Cooper continues to shine

Seemingly every time the Huskies take the field for a spring practice, freshman RB Deontae Cooper makes a big play and Saturday's scrimmage was no different. The talented runner posted two long touchdown runs against the Husky defense and head coach Steve Sarkisian said that while you see the long runs, even more impressive is how his young back is picking up the nuances of the position...

"He's obviously shown, it seems like every day there's two of them, from 50 or further, but in some of the things that go unnoticed, I think his game continues to grow," Sarkisian said after the near two-hour scrimmage. "In short-yardage situations running the ball, his pass-protection keeps getting better and better.

"I think that's what is exciting for us as a staff, that his overall game continues to improve and that he's not just a one-dimensional guy. Sometimes, some of those things can go unnoticed. It's easy to see the 50-yard touchdown runs, but it's the overall package that he's bringing that make him a really, really exciting player for us."

Cooper finished the day with 114 yards on 12 carries including touchdown runs of 29 yards and 52 yards.

"I think there was a time, about week two or week three where he was a little overloaded," Husky running backs coach Joel Thomas said. "We pulled him back a little bit, so he didn't have too many things on his plate and now he's starting to show what he really can do now that it's slowing down for him a little bit.

"He's been up early in the morning watching tape and meeting with me on his own time and this kid is pretty easy to give information to because he just soaks it all up."

"We're trying to gather as much information as we can," Sarkisian added. "He's doing some really nice things and even if the first time he might not do it exactly the way we want, we coach him up, we teach him and the next time he gets it right.

"He's a bright kid, he's got a great work-ethic and just all of the things that he's bringing to the table are exactly what we were hoping to get out of him."

Besides Cooper's explosive runs, Saturday's scrimmage was also a chance to see the passing game on display with some wind.

Locker finished the day 11-of-22 for 146 yards and a 28-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse who broke in front of S Nate Williams.

Young quarterbacks Keith Price and Nick Montana both struggled some, but Price had the better day completing 6-of-10 for 84 yards while Montana was 3-of-10 for 21 yards.

"I know this much, if they were able to throw the ball today, they can play in the Meadowlands," Sarkisian said with a chuck referencing the infamous windy conditions at Giants Stadium. "It was windy. It's challenging. It's hard for a fifth-year senior to throw in this stuff, never mind a couple of freshman kids. I thought they fought through because things were not easy today, but it's part of the growing and the learning curve."

Ultimately, Sarkisian said it was just nice to see the players go through game-situations without having a coach holding their hands.

"I thought it was good just to watch our guys play football," Sarkisian said. "We do so much situational work when we practice, that when you get to scrimmage and you get to put it all together – whether it's first-and-10 or third down or blitzes or fringe red-zone or backed up situations or the two-minute drill – I thought all of that work was great to watch our guys have to play and not have a coach standing behind them telling them what's coming or what we need to do.

"I thought, all in all, that it was fun to watch our guys compete and play in all those special situations."

Players sitting out: WR D'Andre Goodwin (hamstring), RB Jessie Callier (knee); DL Everrette Thompson (Achilles), OT Cody Habben (shoulder); RB Chris Polk (shoulder); CB Desmond Trufant (groin); S Nate Fellner (knee); DT Alameda Ta'amu (academics).

Sarkisian noted that Fellner's knee was a little swollen, but they held him out as a precaution. Ta'amu "had an academic thing to take care of so we held him out", but the Husky head coach said he could play next week "if he gets the things taken care of that need to get done".

Good week for Johri Fogerson: "I think Johri's had a nice week," Sarkisian said. "If you go back to Tuesday and maybe even last Saturday, he's put together three or four really good practices in a row. He's playing physical, he's running the ball well, he's pass-protecting well so those two guys have been extremely impressive for us."

Former Huskies, future Huskies and recruits in the house: Former Huskies Leif Johnson, Mark Stewart, Casey Bulyca, Spencer Marona and Scott Garnett were all in the crowd today.

Husky signees Cooper Pelluer, Colin Porter, Zach Fogerson and Michael Hartvigson were all there along with walk-on candidate Evan Hudson as well.

Finally, Puyallup DE/OT Josh Garnett (2012), White River DT Scott Rose Jr. (2012), Skyline DE/LB Connor Cree, Skyline ATH Giordan Simone and Kennedy QB/ATH Jason Thompson (Everette's younger brother) took in today's practice as well.

Unofficial Scrimmage Stats: Passing - Locker( 11-of-22, 146 yards, 1 TD); Price (6-of-10, 84 yards); Montana (3-of-10, 21 yards).

Rushing - Cooper (12 rushes, 114 yards, 2 TDs); Fogerson (5 rushes, 15 yards); Demitrius Bronson (6 rushes, minus-10 yards).

Receiving - Kearse (6 catches, 103 yards, 1 TD); Luther Leonard (3 catches, 44 yards); Devin Aguilar, 3 catches, 33 yards; James Johnson (1 catch, 33 yards); Chris Izbicki (2 catches, 10 yards); Fogerson (1 catch, 15 yards). Top Stories