Pre-Spring notes

After a discussion with Coach Rick Neuheisel, it became clear what the goals of the spring are going to be. Accountability is number one. If the coach can get across that everyone must take responsibility for themselves, their actions, and their assignments, he'll be a happy camper.

Obviously they will work on developing a running game, something that has been missing for the past two years. The horses up front will have a little different look, due to injury.

Clayton Walker will take most, if not all of the snaps at center with the ones this spring, as Todd Bachert recoups his surgically repaired shoulder and Brad Vanneman nurses a broken foot. One young player that Neuheisel says to watch is Tusi Sa'au at offensive guard. He appears to be making a strong push.

Tui Alailefaleula could very possibly get a look at offensive tackle. Remember, Tui has a redshirt year available to him if needed, so this could be a great move. Depth on the defensive line is such that this move can be afforded. When was the last time Washington could say that?

Jason Benn has been moved from tight end to offensive line as well, and will develop as a guard or center prospect.

On defense, Greg Carothers will move to outside linebacker and probably compete with Tyler Krambrink for the starting nod. Since Marquis Cooper and Tim Galloway will sit out the spring with injuries, watch for Scott White to get his shot inside. He's small but he can run.

Jordan Slye will compete for playing time at strong safety. If he makes the two-deeps, at nearly 6-5 he'd be the tallest Husky safety in history. With Carothers being tried at linebacker full time this spring, Slye's opportunity is now.

Isaiah Stanback will likely be the fourth WR in spring. If he impresses there, watch for him to play this fall at receiver. He is just too explosive to keep off of the field at 6-3 and 200 pounds of cut muscle.

Stanback told us that he'd been working out and had set a personal best on the weights, and now is working on his speed. He is 6-3 200, and feelin' good after mat drills were over early Thursday morning.

This spring he'll go work at quarterback but also get some looks at receiver. It's not a problem. He says that any way he can help the team , he'll do it. He doesn't want to sit on the bench all year and if the coaches don't want to waste a year, it's fine with him. The coaches have told him that they don't him to sit, and that they want to use his athleticism, so he'll be a receiver."

He's going to be very busy this spring and fall, as he'll still be taking reps at quarterback.

Willie Kava and Derek McLaughlin are off on their 2-year Mormom missions and are expected back for the 2005 season.

Neither starting kicker will arrive until the fall, so it will be interesting to watch Washington work on special teams this spring. Walk-on Evan Knutson may get a very tired leg in April.

Nate Robinson will be a slot receiver this spring, in addition to his cornerback duties.

This spring will be the first time Roc Alexander and Derrick Johnson will have seen the field at the same time since their freshman seasons. Time will tell how much contact Roc's surgically repaired torn labrum can tolerate, but he'll be out there running around this spring at a minimum. Top Stories