Practice Notes and Quotes - 8/7

Instead of the standard practice writeup, I thought I would offer up my notes for the day on the players that stood out to me, as well as post Washington Head Coach Tyrone Willingham's thoughts on how the Huskies' first fall practice went.

Notes:
Former UW defensive tackle Dan Milsten is on a medical hardship and will be a student-coach for the season

Aaron Mason and Jasper Henry were watching on the sidelines.

2007 Husky commit Quinton Richardson was there, as well as former Dawgs Ben Bandel and Dash Crutchley.

Offensive Linemen - They mostly focused early on footwork and exploding off the ball. Frosh lineman Ryan Tolar looked to be just a hair slow with his feet, but actually looks to have come into camp in pretty good shape. The roster has him listed at 325 pounds, and that's fair. He was at over 340. Cody Habben also got indoctrinated into the club when frosh DE Fred Wiggs took his lunch around end. Don't expect any of the frosh to contribute on the line, but hopefully they are getting a big eyeful of the work it's going to take to be productive players in 2007.

The one frosh offensive lineman that impressed me the most? Matt Sedillo. Not only was he the only player to recognize that the huddle was out of formation on one series, but he went straight in at center without any hesitation with UW OL Coach Mike Denbrock called his number. He might be swimming right now, but Sedillo is not letting anyone see him sweat so far.

Defensive Linemen - They worked on coming off the ball and their repertoire of moves Ran a series of 60-yard shuttles, where it looked like Donny Mateaki and Jovon O'Connor struggled to keep up.

Linebackers - They mostly worked on their cuts and backpeddaling.

Defensive Backs - They also worked on footwork drills and quick feet Frosh safety Jake Merrill struggled with getting the footwork right in the beginning, but Williams quickly got him up to speed and he had it figured out by the end of the drill.

Washington Defensive Coordinator Kent Baer worked his way all around the defensive side of the ball, encouraging his guys to keep off the ground and to clean up their cuts and footwork.

Jordan White-Frisbee was moving like a house on fire early in the practice, but may have shut it down a little bit near the end, as he did not participate in the practice-closing 11-11's. Probably just a precaution. Same with Dashon Goldson. He worked early with the footwork and agility drills, but did not participate in either the 7-7's or 11-11's.

Receiver Corey Williams looked noticeably bigger than last year, especially in the arms and legs.

Shelton Sampson clearly is enjoying his time in the backfield. He looked good on one play where he was able to create a strong burst off a cut and separate himself from defenders.

Even though he still has a brace on his knee, it's nothing like the steel-based monstrosity that used to cover half of Quintin Daniel's repaired leg. That was very encouraging to see.

At punt return, Willingham looked at Sonny Shackelford, Marlon Wood, Alex Mercier, Matt Fountaine, Anthony Russo, D'Andre Goodwin, Cody Ellis and Tony Chidiac. Mike Gottlieb is backing up Danny Morovick at long snapper.

Frosh fullback Paul Homer on first glance appears to have good hands and is a smooth runner.

In the 11-11's, Daniel Te'o Nesheim, Wilson Afoa, Donny Mateaki and Greyson Gunheim were the first front work to work. The second front four were Darrion Jones, Jordan Reffett, Erick Lobos and Brandon Ala. The offensive line, from left to right; Ben Ossai, Stanley Daniels, Juan Garcia, Clay walker and Chad Macklin. The second group, from left to right; Morgan Rosborough, Willie Kava, Ryan Bush, Casey Bulyca and Erik Berglund. A big drop-off in experience from the first to second lines.

Jake Locker completed his first pass in 11-11's, then proceeded to trip over his running back's foot the next play. Make no mistake; there will be some growing pains for Jake. But it appears that he's already taken control of setting up the frosh workout sessions, so that leadership is already starting to shine through.

Carl Bonnell continues to look good. He just looks like he's having fun out there and is enjoying himself. One on pass play to frosh WR D'Andre Goodwin, Goodwin headed to the end zone...Bonnell followed him all the way down and patted the frosh on the shoulder and gave him a high-five as they headed back to the huddle.

Is Isaiah Stanback faster than last year? Coach Willingham won't give a definite answer, but I will. The answer is a resounding YES. On one broken play where Stanback headed for the corner, DT Wilson Afoa had a good 3-5 yard edge toward the same corner and also had the angle and Stanback still beat him around the corner. Afoa is no tub 'o goo, folks. He can run. I definitely believe Isaiah is going to make a few game-breaking runs this year, and not just of the 20 and 30-yard variety. I saw him break a 90-yarder off in high school and I think he's got one of those in him, just busting at the seams.
Tyrone Willingham quotes:
On the pace of the freshman after one day: "I was not disappointed at all, even though it was just one day. There's so much coming at them, and usually they go downhill for a little while just because of the information overload. That's most freshmen at most places, but then they pick it up and things go well. For a first day, I thought we threw the ball, caught the ball, ran around fairly well. The offensive linemen had a good idea of where they needed to be and who they were supposed to be on, but sometimes they didn't. The defense flew around and got their hands on a couple of balls but they need to get a lot better from here."

On Carl Bonnell: "I'm looking at Carl from basically when we arrived and I think it's been a dramatic improvement. I think his personality is starting to assert itself and more of his athletic ability is starting to show."

On Jake Locker: "I think he stepped into the huddle well. He'll smooth out his cadence and all those little things in time. He had at least one good throw to the sidelines that I saw where it was like, 'hmmm... not bad.'"

On the summer conditioning of the team: "At a first glance, not bad. And there were some that were on initial looks that were kind of impressive." He added that he'll need to crunch the numbers from their testing to really see where they are at.

On Marcel Reece: "I'm not concerned about his weight, but in a couple of weeks I will be. The process of going from a junior college program to a big-time D1 program is a little different. There is a lot of learning to do, and I'm delighted that he was here for the summer, where he could get some of that learning accomplished. But there's still so much to learn."

On the health of the team after Day One: "We are fine. The only day that you're healthy are the first minutes of the first day. After that, that's it."

On the day's intensity: "I thought it was OK for our first time out. I still think there's a portion of the group - especially our younger guys - that aren't quite sure what that intensity level is, but they'll get an understanding pretty quick."

On Kenny James: "He made a nice catch over his head earlier in practice where you'd think someone with some limitations would be obstructed. But he was good."

On Matt Mosley and his looks at RB: "Not bad. There are so many backs making that transition from high school. It's different. High school runners, in a lot of cases, are 'east-west' runners. In college you learn that you can't just be an 'east-west' runner. What Matt will do is learn how to be a 'north-south' guy, as well as 'east-west' at the appropriate time. But for having one meeting officially being a back, I thought he did pretty well."

On Isaiah Stanback and whether or not he's faster than last year: "Isaiah has what I call 'game' speed. He likes to compete, so when you raise the ante - his body just responds. I don't know how fast Isaiah is. He may be faster in football than in track. Everything I saw today, I saw last year. It's just a matter of the right timing to execute it for him, and that's where his experience makes him so much better."

On using frosh D'Andre Goodwin at WR: "In our minds, we were thinking of him as a receiver all along."

On whether or not he was happy with what he saw after Day One: "Happy? "No. It's a start, that's all it is. Happiness is when you win, and that's what we're pointing toward."
Scott Eklund helped contribute to this story.

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