Dawgman Insider Blog: Spring Football

Unlike last spring, Washington actually has developed some depth at the cornerback position. Dawgman.com was able to catch up with coach Demetrice Martin to get his thoughts on things including how far demoted corner Adam Long has come since the start of spring practice...

Posted by Scott Eklund
12:30 PM

Demetrice Martin quotes

On Adam Long's progress this spring: "From the start of spring camp to now, the light has definitely turned on for him due to the competition and I think that has brought out the best in him. Heading into spring I think he was a little comfortable, basically it was like ‘I was a starter last year so it was going to be handed to me', but the theme of our program is that no one should feel comfortable and they should always be out here competing. It's been good for him and the whole group."

On Desmond Trufant's work this spring: "He's getting in some good work. We've been bringing him along slowly because we've been treating him with kid gloves, but we're starting to get him back and he's been able to start working on some of the technical and mental stuff that he wasn't able to do last year because he came in late and we just threw him into the fire. Right now he's doing some good things as far as mentally and technically in the drills he can participate in, the one-on-ones, the seven-on-sevens and things like that."

On the depth at corner: "I'm really fired up. With guys like Anthony (Gobern), Vonzell (McDowell), Quinton (Richardson) and Anthony Boyles, they are light years ahead of where they were last year. They understand the defense and what we're trying to do. They really have stepped up and are becoming leaders of the defense and they're pretty much, kinda the old guys on the block even though they are young."

On the starting two corners if the BYU game were this weekend: "I don't know right now. I can't answer that question because we haven't had enough tests right now. The next test will be the spring game, when I can get a look at them. Let's just say I have confidence that the guys can go out and get things done, no matter what we ask them to do and right now that's all you can ask from your group."

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Scott Eklund
5:15 AM

Donald Butler (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

On what he's been up to and what he's doing during the Draft this weekend: I'm just hanging out here in Sacramento with the family, catching up with them, spending time with them and getting ready for tomorrow. Just going to spend time watching the Draft with my family and we'll see where I end up. Most of my good, close friends, they understand that these aren't the days to text me because I'm waiting for calls.

On him being nevous: "You try to put it out of your mind, but since you've been looking toward this moment your whole life, as hard as you try to put it out of your mind, you can't help but be nervous and think about where you're going to spend the next few years of your life. It's hard when you watch ESPN and the NFL Network and watch them talk about the Draft. I look at the top 10 because I know some of those guys so it's cool to see where some of the guys you know and are friends with might go, but I just haven't gotten much further than that right now."

On how the Draft process is different from the recruiting process: "I wouldn't say it was the same as recruiting because in this instance it's a choice you don't have, so in that way it's really different. I really don't know what to say about the whole process it's just been amazing. I'm just looking forward to getting back on the field because it's been a while since I played, but honestly I think whoever gets me will get a good player especially when I can show them what I can do."

On what he's seen from his teammates at practice: "My little sons Mason Foster and Cort Dennison, they're out there taking off, being the producers I know they can be. Everybody knows Mason, but Cort is coming along real nice and I talk to them about the process and what's going on and I tell them to keep on the young guys out there on the defense and make sure that the Huskies are back in a bowl game because as a senior I don't want them to go through what I did because we were so close last year."

On his conversations with his former teammates: "I was only out there for the first week and half, so it was really early but when I talk to Mason he said the defensive line is really coming along with guys like DeShone Matthews, Talia (Crichton) and Cam (Elisara) at defensive and that's made them a lot better."

On the improvement of Cort Dennison: "If you watched practice from last year, Cort was making plays day in and day out. He's young, so we had to get him not to worry about stuff too much once he finally got out there with us, but he's doing exactly what I expected him to do and he's going to be a great player for them."

On being at spring practice and not working out: "It was really weird. You hear the whistle blow and you start jogging and I was like ‘what am I jogging for?' and when coach Sark was screaming at guys you start moving, it's almost instinctive and you just start moving. Even though I wasn't in working out, guys would come off the field in practice and say ‘did you see that?' and ask me for some advice or what I saw so that was good."

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Chris Fetters
3:35 PM

Jake Locker (Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Chris Fetters of Dawgman.com spent a few minutes after practice Saturday with former Husky QB Tim Cowan, who was gracious enough to lend his thoughts on the three UW quarterbacks in spring camp, how they've done, and what he sees for them in the future. To listen to the conversation, click on the link below.

DawgmanRadio - Tim Cowan on UW's quarterbacks
Posted by Scott Eklund
6:51 AM

Tony Wroten (Scout.com)

Wrotens and Williams on KJR with Dawgman.com

Here are the podcasts to yesterday's Dawgman.com Radio Show that included Tony Wroten and his father Tony Wroten Sr. along with Kasen Williams and his father Aaron.

Posted by Scott Eklund
1:00 PM

Chris Robinson (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Chris Robinson quotes

On coming back from his injury: "I'm feeling confident. Coming back from major surgery is always challenging because you have to get back in the groove. Not only that, watching for a full year was no fun at all. I cried when the doctors told me I wasn't going to play because it's something I love to do. I die for this game."

On how tough it was to watch the team last year: "Against USC I was sent home because they didn't want me to be walking around on crutches all the time so they sent me home to rest up and watching the game on T.V. was fun of course, but I wanted to be in the locker room celebrating with my teammates."

On his height, weight and health: "I'm 6'0", 270 pounds and weight-wise, coach (Nick) Holt doesn't want me playing any heavier than 275 or 280. I'm about 90%. My knee swells up every now and then, but it's nothing I can't practice or work on."

On what fans can expect from him this fall: "Motivation, courage, a guy who likes to hit people. It's not only about me, it's about the whole team. We're all going to do what we've got to do to get the ‘W' on the board."

On wearing #90: "That is Steve Emtman's number. It's a big challenge. I already knew about him before, but I've never met him. I do know he was a big star here. It's a big challenge to live up to wearing this number."

On the perception of UW in Southern California: "When I go back home, before I signed after I had committed, I was telling everyone down there that we were going to beat USC, so it's a big source of pride for me to wear UW colors."

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Scott Eklund
5:55 AM

Nate Fellner (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Nate Fellner quotes

On the work in spring so far: "Every year is a new beginning and there are new expectations. We set the bar high now. We expect to win and we're out here working hard and getting better. I wanted to become a better pass-defender, increase my cover-skills and be able to tackle in the open field and get the playbook down."

On the coaches talking to him about going "too hard" in practice: "I get harped on sometimes for trying to take guys' heads off, but that's the type of way I like to play. Protect the team is the number one rule, so instead of trying to blow somebody up I work on my tackling technique."

On learning about being a good practice player: "They always stress about going hard all the time. Since I got here to Washington, I've really learned that practice is valuable. When I was in high school I was always known as a ‘gamer', but I'm trying to come in and compete. You treat practice like a game and work hard and that makes you a better player."

On him being asked to leave the first practice of spring: "That was a dumb play on my part, I lost my head. When the dust settled, I apologized to coach and with that stuff you live and learn. I've been fine since then, but it's a learning process."

On his height, weight and strength right now: "I hit 225 19 times on the bench press. My weight right now is 203 and I'm about 6'1" right now."

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Scott Eklund
10:15 AM

Chris Izbicki (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Chris Izbicki quotes

On the comfort level of the team and the work getting done: "As a team we're starting to know the offense a little bit better, so we're gelling together a lot better whereas last spring we were installing and everything was new to us. This spring everything is installed so now it's just about getting our calls down and working together as a unit. Instead of installing and getting the plays across to us, they can focus on the little details. I think that's the difference, we can work on the fine details which I think you'll be able to see in the fall a lot, just how much more of a well-oiled machine we'll be in the fall, where last year we weren't quite there."

On his offseason goals: "To get in the best shape and honestly work as hard as I've ever worked before and something really clicked for me and I hit a different gear and I feel like I really had the best offseason of my life and I feel I can truly say that. I'm at 6'3", 248 pounds and it's the best 248 I've ever been. I feel really good. I'm a lot stronger than I've been and I can tell. It's helping me block a lot better and I can tell the difference.

"My bench press went up 45 pounds this offseason. My squat went up about 30 pounds as well. There's a lot of improvement there. All the squats really helps you get off the ball. Especially with our releases, our defense plays a lot of man coverage on the tight end, you've got Cameron Elisara playing D-End right now so we have some big D-Ends so you really have to come off the ball in order to have success."

On the coaches using him with the first unit more: "It's always about them being able to rely on you. They want to be able to rely on you in any situation, they want to know you know what you're doing, you can make a play and you are accountable to the rest of the team and to this staff, that's the most important thing."

On his connection with Jake Locker: "My connection with Jake (Locker) is good. Me and Jake have always gotten along. Me and Kavario (Middleton) were running routes with him twice a week in the Dempsey (over winter quarter) so we're doing well.

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Scott Eklund
4:18 PM

DT Alameda Ta'amu (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Alameda Ta'amu quotes

On his weight right now: "I'm 334, but at my biggest I was 375. I feel better, I have a lot more stamina now. At first it was real hard to keep on my diet. I don't eat after seven or eight (at night) and I don't load it up with a lot of brown stuff like steak or rice or anything like that. I eat every two or four hours, smaller meals, almost like snacks, and then I don't lift weights as much as I run all the time."

On the entire defensive line: "I guess our inside is getting better now. We're younger, but we're learning how to use our hands better and getting off the ball quicker. It's been good for us."

On ‘getting it' last season: "It was late because early on I was just getting down my assignments and stuff like that, but the coaches wanted us to play fast, so toward the end that's what you saw. Not just from me, but from all of us."

On the young running backs: "We've got some nice young running backs. You have to stay true to your assignments because they'll cut it back and go the opposite direction on you and make you look stupid. It's making (the defense) run more because we have to run to the ball, but it's good for us."

On the losses of Donald Butler and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim: "Losing both of them doesn't hurt that bad when you have a guy like Mason (Foster) to look to for leadership. He's really outspoken and gets guys going. Donald and Dan were both great guys and great players, but I think we have people that can get it done (in their place).

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Scott Eklund
1:08 PM

Gig Harbor TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Saturday's Dawgman.com radio show

On Saturday, Dawgman.com was able to have Scout West Region Recruiting Manager Brandon Huffman as well Gig Harbor (Wa.) TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins on their radio show. The podcasts are up so fans can hear what they had to say...

Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Brandon Huffman audio: click here

Posted by Scott Eklund
3:11 PM

Saturday Post Practice Notes

-- Pete Carrol and his son Brennan were in attendance halfway through the scrimmage and Husky head coach Steve Sarkisian spent some time chatting with them.

-- UW estimated that over 2,000 people showed up at today's workout.

-- Sarkisian said the two young running backs (Jesse Callier and Deontae Cooper) and the two young quarterbacks (Nick Montana and Keith Price) were the players the coaches really wanted to see so the plan going in was for Jake Locker to only get two series.

-- On Locker's two series, he led the Huskies to one touchdown -- a 28-yard pass to WR Devin Aguilar who had to adjust to the throw over good coverage by CB Quinton Richardson -- and should have had another but Aguilar stopped his route.

-- Cooper had the only other touchdown on the day, a nifty 32-yard run that saw him cut back against the grain and break three tackles on his way to the endzone.

-- Here are the stats I was able to gather (very unofficial) - Locker (3 of 5, 70 yards, 1 TD; Price (5 of 6, 18 yards); Montana (4 of 5, 40 yards); Cooper (43 yards rushing and one touchdown); Callier (40 yards rushing); Cole Sager (five yards rushing); Johri Fogerson (two yards rushing); Jermaine Kearse (one reception for 18 yards); Devin Aguilar (two receptions for 57 yards and one touchdown); Kavario Middleton (one reception for three yeards); Jordan Polk (four receptions for 40 yards); Callier (one reception for 10 yards); Marlion Barnett (two receptions for 10 yards); Luther Leonard (one reception for seven yards).

-- Sarkisian and LB coach Mike Cox both applauded the efforts of Mason Foster and Cort Dennison as the leaders on the defense and players who continue to make plays, no matter the situation.

-- Others in the crowd included Standwood OL Dexter Charles; recent Husky commit Archbishop Murphy DL Taniela Tupou; Taft DT Antwaun Woods; Archbishop Murphy DT Julius Tevaga; Husky signees James Atoe, Colin Porter, Cooper Pelluer and Zach Fogerson; and former Huskies Rob Lukevich, Odell George, Jabari Issa and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim.

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Chris Fetters
1:06 PM

Saturday mid-practice notes

At least a thousand fans in attendance today, blue skies but cool. They have a mini team shop set up right by the Dempsey Indoor for anyone that wants to buy UW gear.

There were still many more families coming in when I left, so the word is definitely out on UW football. There's an energy and excitement in the air I haven't felt for at least five years.

Players out of today's scrimmage - Kalani Aldrich, Brandon Huppert, Conrad Remington, De'Shon Matthews, Everrette Thompson, D'Andre Goodwin, Cody Bruns and Desmond Trufant. Chris Polk, Cody Habben and Victor Aiyewa were in red, as they have been all camp, so no contact for them either.

When Aiyewa was in for the non-contact pre-practice walk through, he was in a lineup that had him at WIL, Tim Tucker at MIK and Matt Houston at SAM.

No Joe and Jennifer Montana sightings yet, but there were still plenty of faces in the crowd. Former UW punter Ryan Fleming was one of the Pac-10 officials working the day. Other former players spotted were Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Morgan Rosborough, Spencer Marona, Tim Cowan and Mark Stewart. Current Bellevue High football coach Butch Goncharoff was there.

Current UW recruits that I saw there were Archbishop Murphy DE Tani Tupou, who verbally committed to the Huskies Thursday night; Antwuan Woods (Taft), Dexter Charles (Stanwood), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Gig Harbor) and Justin Lane (Lakewood). I'm sure there were others there.

UW signee James Atoe from The Dalles was also there.

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Chris Fetters
3:15 PM

Will Shamburger quotes

On his redshirt year - "It gave me more visual sets on plays and stuff to look over. And the seniors were really helping me out. Even though I was redshirting, the seniors, juniors and sophomores were helping me out so I would know the plays. They were helping me out because I needed to get ready for next year."

On help from specific players - "Everyone's an inspiration to me. Everyone was looking over for me, making sure I was ready for next year."

On his height and weight - "I'm 6-1, 192. It needs to be higher right now. I'll be at least 196-197, but still have my same speed."

On getting opportunities this spring - "The coaches have given me a lot of opportunities, and Nate (Williams) has given me a lot of opportunities. The seniors again…Nate Williams, he's watching over me right now. That's my inspiration right now. I'm looking up to him."

On going from mental reps last year to actual reps now - "Mental reps really helped me a lot, because it allowed me to visualize the game and stuff and look through my plays, my run fits. Now I'm getting reps at it, so it's helping out even more."

On his knee - "It's 100 percent right now. I could play without the brace right now, but the trainers want me to be cautious with it. I listen to whatever they say, because they know what they are doing."

On what he needs to do to improve - "I need to gain more weight, listen to my coaches, learn my plays…there's a lot of things I need to work on right now. I'm not on track yet. I need to work harder. I still feel a little rusty."
Posted by Chris Fetters
3:00 PM

Justin Glenn (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Justin Glenn quotes

On his repaired leg - "I'm feeling alright. It's feeling better, but it's not where I'd like it to be. It's definitely not 100 percent. I don't have full trust in it, in terms of breaking and stuff. It'll come. It's coming day by day, but I just have to keep working at it, staying in the training room."

On his position - "I'm pretty sure I'm staying at safety for this year, but like last year they put me here in the second game, so you can never really tell how things go during the season. But I'm pretty sure I'll stay at safety."

On the differences between last year and this year - "It's night and day, really. As a team, we can tell the difference and we can feel the difference…coaches, players, everybody. We know what we're doing and we're playing faster. And that's what it's all about; when you know your assignment you don't have to think about what you're doing. You can just go and play. And I think that's the main difference from last year to this year."

On the atmosphere feeling so much different - "It really is. The fans can tell it and feel it, and we can feel it too. Everybody can feel it. And it's definitely changed the direction of Husky football, the atmosphere and the energy and everything. It's good."

On noticing people at practice - "Oh yeah. People are here, you have to be on your A game every day that much more. You still have to come and bring your A game every day, but when people are here you don't want to come out and get embarrassed or this and that. So you have to come and play with the big boys every day. During the games we're playing in front of fans, so why not practice how the games are going to be?"

On the new running backs - "I like 'em. Both of them have a different feel to them. Deontae (Cooper) is more of a straight-ahead speed guy. Jesse (Callier), on the other hand, will try and break you down and make a move. They are both hard workers. Deontae, before spring ball, was out here running parachutes by himself, two workouts a day. They are both good guys. Jesse is smart. I think they are both good for the program and make an impact this year possibly."

On the defense - "It'll come together. Come fall camp, we're going to have a bunch more guys competing for spots, and I think that'll push us as a unit to rise up our game. Competition brings out the best in everyone. We're all friends on the defense and we know we can play together from last year. We only lost a couple of guys, so we should be alright."

On Sean Parker - "I've never seen him play. I've just heard about him. Competition will bring out the best…that's my motto. When he gets here…we'll see. It'll be fun."

On what the defense needs to work on - "We just need to work on communication. That's key, especially for the secondary. If the corners are doing something and the safeties are doing something else…we're off and there goes a touchdown for six. I think communication…once we get that down and knowing exactly what each other is doing, that's going to help out a lot."

On having guys miss some practices, like Desmond Trufant and Nate Williams - "It's early. It's the second week of spring ball. Those guys will come around. When they aren't in there, that's when the young guys are stepping up and getting some reps. And that's good for the whole team, really."

On the intensity pushed up with Saturday's scrimmage - "Everybody will be ready come Saturday. Out here it's live, but come scrimmage time…we're still trying to protect the team - that's the motto - that's what we do out here on the field. And Saturday, we'll still protect the team, but not to the same degree. There might be some big hits on Saturday for sure."
Posted by Scott Eklund
6:20 AM

Senio Kelemete quotes

On the move to left tackle: "In the first couple days, it was tough for me getting used to the speed rushers rather than guys bull-rushing you all the time. It was different, but I'm definitely getting used to it."

On being asked by line coach Dan Cozzetto to move to left tackle: "I was a little shocked because, with Jake (Locker) going into his senior year, he's going to go in the (NFL) Draft next year and that's his blindside. That's a big role for a guy like me to play left tackle, but I like it and I like the challenge."

On the footwork necessary to be effective: "As a tackle, you have to have to kick out at a 45-degree angle and for a guard you can step down flat and get into the defender, so it's a lot different. It's hard getting that down because you get used to doing it one way, but things have gotten smoother for me and it's helping a lot."

On how the line has gelled: "It feels great. After the first year, when we first started, we thought we knew what we were doing, but we weren't sure. This year when we go into the meetings we understand what we're doing and how it works and how to read the defense and the way they are lined up so a year has made a huge difference for us."

On the competition vs. the Husky defensive line: "Our D-ends, like Talia (Crichton) and DeShon (Matthews) they are giving me a great look and getting off the ball. I got used to guys like Cameron (Elisara) or Alameda (Ta'amu) getting off the ball and coming straight at me, so it's been good what our D-ends have been able to show.

"If one position gets better, the other side gets better. We bring up each others' intensity level because we don't want them getting the better of us and they don't want us getting the better of them, so in the end it makes all of us better."

On his height and weight and his goals this year: "Right now I'm 6-4, 288 and they want me to be right around 295 by the time the season starts. Coach Cozzetto just takes things one day at a time and tells me all the time that I'm not going to pick things up right away, but every day I'll improve on something, either my hands, my footwork, my eyes or whatever. My goal is to just get better all the time and make sure Jake stays (upright) and to help us get to a bowl game. That's my goal and that's our team goal."

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Chris Fetters
10:00 AM

LB Cort Dennison (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Cort Dennison Quotes

Dawgman.com caught up with Huskies linebacker Cort Dennison, and the junior from Salt Lake City gave his thoughts on a variety of topics, including what spring football means for him, his takes on some of the other 'backers, and his days as a freshman. He also took a moment to call out the offense as UW heads toward another spirited pads practice on Thursday.

On the differences from a year ago: "I think we have a better understanding of the defense. Some of us, like me and Mason, have already had three defensive coordinators. I just think we grasp it, we know everything better. When you go up and watch film in the off-season you read tendencies and stuff, and things on the field come easier. So that's why we're flying around more, because we know our tendencies more and we know what the offense is doing so we can play faster."

On the difference between being a starter and trying to keep a spot, as opposed to having to try and get to a spot: "I don't even know if I've got that spot. I just try to go in every day and do my best and communicate as much as I can and communication helps defenses out greatly. And I try to help everybody out, even the twos when Victor (Burnett) is in there. I try and help him out. I try and help Tim Tucker out. We're all one defense, so the more I can help them the better defense we're gonna be."

On having earned his stripes and now getting a chance to cut loose: "You've got to have fun. We play football because we love it, and if you're not having fun out there then something isn't right. So I just try and keep everybody up, everybody positive. If someone messes up I try and help them forget about the last play, because you've got another play to worry about ahead of you. So yeah…I'm just trying to keep everybody up and we've got great helpers - Nate Williams and Mason (Foster) are doing a great job. They are the true leaders of this defense, and any way I can help out I'll try."

On wanting to look like Mason Foster: "Yeah! I always try and be like Mason. He's a beast, so I always try and be like him and try and emulate him in any way possible, because if you look at his stats the last two years he's pretty dang good. So I try to be like him any way I can."

On Tim Tucker: "He's young. He'll hit you right in the mouth, I'll tell you that much. He's willing to learn. He plays fast. The main thing about Tim that I respect the most is his willingness to learn. He comes to me whenever he can; he comes to coach (Mike) Cox. If he ever has a problem with anything, he'll come to you. He's not afraid of that, and that's good. That's the sign of someone who wants to make our defense better, so any way he can learn, he's ready to do it. I really admire that about him."

On Victor Burnett: "Victor's smart. He's smart. He's young. The difference to the college game from the high school game is huge…speed and defenses and everything, but he's willing to learn. He's a smart kid. He's very humble coming in. He knows he's a freshman. He's doing everything he can to get on the field. From the film room to the weight room, he's doing everything he can, so I really respect Victor. He's doing a good job."

On looking back to when he was a freshman: "I was pretty dang clueless. I tried to have Dan Howell help me out, some of those older guys, but I was definitely pretty lost. I remember the first day I was out there I got banged around pretty good. I won't forget that. I know what it feels like to be a freshman."

On getting a chance to hit with pads on: "We've been waiting all off-season, so now it's time to see who the men are from the boys. No one can hide now."

On the freshmen running backs: "They'll hit you right in the mouth. Deontae (Cooper) and Jesse (Callier)…they are fast, they're strong, and they are also willing to learn. They are also humble, and so far I really like what I see. They are going to be two really good players."

On spring ball: "It's an understanding of the playbook. Fall camp is huge; that will determine a lot of where the main spots are, but spring ball…you break down all the little things and you get better at the things that you needed to work on from the previous season. You get in the play books and you grasp things better when fall comes. So spring is huge."

On Thursday being another full pads day: "Yup. You know it. We turn it up every day. So I'm calling out the offense right now: We're turning it up every day."
Posted by Chris Fetters
8:50 AM

Lorenzo Romar on UW Football

I noticed Lorenzo was out at practice Tuesday, and it's not uncommon to see him out there a bunch during the spring and fall camps, as well as Volleyball Head Coach Jim McLaughlin and his staff.

I caught up with Lorenzo for just a second to ask him about his passion for UW Football. This is what he had to say.

"When I was a student here, your classmates played football. And that was so much fun because they'd come out and play basketball. And when football season came around, I couldn't wait to go watch 'em and cheer 'em on. I remember watching the Huskies win the Rose Bowl with Warren Moon, knowing he was from LA….and ever since then I just loved watching. From Husky Stadium to all of it…and when I was here, the teams were so good. I didn't miss a game and I would come to their practices. And one of the exciting things for me, coming back to coach here, was I knew I would be able to watch Husky Football closely. So I was excited about that…still am excited."
Posted by Chris Fetters
8:15 AM

Full pads post-practice interview with Dick Baird

I took some time after practice to talk with coach Baird, and he gave me his thoughts on the first pads practice. As you might guess, he was pretty enthusiastic about what he saw. To listen to the whole conversation, click on the link below.

Full pads post-practice interview with Dick Baird
Posted by Chris Fetters
4:30 PM

Tuesday mid-practice notes

Not too much to add right now. It's clear out, but blustery, as it has been for the first few practices.

There's one more walk-on player added today: DB Laroy Chase, a 5-foot-11, 163-pounder from Lincoln High School in Tacoma.

Still the same three players in red today - RB Chris Polk, OL Cody Habben and LB Victor Aiyewa. I also saw Jordan Polk among those players out there that weren't in full pads. I'll ask Sark after practice what's going on with the junior receiver from Portland.

Erik Kohler and Ben Riva were at practice today. There was another recruit with them, probably a 2011 player, but I couldn't identify him.

The coaches were pretty animated during the pre-practice walk-throughs, starting the tempo high for the spring's first full pads practice. Clarence Trent and Peter Follmer were both in full pads, and Johnny Nansen was spending a lot of time with Trent on his get-off, using injured DE Kalani Aldrich as his teaching example. Everrette Thompson was also at practice, his left foot once again in a boot.

I'll have a lot more after practice is over. I'm hoping to talk to RB coach Joel Thomas about Deontae Cooper and Jesse Callier and their first day with pads in college, and hopefully Trent too about his day. And of course, we'll have coach Sark's thoughts on how the first day of popping pads went.
Posted by Scott Eklund
12:30 PM

Mason Foster quotes

On what he's been up to since the end of the season: "Just working with coach Cox and working on my keys and working with Cort (Dennison) and getting our communications down. I've also been working out hard in the weight room with Ivan Lewis, living in there and I feel great. I'm 6-2.5, 246. Last year I played at about 244, but I feel great. We have been doing conditioning all winter, so it feels real good."

On the graduation of E.J. Savannah and Donald Butler: "It's tough losing my good friends, they were always like big brothers for me but now with Cort (Dennison) and Vic (Aiyewa), we have a great group of guys that will give us a really good chance."

On freshman LB Victor Burnett: "He works really hard. He's extremely smart. The first few days, it's like you're moving in sand, the game is so much faster when you get out here, but he's been able to adjust and I think he will be a great player. I tell him to get control and ‘you're a smart kid, it's going to come to you' and that it's all about effort and it will come to him soon."

On the attitude and intensity of the coaching staff: "I'm kinda used to it now, they are all great guys and really good coaches and I'm real comfortable with them. We go up to the offices and watch ESPN with them so you expect them to come out hyped up and ready to work and get better."

On the team's confidence level: "It's real high. Everybody is working hard together. We took that into our offseason workouts, everybody is competing and working hard, team runs. We're a great group and we have a great chemistry so on and off the field it will pay off."

On some of the new freshmen: "Deontae Cooper is a real good kid. He listens, works hard, listens to everybody, he's out here trying to learn what he can and he's an outstanding athlete as people can see so he's getting better each and every day. Jesse, he just got here, I like his aggressiveness. He won't back down from anybody and that's what you need. Just control your effort and the rest will come for you."

On getting amped up for the first full-pads workout: "Tuesday you get to really go after it. It will be lights out. We don't have to hold people up anymore, so it's exciting."

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Chris Fetters
11:00 AM

Alvin Logan (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Alvin Logan quotes

On moving up from safety - "It was the best opportunity to be on the field. I like it a lot. I'm learning, still getting into the groove of things."

On the weight and strength demands of moving to a new position - "Coach told me to get my legs stronger. Weight gain wasn't a big emphasis. He said to get stronger. I weigh 228. When I played safety, I weighed 215."

On filling in big shoes at the linebacker spot - "Mason Foster, E.J. (Savannah), Donald (Butler) were great players. And Mason is still a great player and he's still here. He's one of the leaders on the defense. Same with Cort, and I study under them. The shoes are very big to fill, very big to fill. Hopefully I can jump in the shoes."

On injuries hampering his progress during his time at UW - "Injuries come and go. You play football, you get injured. That's the nature of the sport. I feel like I'm pretty healthy right now. It's been frustrating, but I really haven't had a choice about it. You play with the cards you're dealt."

On the positions he played at in high school - "I played safety, I played some linebacker, some corner…I played all over the place. Not too much (linebacker), but just enough."

On the move - "It's the easiest transition of the linebackers. It made it a smoother transition for me. It's a little different than playing safety, because you have to read a lot faster. A lot of time you're out of the box and as a safety would come down, he's outside of the box playing the third linebacker spot when the SAM is scooted over. So it's one of the easiest to fill the shoes in from safety."
Posted by Scott Eklund
4:59 AM Saturday Practice Pics

Here are some pics from Saturday's practice, bare in mind the lighting in the Dempsey isn't the greatest...

Elisara rushes Locker (1)

Elisara rushes Locker (2)

Elisara rushes Locker (3)

Montana leads the offense

WR Jordan Polk (1)

WR Jordan Polk (2)

WR Luther Leonard

LBs Cort Dennison and Mason Foster

WR James Johnson

RB Jesse Callier

TE Marlion Barnett

RB Deontae Cooper and Nick Wood (1)

RB Deontae Cooper and Nick Wood (2)

RB Deontae Cooper

Posted by Scott Eklund
1:58 PM

Saturday Mid-Practice Notes:

The third practice of spring was held inside at the Dempsey today and while it was a little warmer and the players had no wind to deal with, that meant the coaching was amped up that much more. Here are some quick mid-practice notes to tide you over until we can talk to the coaches and players to get their thoughts on things...

Lots of folks packed into the Dempsey today to watch the team. I'd say there was roughly 350 people standing around the field.

2010 signees I saw were Zach Fogerson, Jamaal Kearse and Cooper Pelluer.

Recruits I saw were O'Dea OL Sam Flor (2012) and Curtis DL Cornelius Edison (2011). Someone told me they saw Austin Seferian-Jenkins, but I didn't see him. There were a few more, but I didn't recognize them right away.

Former Huskies included Johnny DuRocher, Walt Winter and Hugh Millen.

Team is in shells today (shoulder pads and helmets) so there will be more hitting than there has been.

Husky DL coach Johnny Nansen was really getting after the front seven on pursuit and the angles they take.

It was fun to watch QB coach Doug Nussmeier run Nick Montana, Jake Locker and Keith Price through things. He had them working on their footwork, throwing the ball to different sides from the far hashmark and then also worked on their mechanics when they are trying to throw the ball short across the middles. Seems like an easy thing right? It isn't...

LB Victor Aiyewa and RB Chris Polk were the only players in red, but both were taking part in drills, just not taking contact.

CB Desmond Trufant was not in pads, but had his helmet and was part of the defensive "install" period.

Posted by Chris Fetters
12:30 PM

Demitrius Bronson (Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Demetrius Bronson Thursday quotes:

Dawgman.com's Kim Grinolds spoke Thursday after practice with sophomore running back Demitrius Bronson, who talked about his new playing weight, struggling with fumbling, and the competition between the running backs now that incumbent Chris Polk is out for spring football.

On his size - "I'm 225-230. It feels good. I've just been in the weight room the last couple of months and eating properly, gaining the weight. I've stayed away from the junk food and stuff like that and started eating more meat, steaks, hamburgers. Stuff like that. It's pretty hard for some people in my family, because we pick up weight pretty easily, so you have to kind of watch it.

On fumbling - "I'm just trying to find my hand placement on the ball. It's a thing where you just have to work at it and practice holding the ball. Today, I took my gloves off to see if I could get a better feel for the ball…just kind of seeing how I could get a feeling for it. Everybody is different in the way they carry the ball. I'm still trying to find it and I'm working on it every day. Spring is a good time to work on it, because you don't want to go into the season with that problem.

On the competition - "Really, it makes all of us better. The more of us there is, the competition every day - it's just a grind for us. If somebody else is doing something better, it just makes all of us want to work that much harder. If I see somebody outworking me, I'm just going to try and outwork them. And right now, I'm going in-between running back and fullback too."

On the cold - "I've lived here all my life and I'm still not used to it. Once you're out there and you're going, you're moving…you pretty much don't think about it anymore."

On getting ready for contact next week - "We'll be ready. Number one thing is, we have to protect our team. At the same time, we're ready to go, ready for spring ball to kick off. I just have to prove that I'm growing every day, that all my off-season work has paid off.

On the weight impacting his speed - "I can't tell right now. I feel like I'm more powerful. Speed-wise, you can't really tell until you put on pads, but I definitely feel like I'm a bigger, better, faster person."

On the weight room - "It's always fun to be in the weight room. You go in there and you do your work, but they make it interesting. It's not like you just go in there, lift and leave. They pump you up, they get excited, they talk to you. They've got the music going, so you want to be in there. If you don't, it's like you're missing out on something."

On who he's looking forward to hitting on Tuesday - "I don't know yet. I'm kind of undecided. I really can't tell, but from a team standpoint, if we're all out there hollering and whooping and getting hits out there, that's what I'm excited about."
Posted by Chris Fetters
8:00 PM

Thursday full practice notes:

Sometimes it takes a whole year to make that quantum transformation from player to star. Steve Sarkisian said Thursday it's possible for a transformation to occur literally from one practice to the next. And while he has to watch the film to make sure, he saw some players step up that he didn't see on Tuesday.

"It's a comfort zone of being out here," Sarkisian said after Thursday's practice, the second so far for the Washington Huskies this spring. "Sometimes you see guys that had a good off-season, and they come out and there's so much anxiety for that first day they are a little tight and they don't perform maybe the way they want. They they look at the film and relax and then come out and play the second day. It becomes the norm, and those guys start to show up even more."

For players like De'Shon Matthews and Alvin Logan - players with tenure in the program that are trying to take the spot of former starters like Daniel Te'o-Nesheim and E.J. Savannah - this time of the spring is crucial for what Sarkisian called 'putting their resume on film'.

"Inevitably, when fall camp rolls around, we're going to have well over 20 new players," Sarkisian said. "And we're going to put them in those spots to see how they look. For Alvin Logan and De'Shon Matthews and those guys, this is a great chance to put their resume on film. They are trying to earn that spot, and the best way is by playing that spot and doing it."

Logan, a 6-foot-2, 219-pound junior from Colorado, has been looking for a spot on this Huskies' team ever since he landed in Seattle - first starting at receiver and then at safety. Now he looks to play the part of a LEO - a hybrid linebacker position that plays close to the line of scrimmage, usually on the strong side, and can act like a defensive end.

"He's got the right frame and the athleticism we like at that spot," Sarkisian said of Logan. "He's got to get his comfort level still and find his way. Obviously as we move into shoulder pads, it's going to be critical for him to find his comfort zone."

It's not a position wholly unfamiliar to Logan; he was moved to linebacker last year after the Oregon game, and practiced there the rest of the year.

In other moves, Sarkisian had a lot of praise for junior offensive tackle Senio Kelemete, who has moved from right guard to left tackle this spring, and so far the results have been nothing but positive.

"It brings some athleticism to the position for us," Sarkisian said of the move. "It brings a nastiness…you're talking about a player that was a defensive lineman a year and a half ago that's now starting at left tackle. He also brings a real leadership quality. He's confident in what he's doing. We loving having him out there. To think of what he's accomplished…he was very encouraging. By no means was he perfect, but he showed signs of consistency. He showed a physicality. And for his body type, that left tackle spot is a lot more fitting than when he's inside against a 3-technique or a nose guard. He can get out on the edge and block against athletic guys."

Right now, UW's offensive line looks nothing like it did at the end of the 2009 season: Instead of Drew Schaefer at left tackle, it's Senio Kelemete. Instead of Nick Wood or Greg Christine at left guard, it's Ryan Tolar. Instead of Tolar or Christine at center, it's Schaefer. Instead of Kelemete at right guard, it's Mykenna Ikehara. Instead of Cody Habben at right tackle, it's Skyler Fancher. Habben, who is out rehabbing a shoulder injury, may very be the starting right tackle in the fall, but for right now the mishmash of players and positions on the offensive line gives the group depth and experience, but how much cohesion? So far the results seem to be panning out.

"To get Nick Wood and Greg Christine, (Ryan) Tolar and Mykenna (Ikehara), all those guys reps….Drew Schaefer getting those reps…those are invaluable for us," Sarkisian said. "They are invaluable now and they'll be invaluable in the fall when our new guys come in and we're able to roll them in and guys are comfortable playing."

The same thing goes on the other side of the line, where the Huskies are dangerously thin at defensive end. Even with the infusion of hoopster Clarence Trent to the mix, they have only four ends, and only one (Talia Crichton) that has more than one career start at DE - and his four starts came as a true freshman.

"As we move through spring, we're going to get to some 3-4 principles where you're going to see a 'backer playing that defensive end spot," Sarkisian said. "But it's early."

But it's not too early to make a big jump from the first practice to the second. Sarkisian said he noted jumps by DT's Tyrone Duncan and Cameron Elisara. "I'm guessing there will be a handful of guys," he added, noting that he wants to see the film first before handing out gold stars.
Turnover Thursday?: It started out as 'Turnover Thursday', but it didn't end up that way, as the offense beat the defense on the last play of the practice-ending team period. "It ended up being no-turnover Thursday," Sarkisian said with a smile. "The offense won today. The defense won the first day. And the other side should dig down deep and win the next day, and the offense won. It was good for them."

Locker as quarterback: Sarkisian was asked Thursday about Jake Locker's development as a quarterback, and how he can measure improvement. Sarkisian said he looks for efficiency in the passing game, getting to secondary reads, and checking out of bad plays and into better plays as three critical components when determining if a QB is getting better. He started to see it a little bit at the end of last year. "One of the telling games was the Washington State game, where Paul Homer got four or five catches in that game," Sarkisian said. "None of those plays was he the primary receiver. He was a secondary or even a third or fourth option. That started to show me that he's starting to lock into what we're doing."

Boyles getting his due: Anthony Boyles - another player who has moved to a different position in search of a home - was named Tuesday's player of the day. "He was efficient," Sarkisian said of the 6-foot-3, 197-pound sophomore. "He was technically sound. He was competitive. He made plays on the ball. He had an interception. I just thought he was very active, yet sound."

Looking for more at TE: Chris Izbicki, Kavario Middleton and Dorson Boyce all had strong off-seasons, now Sarkisian wants them to continue to ramp up their games. "I hope they keep playing and keep pushing each other to play at a high level," he said Thursday after practice. "I want more production in the run game than we had last year. I'd like more efficiency in the pass game. I don't think we had a pass game that was tight end-oriented last year. This system is one that is used to really throwing the ball to the tight end."

Freshmen continue to impress: Despite a bobble or two, the two true freshmen running backs continue to roll right through their practices like veterans. Deontae Cooper and Jesse Callier have been thrown right into the mix and are getting a substantial number of the carries. Each show a very nice burst going through the holes in the line of scrimmage, as well as shiftiness beyond to elude would-be tacklers in the secondary.

Faces in the crowd: Former UW coach John Pettas; former UW players Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Darrion Jones, Mark Bruener, Elliot Silvers, Sean O'Laughlin and John Anderson; signees Colin Porter, Michael Hartvigson and Jamaal Kearse; recruits Kasen Williams (Skyline), with father Aaron, a former UW receiver; Zach Banner (Lakes), Dylan Wynn (De La Salle), Shane Schmidlkofer (Gonzaga Prep).

Defensive two-deeps: Not that you can take too much out of the first couple of days in practice, but here's how the defense lined up. I hesitate to use first-team and second-team, because it could very well be a mix. But one team had De'Shon Matthews and Talia Crichton at DE; Semisi Tokolahi and Cameron Elisara at DT; Alvin Logan, Cort Dennison and Mason Foster at LB; Quinton Richardson and Vonzell McDowell at CB; Nate Williams and Nate Fellner at safety. The other team had Clarence Trent and Conrad Remington at DE; Alameda Ta'amu and Tyrone Duncan at DT; Matt Houston, Victor Burnett and Jordan Wallace at LB; Anthony Gobern and Anthony Boyles at CB; Will Shamburger and Greg Walker at safety. I noticed that DT Chris Robinson went in for Duncan for a few reps with that grouping.

Rougher day for Special Teams: After going 4-4 on Tuesday, Erik Folk was only 2-6 under similar conditions. He missed his last four, the longest from roughly 48 yards out.

Posted by Chris Fetters
4:30 PM

Thursday mid-practice notes:

Another cold, blustery day at Montlake, but hopefully the rain will hold off.

Not much to report in the early going...looks like everyone is back for the second practice, and still the only players in red are Chris Polk, Victor Aiyewa and Cody Habben. Even guys like Desmond Trufant and Brandon Huppert were doing some running around during the pre-practice walk-throughs.

Former players Daniel Te'o-Nesheim and Darrion Jones were at practice today, as well as recruits Kasen Williams, Zach Banner and DE Dylan Wynn from De La Salle in Northern California. Also, 2010 signee Sione Potoae was also seen before practice started.

It was also fun to see Jeff Anderson (Sundawg), father of former UW kicker John Anderson, at practice with his son-in-law. The Andersons are in town for a wedding reception for John and his fiance Jill, who ran cross-country for the Huskies. Congrats to the whole Anderson family!

As far as the early practice tempo, it was definitely upbeat and workman-like, despite the chilly temps. I'll have more on the day a little bit later on.
Posted by Chris Fetters
12:00 PM

Doug Nussmeier on KJR:

Nuss was on with Softy Thursday, like LB Coach Mike Cox was on with him on Wednesday.

Softy asked Nuss if he ran home to listen to his interview with Sark, and Nuss said he was working hard, watching film. Softy talked about the buzz surrounding UW football, with the recruiting, and Locker back. He asked about the feeling from a year ago, and Nuss said that it's night and day. From a players' standpoint, they are a year advanced. They understand how the plays fit in the system. They are more explosive and stronger. In every way they are better.

Asked about Jake Locker and his development, Nuss said the best thing about Jake is that he hasn't changed as a person. When you look at his character and his integrity, he's just a quality young man who does everything right on and off the field. Can't say enough good things about him. Said as a football player, he worked his very first progression to fou on the very first play of spring.

Nuss said that he's still got a lot of room to grow, which is the great thing about Jake. And he wants to continue to work hard and improve. The offense is so much better too, which is going to allow Jake to get even that much better.

On Demitrius Bronson and fumbling, Nuss said that he's just a young player. You see it all the time. He's got some great qualities as a downhill runner, and he's learning the offense daily. He needs reps. When things aren't coming naturally, guys have a tendency to get tight or get loose with the football, and they need to find a place for him to run the ball.

On Fogerson, Nuss said that he needs to come out and improve daily. Need to get to the point where he's continually progressing.

Softy said that he got a report that James Johnson doesn't look like a freshman, and Nuss said that he was a pleasant surprise last year, but he's gotten stronger and faster, and he understands the system. Now it's just a matter of refining technique and learning to become a better receiver.

Softy asked Nuss about the two or three things they want to improve on from last year, and Nuss said Number One is keeping hold of the ball. Number two is getting more explosive at the WR position and more yards after catch on underneath routes. They were good deep.

Softy said he wants to see a TE step up like the great TE's in Husky history have, and Nuss said that they are going to continue to grow at that position. Said that Izbicki had an outstanding off-season. Thinks he is going to break out. Both him and Kavario have big-time capabilities, and they are looking for big things.

Softy said that Kavario will be a junior now, but Nuss said he's still a young guy who didn't get the benefit of a redshirt, so he's still growing. He can be a unbelievable weapon, and Nuss thinks Kavario will continue to improve.
Posted by Chris Fetters
3:30 PM

DawgmanRadio - Spring Football:

Kim Grinolds and Chris Fetters of Dawgman.com put together a 30-minute podcast on the first day of Washington's spring football schedule, including their thoughts on what they saw, who impressed, who needs work, and what they expect to see as the spring progresses at Montlake. Click on the link below to listen to the full podcast.

DawgmanRadio - Spring Football
Posted by Chris Fetters
1:00 PM

Coach Cox on KJR:

Said they took some time after signing day to refresh, then got organized for spring ball. They looked at what they did well, what they didn't do as well, and now they are here for spring ball.

Dave 'Softy' Mahler asked about the difference from a year ago, and Cox said you have to start over with the new guys, but in general the familiarity with everything means they are just that much further ahead.

Softy asked about E.J. Savannah, and Cox said he was surprised he didn't get a sixth year, but they have to move on.

Softy asked about Victor Burnett, and Cox said he had a good day. Smart and instinctive, excited to have him. Said he could play as a true frosh, but it's too early to tell with just one day practice. But for a first day he did a great job.

Softy asked about the overall defense. He said the offense will score points; but the defense has to get better. What's the key to improve? Cox said that they have to be good at creating turnovers. At the end of the year they started to do that. They are emphasizing that. They have hard-working kids, but they need to get more interceptions. They led the league in fumble recoveries, but they need to pick off more passes to get the ball back in the hands of the offense.

Softy asked about the DL and getting pressure, and Cox said that it's a concern. They are really young there. They can't put it on them to get it done by themselves. They have to find other ways to get pressure on the QB. They realize they are young, but they have to continue to emphasize getting the ball back and playing smart.

Softy asked about Alvin Logan, and Cox said that he worked with the No. 1 SAM and also did some DE work. He's athletic, and they want to see what he can do. They've also moved Victor Aiyewa to LB, and Cox thinks he also has a chance to play. Excited to see what he can do.

Victor is smart, physical and athletic. They saw that most of his good plays were in the box, so that's why they wanted to move him down.

Softy asked about Mason Foster, and Cox said that he's good enough now he can play all three positions, and also Cort Dennison has made huge strides and he'll play a lot this year. But to replace a Donald Butler and E.J. Savannah - can't do that right away. Also played two freshmen at corner, but they are getting more solid.

Softy asked what fans should look for when they come to spring practice, and Cox said that number one, the competitiveness. That's what they are emphasizing the most, playing with fanatical effort. Hopefully they notice the team is playing really hard, or the coaches aren't doing their jobs.

He also said they should notice Jake Locker and just how special he is.

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Scott Eklund
11:10 PM

Jake Locker Quotes - 3/30

On the first day: "It was good, I thought we had good tempo today. I thought it was a good day to get back out and start running around again and overall I thought we did pretty well. It's fun to be back out here."

On what he wants to focus on: "Work on accuracy, completing more passes and driving these guys in the right direction."

On what he's showing the younger QBs: "I have an opportunity to coach them and just let them know what I've learned since I've been here that's helped me. They're both really good guys, they want to learn and they're very talented and it's something I'm looking forward to.

"I've been there, I know what it's like. Things are moving faster than you've ever seen them move before so I thought, taking all that into consideration, I thought they did really well."

On what it's like now that he's got a year in the system: "I felt a lot more comfortable today than I did a year ago. I was like those guys a year ago. Everything was new to me. I was still getting comfortable with the offense and the cadence for that matter so I felt a lot better this year, just a lot more familiar with what we're doing and a lot more comfortable with the system."

On how he's working with the receivers: "We've had another offseason to work together and to kinda fine-tune some details within the offense and not just run to basics of it. Improve on some plays when the defense presents a problem, to be able to adjust to it and make it into a positive thing for us."

On the receiver unit as a whole: "We had a lot of guys that played last year and I think a lot of guys peaked at the end of the year. Devin (Aguilar) was playing really well, Jermaine (Kearse) was playing really well at the end of the year and I thought they both did really well today. D'Andre (Goodwin) was a guy that I came in with and I've always felt comfortable throwing to and he was playing well before he got hurt in the Notre Dame game. James (Johnson) had a big first year and we're hoping to have a good second year out of him as well. I don't think that it's going to be a one-man show, I think it's going to be a good production by all of them and that's what makes them so dangerous."

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Scott Eklund
11:08 PM

Keith Price Quotes - 3/30

On what he's been up since the season ended: "I've been spending a lot of time just working on my mechanics and going to my trainer. I went home for spring break so I met with my trainer and I'm working a lot on my arm and my feet. I'm starting to get the hang of the offense so it's going to be a good ride.

"Coach (Doug) Nussmeier is constantly on my mechanics. He's like a technician, every time I throw the ball he's critiquing something. At first it was my arm, but now my release is more regular and now it's just my feet. Sometimes I have a tendency of opening up too much and that will cause a bad ball and I'm not as accurate as I would be if my feet were right.

On his comfort level: "I'm still swimming a little bit. I got the base stuff down, so right now I'm just learning the protections and learning my keys and the correct reads."

On what it means to him to be the second QB at this point: "It's really forced me to study my stuff. My redshirt year is up so I have to really pick up this stuff and get going because I'm one play away. If Jake goes down, I'm the next guy so I've just got to be ready at all times."

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Scott Eklund
8:57 PM

Johnson is ready to go (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Johnson ready to take the next step

Last year, when freshman James Johnson hauled in his first reception, it wasn't an ordinary catch. He hauled in a Jake Locker pass at the six yard line and avoided two LSU defensive backs to record the first points of the season on ESPN in a primetime game on national television.

So much for easing your way into things.

"It was a great start for me, a great start," Johnson told Dawgman.com shortly after the first spring workout of the 2010 season. "I had a good start to the season and was feeling comfortable, but I guess you could say I 'hit the wall' and I didn't play as well down the stretch.

"I was dealing with some (minor) injuries that I had never played with before, so a lot of that was mental. I just didn't get open like I was and I was struggling. This winter has been all about getting mentally tougher so I can push through that stuff better and help the team more."

Besides steeling himself mentally against the trials and travails of a whole football season, Johnson's work during the offseason has also born fruit on his frame with 12 pounds of muscle.

"When I showed up here, I was 190 and now I'm 202 pounds," Johnson noted. "I've really focused on building my body up to take the pounding and so that I can practice hard and be just as good at the end of the season as I am at the beginning."

Last season, Johnson finished third on the team with 39 receptions for 422 yards and three scores and with the juniors Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar returning, Johnson will be battling for playing time, but he said he wouldn't have it any other way.

"All of us are very competitive, but it's all about making each other better," Johnson said. "I don't know what other schools have on their rosters, but we're loaded with talented guys. I mean Jermaine is talented and the leader and Devin and D'Andre (Goodwin), they all bring different things to the table.

"We all push each other and make each other better and we bring different talents that our coaches can use."

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Chris Fetters
8:15 PM

Tuesday post-practice notes:

Speaking to Steve Sarkisian after Tuesday's practice, he had the look of a man who was in his comfort zone. With all his coaches back, their offensive, defensive and special teams systems in place, as well as his starting quarterback in tow, Sarkisian led a two hour-plus workout amid blustery, gray skies and everything looked like it went off without a hitch, at least until the very end. Click on the link below to read all the notes on Day One of UW Spring Football.

Tuesday post-practice notes
Posted by Chris Fetters
4:35 PM

Tuesday mid-practice report:

Nice to finally get back out to Husky Stadium for some football.

I'd say there were probably a good hundred or so UW fans in attendance, including former UW player Donald Butler, who is getting ready for the NFL draft. Michael Hartvigson and Colin Porter from Bothell were also there.

Tried to take roll call, as it were, and it looked like all 72 players on the roster were accounted for, including Clarence Trent, wearing Fred Wiggs' old number, 97. Chris Polk did take some reps during the early offensive walk-through, but he was wearing red. It also looked like TE Dorson Boyce was in red, but later saw him working out just fine. On defense it looked as if one of the linebackers started out in red, but I couldn't identify who it was later. I thought initially it was Matt Houston, but then I later saw Matt on the sidelines not in red.

Besides Polk, the other two players that were in red were Victor Aiyewa, who was working a little with the linebackers, and also Cody Habben.

Justin Glenn was not in red and participating.

There were plenty of players out there not in red, but not participating - like Everette Thompson, Kalani Aldrich and Brandon Huppert.

Watching the number one OL, it was exactly how Sark described it yesterday: Senio Kelemete and Skyler Fancher at the tackles, Ryan Tolar and Mykenna Ikehara at the guards, and Drew Schaefer at center.

As I was leaving, the kickers were doing through some work. Brendan Lopez was the snapper, and Cody Bruns was the first holder.

Overall, it definitely looks like some of the players have really benefitted from some serious off-season work. James Johnson looks like a different cat altogether, and Semisi Tokolahi has lost his freshman gut.

As an aside, the media has been told that, while Jake Locker will be available for interviews after practice, he will not field any baseball-related questions. Looks like he's ready to move on, whether the rest of us are or not.

We'll have more after practice. And sorry, no Joe Montana sightings yet. But I'm sure those will come soon enough.
Posted by Chris Fetters
2:45 PM

Romar statement on Trent playing football:

Washington basketball coach Lorenzo Romar is on the road recruiting. Here is his statement regarding Clarence Trent participating in Husky Spring Football.

"Clarence approached me earlier in the year and expressed his interest in playing football at the University of Washington and I told him we'd revisit it after the season. I had some conversations with [head coach Steve Sarkisian] Sark about it and when they agreed to do it, Clarence was excited and we were excited for him.

"He will still remain a part of our basketball team and it will be much like the situation when Nate Robinson played football at Washington and yet walked on for basketball that year. So, he is still very much a part of our basketball team and he will do both.

"We'll be pulling for him and as interested as I already was in Husky Football, I'm even more interested now."
Posted by Chris Fetters
10:30 AM

Clarence Trent to play football this spring

One more addition to the Spring Roster:

Coach Sarkisian confirmed that Clarence Trent, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound freshman forward on the UW men's basketball team, would be walking on to the football team this spring.

Trent, who had been dropping hints via his Twitter account that he would be playing football in the spring, apparently played some ball at River Ridge High School as a freshman before moving on to Gig Harbor and concentrating solely on basketball. Gohuskies.com has Trent listed as a defensive end on the school's spring football roster. We will be at practice Tuesday afternoon for the latest.
Posted by Scott Eklund
12:45 PM

Sarkisian Press Conference Notes

-- NCAA allows 34 consecutive days to complete your 15 practices. Likes the schedule they have worked out so that the players can get time to recover at least one day after every practice.

-- Said the Spring Game kickoff will be "roughly" at 7 pm on April 30th.

-- Looking forward to adding depth along both lines, but that won't happen until fall camp.

-- Excited to have four fresh faces -- RB Deontae Cooper, QB Nick Montana, LB Victor Burnett and RB Jesse Callier -- and it's a great opportunity for them to get reps and learn the system.

-- Said it isn't fair to expect the three new guys (Cooper has been on campus since January) to perform at the same level as everyone else since they are so new to the college game, but that they want them to improve every day.

-- RB Chris Polk (shoulder), OT Cody Habben (shoulder), RB Brandon Yakaboski (limited), OL Greg Christine will participate.

-- DE Kalani Aldrich (knee) -- Sark said his rehab is going well -- not willing to risk re-injuring, DE/DT Everrette Thompson out (achilles), S/LB Victor Aiyewa (shoulder), CB/S Justin Glenn (limited), CB Desmond Trufant (out for now with a goin), DE Andru Pulu out until his situation is resolved

-- Best team GPA since 2007. Excited about that.

-- Said TE Chris Izbicki has had an outstanding offseason along with Marlion Barnett.

-- Dorson Boyce has been moved to FB. Physically a better fit for him as well as with the depth at TE, they wanted to find a way to get him on the field. Waiting to see if it will be a good fit and that's why they've moved him now.

-- QB Jake Locker situation with Angels is still in discussion. Emphasis during spring/summer/fall is football and Angels understand that, but they are working out a schedule.

-- Alvin Logan will be playing LB/DE. Sark thinks he can fit into a role and be physical. Looking for him to develop and that Logan has been willing to learn and try different things. Has the physical and mental make up to do some good things.

-- Expectations are higher this year, compared to last year. Feel like last year were some missed opportunities. Kids believe in the offseason program and the direction things are heading.

-- The starting OL when the team takes the field for the first time on Tuesday will be: Senio Kelemete - LT, Ryan Tolar - LG, Drew Schaefer - C, Mykenna Ikehara - RG, Skylar Fancher - RT

-- Said Schaefer is bright, 3.7 GPA, athletic and mentally tough enough to handle it. Allows Tolar to move to guard and be the nasty OL he can be.

-- Said Kelemete has the athleticism and mental attributes necessary to play the LT position.

-- Thought Ikehara finished the season great and has really rode the momentum of how he finished the season and believes in himself and what they can accomplish. Sark doesn't have the numbers, but thought he was in the low 270's, high 260's.

-- Expectations are high for Locker in the system. Said Locker has had a great offseason and thinks he will take advantage of situations now that he's got a year in the system and understands how the schemes and coverages work together.

-- Said he wants the team to be more consistent and wants this team to be able to punch teams in the mouth on a more consistent basis and that against some teams they got knocked around and really want to to run the football with more consistency so that opens things up more in the passing game.

-- First full-pads workout will be next Tuesday (April 6th).

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Chris Fetters
11:45 AM

Is Pulu gone?

Monday is the first day of spring football, kicking off with Head Coach Steve Sarkisian's press conference. The biggest omission from the 2010 UW spring roster is Andru Pulu, a 6-foot-1, 251-pound defesive end from Federal Way, suspended indefinitely by Sarkisian for a violation of team rules.

Pulu was officially charged with second-degree assault in connection with an off-campus party March 18.

Pulu was not listed on the 2010 spring roster, given out to the media before Sarkisian's press conference. The other names not on the 2010 spring roster that were on the 2009 roster were all walk-ons: Reece Anderson, Tony Chidiac, Travis Dupart, Ben Hayes, Kevin Howe, Taylor Lappano, Andrew Lutton, Kiel Rasp, Romeo Savant and Fred Wiggs.

We will know more about Pulu's status during Sarkisian's press conference.
Posted by Scott Eklund
8:47 PM

Locker leads the way

Huskies prepare to kick off spring football Tuesday

Washington's football team doesn't take the field until Tuesday, but over the weekend the final three freshman who are enrolling early -- QB Nick Montana, RB Jesse Callier and LB Victor Burnett -- all arrived and will take part in the 15 spring practices.

Head coach Steve Sarkisian will have his kickoff press conference tomorrow (Monday) at noon and then the team hits the field Tuesday at 4 pm for their first workout.

In case you missed it, here's a run-down of the schedule the school released so you can make plans to be there...

After 14 practices, the spring session comes to an end with the "Friday Night Lights" Spring Game, which kicks off on Friday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m.

With that, here's a rundown of the Huskies' spring practice schedule (start times are approximate (usually within 15 minutes) and subject to change):

Tuesday, March 30, 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 1, 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 3, 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 6, 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 8, 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 10, 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 13, 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 15, 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 17, 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 20, 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 22, 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 24, 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 27, 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 29, 4:00 p.m.
Friday, April 30, "Friday Night Lights" Spring Game, 6:30 p.m.

And here is a link to the Coaches Clinic Information that takes place on April 16th and 17th.

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