'll get stronger this summer and hopefully come out better in the fall."
Francisco Tipoti:

On getting to Seattle - "It feels good. After a year, to know that I'm finally here and actually working. At first I was rusty, had the kinks in my talents, whatever...but the comraderie on the team...everybody picked me up, told me to keep my chin up. Now it's just working and hoping for the better."

On improving - "I need to get my strength up and lose all this fat I got from sitting on the couch." (laughs)

On missing a year - "I missed it. A lot, actually. It feels good to be here and know that my hard work paid off. But hopefully, God willing, I'll get a spot. I didn't all this way to sit on the sideline. I know I've got family watching, so I need to get a spot."
Paul Arnold:

On today's game - "I felt pretty good. It's a nice end to the spring. It's nice to know the things I need to work on in the off-season."

On what he'll work on over the summer - "I just want to keep getting better at routes. Better at comeback routes, things like that."

On being a 'go-to' guy - "You never know when they are going to call your number so I just wanted to make sure I was ready. I can never get too comfortable. I want to keep working hard and try to get better."

On making it through spring healthy - "There's nothing like it." (laughs)
Andre Reeves:

On getting an opportunity with the ones - "I'm having a lot of fun out there, getting comfortable with the guys I'm working with. I think we're going to have a lot of fun together. I think we're going to roll over some people. I'm just happy that I got a chance to play, to play in this nice little stadium here. We didn't show much today, we weren't going to anyways, but we went out there and made the right calls and I'm pretty sure I got my man every time."

On gelling - "I think once we get a little more comfortable with each other, I think everything is really going to come together."

On improving - "Get my strength up, know what I'm saying? Work on my pass sets, making sure I do everything correctly."
Jafar Williams:

On his performance - "Being that we were pretty conservative on defense and didn't want to show too much I think I did alright. But in the fall I think I'll be able to showcase the SAM position and bring a lot to the table."

On today's format - "It was a little confusing but I think the scrimmage last week was more competitive as far as more of a game-like atmosphere, but I think I did pretty well. I just wanted to keep containment and making sure the ball was inside me."

On his number - "The 13 is done. But because of special teams and Reggie (Williams) wearing 1 and Doug Clarke coming back, I don't know what I'm going to do. But it won't be 13."
Jerome Stevens:

On today's performance - "I was just out there, trying to put it to the offense. We were going against the twos, so we just tried to put everything that we've learned this spring together."

On today's format - "It was a lot more confusing because coaches were trying to get everyone on the field and with the special teams...it was just crazy out there. It would have been better to have just a regular scrimmage we did during practice."

Final thought? - "Just 'Go Huskies'" (laughs)
Terry Johnson:

On the end of spring - "I'm glad the spring is over so I can get to the summer, get my workouts going, get my body fat down and just get the speed going."

On the things he'll work on in the off-season - "Just getting off the ball, getting to my man before he could get to me and just making it happen, just getting it up the field."

On defensive standouts - "Manase Hopoi, he's going to help us a lot from the defensive end. Jerome Stevens...our whole d-line unit, I have to say, for us we are looking good right now."

On where he'll play - "Anywhere right now is good, but I like going inside because I'm quicker than the guard and centers. I'm having a lot of fun out there. It's great."
Tui Alailefaleula:

On getting to play today - "I haven't done too much, as the word is going around that I had a big ankle spring. But I wanted to take a couple plays in to see how it feels. I tweaked it on the second series I was in, but it's going to be fine. You're trying to do the best you can, but one injury can just mess up your whole game on the field. But I did my assignments, played hard and played smart football."

On his ankle - "I was very happy to just go out there. The trainers and the doctors said I should lay low and not play because I wasn't full-go, but I wanted to try my leg out, try a couple of plays and have some fun."
Zach Tuiasosopo:

On spring game - "We just came out, the last spring practice of the year. It was great to see the fans, the little kids, it was fun. The Husky experience. Everyone was just battling. It was great."

On his first carry - "The offensive line was doing great, and I should have followed them. But it was great. It was fun and it was good to get back on the other side of the ball. The defense was good. It was a good spring."

On getting dinged in the second half - "I got the wind knocked out of me, had to catch my breath for a second. Pain heals. (laughs) Gotta get back up and get goin' again."
Joseph Lobendahn:

On his play today - "I think I did fine. I had to be where I had to be and just having fun out there today. I played my heart out. I can't wait for our next season."

On the end of spring - "It's been a long spring of practice. I'm glad it's over. Today was an easy day. It was much easier than practice, to tell you the truth."

On the Husky Experience - "That was my first time and it was exciting, to work with the kids. To teach them some basic skills. And I had fun with the kids too."

On this summer - "I'm just going to get stronger and faster, work on my passing drops. A lot of work on that."

On his alma mater (Saint Louis) playing De La Salle this fall - "Too bad we couldn't have played them my year."
Matt Lingley:

On his performance today - "It was a lot of fun, I got a lot of reps. I'm just out there trying to prove myself. Coach gave me a chance because (Ben) Mahdavi is out, so I'm out there just trying to prove what I've got."

On the changes between last spring and this spring - "It's a lot more intense, a lot faster and I got a lot more reps. I just tried to fly around, do my assignments, make tackles and just have fun."

On his summer plans - "Just trying to get more focus in the weight room and out on the field. Just trying to get bigger and stronger and faster, so when I get my chance I can do the right things. It's getting a little easier. I'm understanding my plays more, getting everything down more so I'm more relaxed, getting more comfortable out there."
Taylor Barton:

On today's game - "Well, I think, coming out the first few series, the defense got the better end of us, but as the offense started settled down and got to just making our reads and our progressions we did well. I think we showed that we are strong offensively and defensively."

On the option - "With this blazing 4.9 speed, why would you ever want to pitch it? (laughs) With the option, we take what's given, so when the DB goes straight to my running back, I've got to cut it up and get as much as I can."

On Cody Pickett and Casey Paus - "Cody, he's got a whole year under his belt so this spring compared to last spring is a night and day difference and I'd put myself in that category too. Casey's really come along. I think he the advantage this year of being the backup in a couple of games, so he got a lot of repetitions. This spring he went from 50 to 52 to 56 to 59 and by the end of spring he was up to around 65 percent completion percentage. Casey's going to be a good player here."

On Pickett's comeback - "I think Cody, to come off a shoulder surgery like he did and not miss any practices...that's just amazing. That just shows you how tough he is and what a competitor he is. You never hear him complain about the surgery, how tough it was and the soreness, but he's a tough kid and that's the kind of guy you want leading this ball club."

On his own improvement - "I think it's been a big improvement since last spring and fall and I just need to continue to work in the off-season and when my name is called again like it was last year I'll be ready."

On playing against teams from his home state - "I'm praying my name gets called in any game, but Oregon and Oregon State, those would be special."
Cody Pickett

On today's offensive performance - "As an offense we came out a little stale, but we got some good work in and that's what spring is for, to get the kinks worked out. We did a little bit of that today."

On getting back from his shoulder injury - "Part of my offseason program was rehabbing my shoulder and all I did in the offseason was take some time off. I didn't do a lot of lifting or things like that, so I was a little rusty but I got some of that back this spring, so now I'm going to go and get my legs back and my strength back."

On being his own biggest critic - "When you're out there, you notice things you didn't do well. There were a couple of reads that I missed and we had some wide open guys a couple of times and there were some balls I threw really bad, but those are things you've got to improve on."

On full contact - "That's one thing that's just not tempting right now. My shoulder feels better but I don't know if it's ready for contact right now. It will be when the fall comes."

On what needs to be improved - "Everything. You can never work on any one thing too much. Reads and getting stronger. There's a lot of things I need to do in the weight room to get stronger."

On standout offensive players - "Paul (Arnold) did some good things today. Reggie (Williams) is always out there. He didn't get a lot of balls out there today and I'm sure he's frustrated with that but that doesn't have anything to do with him. We just didn't get him the ball today. But I have confidence in all the guys. Zach (Tuiasosopo) was a good addition to our offense and I think he's going to have a good year."
Reggie Williams

On today's performance - "I think I did pretty good. I dropped a ball early but I think I made up for it later on. I think it was a pretty good scrimmage."

On asking for the ball - "A little bit. We didn't do everything in our offense, so I wasn't expecting a whole lot of balls. It's just the spring game so it really didn't matter."

On the Husky Experience - "It was really fun. I get to meet some of the people who cheer and anything I can do to make them want to come to the games I'll do."
Chris Singleton

On his game today - "I was a little frustrated at first, of course, but things started to come together and I had a few big plays. I had a pretty good spring, finished off with a pretty good spring game, so I'm happy."

On following his offensive linemen - "All of them do a damn good job, so I watch all of them, see where a hole opens up and that's where I'm heading."

On this spring's expectations - "I was eager to have a good spring, prove something to the coaches. I had my ups and downs but overall I think I improved and I'm excited for Michigan."

On the Husky experience - "That was fun. I love kids and it was great seeing all those kids excited about the Huskies and all the support and everything."

On recongnition - "It doesn't surprise me. A lot of people know who I am. We have a lot of dedicated fans, Husky fans, so it doesn't shock me."

On his summer plans - "Just a little bit of everything, pass blocking, running, catching."
Notes:

Recruits in attendance - We tried to make a list of the high school recruits we saw in attendance, and we're sure this list will barely scratch the surface, but here are the faces we saw: Brett Thielke (Skyline), Brian Foreman (Skyline), Tahj Bomar (Kentwood), Joey Henley (Kentwood), David Lewis (Bethel), Josh Bousman (Tacoma Baptist), Andrew Sund (South Kitsap), Aaron Gilbert (Jefferson), Ryan Conwell (Kentwood), Anthony Dotson (Federal Way), Jared Bronson (Jefferson) and Adam Hunter (Fife).

The lone signee - Jason Benn was the only signee we definitely saw out there today. We're sure there were others, but the TE/DE from O'Dea was the only one we could visually confirm. Ben Hoefer, a kicker from Woodinville was also hanging around the sidelines. Ben is a player that could be invited to walk-on this fall.

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