Practice report - 8/14 PM

You knew something special was going to go down when Steve Emtman entered the house. With the former Lombardi and Outland trophy winner checking out the action at Husky Stadium this hot Wednesday afternoon, the University of Washington football team took to the field turf dressed for contact. And contact is what they got.

They still didn't go 'full-bore', saving their resources for what Head Coach Rick Neuheisel termed an 'animal' scrimmage that will be taking place Saturday at 12:30. The music today went from a Barry White slow jam to a double-shot of Guns N' Roses. Seeing the players skip down the field in unison to Barry White was reminiscent of some bizarre scene that could only be captured by film-makers like Fellini.

Again, Charles Frederick was a one-man highlight film for the receiving corps, and he needed to be considering at one point there were only three scholarshipped recievers practicing today. He made the corners and safeties look downright foolish in a drill where the defenders are supposed to stop the ballcarrier before he crosses the goal-line. Greg Carothers held it together for the defense, stopping every offensive player he went up against. Jimmy Newell was another defender who looked to be a sure tackler, holding Eddie Jackson and Justin Robbins out of the end zone.

On the one-on-ones, Nate Robinson showed his tremendous leaping ability, blocking a pass intended for Matt DeBord at the goal line. Chris Massey made some nice plays on the ball today but needs to work on consistenly finding the ball in the air. He's getting better.

The quarterbacks are swimming a bit right now, assimilating more plays than they will ever have to worry about in a game week. As such, they weren't as sharp today as they have been in the past, but Taylor Barton showed decisiveness and accuracy delivering the ball. Isaiah Stanback continues to impress when pushed out of the pocket. It's going to be fun watching him progress during the next year.

When it came time for everyone to get together for the 11-11's, they were really ready to pop pads. SAM Ty Eriks made a big statement early with a pop on Chris Singleton that sent the running back from Etiwanda, California flying. Eriks is showing that he belongs in the mix with Jafar Williams.

Singleton wasn't done taking abuse as Evan Benjamin stuck him after a nice run, sending Chris hard out of bounds. To Singleton's credit he bounced back up quickly and kept playing at full speed. It's clear he's not afraid to take some hits, especially after lengthy runs. Kenny James showed some killer moves around the corner, and while he's not going to beat a lot of players to the corner of the endzone he looks to be fully content ripping off large chunks of yardage at a pop.

The running back that really stood out was junior Rich Alexis. Rich looks slim and sleek, and he has a great cutback move that has defenders grasping at air. If the big man from Boca Raton, Florida can stay healthy, he could go for a thousand yards this season.

Aaron Butler has his hands full with Terry Johnson, and that matchup has been a blast to watch. Sometimes 'Tank' blows right through the line, getting an easy touch-sack on Pickett. At other times, the offensive lineman from Lakewood made doubly sure Johnson isn't going anywhere.

Kai Ellis was out and playing today, and looked like sitting out has taken away from his conditioning. Once he can go consistently he shouldn't have a problem. He showed some nice athletic moves on the edge, earning praise from Tim Hundley. When Ellis and Manase Hopoi are on the edges, it seems like the first defense really stuggled to contain them.

When the lines switched, there was no loss of game at REB, as Anthony Kelley continues to impress. He had a touch-sack today and was constantly in the backfield causing trouble. Junior Coffin also got a touch-sack today from his 3-technique position behind Johnson and Tui Alailefaleula. And when Ellis and AK weren't in, Houdini Jackson showed that he's going to make his case for PT. Francisco Tipoti had his hands full going up against Jackson.

Both Derrick Johnson and Marquis Cooper Cooper also distinguished themselves for their good play. Cooper, in particular, looks nice and quick from his WIL position, making play after play and earning kudos from his position coach, Cornell Jackson.

Johnson ended up getting in the first little mini-altercation of the afternoon when he was beat by Eddie Jackson. He showed his frustration by giving Eddie a big push in the back. Reggie Williams was watching that and took exception to Derrick's antics, getting into it with the DB from Riverside, California. It didn't last long and Johnson later came over and patched things up with Reggie.




Offensive play of the afternoon: I hate to be a broken record, but Charles Frederick made a really tough leaping grab over Chris Massey where it looked like Chris had position but ET used his tremendous body control in the air to corral the ball. It was a sweet play.

Defensive play of the afternoon: When Terry Johnson blew past Aaron Butler during the first play of the 11-11's, he did it with such ease it looked like a fluke. It wasn't. 'Tank' had a great day of practice and is anchoring himself in as the leader of the defensive line.

Big hit of the day: It has to go to redshirt frosh Evan Benjamin, for his big stick of Chris Singleton. It was a BIG stick.

Another scout in the house: This morning, a rep from the 49'ers was at Husky Stadium. This afternoon, the Dallas Cowboys had a scout checking things out.

Special teams a priority: It was clear through the protestations of Chuck Heater that the special teams are going to be a serious part of the Huskies' overall package. He was all over the field during the ST session, giving instruction, admonishment and encouragement when needed. His voice was really carrying today.

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