Defense dominates third spring practice

It's common for the defense to be ahead of the offense early in camp. With that knowledge, it's no surprise that the Husky defense had a solid day against an offense that struggled to find a rhythm. However, even though the defense ruled the day, the offense still managed to finish strong and ended the day with two touchdown receptions from sophomore WR Jermaine Kearse.

The weather that greeted the Husky football team was vastly different than what they saw on Thursday when they were forced inside due to a downpour.

"It felt great man, I had my shorts on, my sunglasses," head coach Steve Sarkisian said when asked about the 65-degree weather and sunny skies. "It felt great, it was a beautiful day and it sounds like it's going to be nice for the next couple days."

The defense got the better of the offense most of the day, but Sarkisian was impressed with the two touchdowns to end the practice by Kearse.

"(The offense) won that part of the team drill, but I think our defense might have gotten after the offense a little bit today," Sarkisian noted. "The last play was for bragging rights. It was a nice play by Kearse who really went up and got it on back to back plays."

When asked about the battle at running back, Sarkisian said he's still analyzing things and taking his time.

"I really want to look at this film from today because it got physical," Sarkisian said. "We did some one-on-one pass-rush stuff with these guys. They are a tough group which is really encouraging. I was anxious to watch them because they're not the biggest of guys, but I was excited about the fact they stuck their nose in there today.

"We've got some big, physical linebackers and they held their own."

Sarkisian was asked about his philosophy at running back and how he sees the competition breaking out.

"We'll find a couple of guys that will go," Sarkisian said. "It's hard to just hang your hat on one guy in this day and age, it's such a physical game and to think a guy is going to carry the ball 30 times a game nowadays isn't really a reality so we'll have a couple of guys that will go and we'll have a couple of guys that are specialty guys -- short-yardage, goal line or third-down back -- but we're a long ways from determining that."

One of the players who is in the mix is true freshman Demitrius Bronson and Sarkisian praised his progress so far this spring.

"He's doing a nice job," Sarkisian said. "He's still a pup, still young and he'll have a really good play here and then make a mistake on another one, but what I like about him is that he's a mentally tough kid who doesn't say a lot and he focuses in and keeps growing."


Recruits in the house:Skyline QB Jake Heaps; O'Dea OL Ben Riva; O'Dea FB Zach Fogerson (UW commit); Lakes DT Sione Potoae (UW commit); Lakes LB Darius Waters (UW commit); Auburn LB Chris Young (UW commit); Lakes WR Jamaal Kearse; Eisenhower LB Seth Kline; Wenatchee C Mike Marboe; Redmond OL Colin Porter; Central Kitsap WR Christian Wesley and several others were in attendance today. Heaps spent most of his time on the field with Sarkisian, OC/QB coach Doug Nussmeier and the quarterbacks. Potoae and Waters could also be seen working on Heaps quite a bit.

A player making moves?: The coaches always talk about players making moves during camp and one that has made an early move is CB Marquis Persley who was placed in the starting lineup opposite Quinton Richardson at one of the corner position.

Persley played physically and really showed good ball skills throughout the day knocking down or breaking up several passes and he also notched two interceptions as well.

Crowd gets fired up: The UW estimated that 1,500 fans were in attendance. On the walk in you could see several groups tailgating as they prepared to walk into the stadium

"It was good, it was great," Sarkisian said about the fired up crowd. "Hopefully we allow enough access to the fans so they feel like they're getting something out of it.

"I think it's good for our kids. I think they are getting more and more comfortable with people cheering when we make big plays or ooh and aah when there's a big hit, but it feels good and we hope we can get more (fans)."

Chris Izbicki continues to impress: "Chris is doing a nice job," Sarkisian noted. "What we're encourage by is that he's doing things right. It's not so much of the 'special plays' that he's making. Assignment-wise he's on it. He's playing with really good effort. When the balls are thrown to him he's catching it and he's physical in the run game.

"You can't ask for more than that out of the tight end position so it's been very encouraging through three practices."

E.J. Savannah missing: Savannah had a tweaked ankle/knee that held him out of practice today, but linebacker's coach Mike Cox and Sarkisian both said they didn't expect him to miss any more time.

"It was tough for him," Sarkisian said of Savannah missing Saturday's practice. "Today was the first day in pads and everyone was excited and he tried to go, but he couldn't."

Pads on Monday: The Huskies will take Sunday off and put the full pads on Monday for their first full-pads workout of the spring.


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