Monday, April 23, 2007

The Monday Morning Wash

The Huskies had their second scrimmage of the Spring on Saturday, and observers like the direction the team is headed so far.

All eyes have been on Jake Locker as he gains the reps necessary to run the team next season. Locker has a lot of work to do to fulfill his potential. Footwork is the key for him to become an effective mid range passer. He hasn't had trouble with the deep ball, and the Huskies are in good shape once the frosh receivers hit campus to stretch the field a little bit more. Bottom line is Jake still has a lot of work to do to get ready, but he is the type of kid who will look completely different when Fall rolls around.

One area the Huskies have been working at is developing some short yardage power from the full back position this year. Paul Homer, and Luke Kravitz give Washington something they have been missing since Ty arrived, and that is the possibility of five or more meaningful carries and a couple of pass receptions out of the backfield per game. Both have looked solid in all aspects this Spring, and it will go a long way in stabilizing the offense this Fall.

Louis Rankin has been the man to watch at RB this Spring, and seems ready to have a fine senior season. The key to Rankin doing well is keeping him fresh. As you can tell by one over exuberant voter, Louis is the guy who will lead the running attack next year. The real question is who will end up behind him in the rotation. JR Hasty hasn't sealed up that spot this Spring running mostly against the #1 defense.

Marcel Reese, and Corey Williams have been the most impressive receivers so far. UW is going to need some more help from the freshmen this Fall to insert another dimension into the the receiving attack this Fall. At TE nobody has moved out in front yet, so the position should be shared pretty equally this Fall among Kirton, Gottleib, and to a lesser extent Lewis.

There has been good news on the offensive line as Washington seems to be developing playable depth at all positions. The incumbents have held off challenges at tackle, but Habben, and Berglund are poised for solid seasons. At guard Bulyca, and Rosborough are still listed as the starters, but JWF, and Tolar are giving them both a run for the money that won't end till the opening game. At Center Garcia is a given, but Ryan Bush also has had a solid Spring backing him up and pulling ahead of RS Matt Sedillo. Nice to see Ryan perform well.

On defense Washington is led by a solid defensive line that has developed some good depth. Inside Afoa, and Reffert will be backed up by Elisara who has had a good Spring, and Lobo's who appears to be healthy once again. No sign of Jovan O'Connor.

On the outside Gunheim, and Teo Nesheim have had no problem holding off Rayford, and Jones who will see plenty of action this year. Keep an eye on Jones who played LB as a true frosh, the year off to get bigger and learn a new position has payed off.

Tormey has rebuilt the young LB unit into one of the best in the Pac Ten. The Huskies will be solid three deep going into the Fall. Keep an eye on these three, all of them will get a chance to play on Sundays.

The defensive backfield is the Achilles heal of what should be a strong defense. Due to numbers this Spring the rebuilding of this unit won't start in earnest till this Fall. Jordan Murchison has had a good Spring, and his health is a good sign as he seems to be ahead of Matt Mosley. Byron Davenport will be a factor the minute he arrives.

Not a lot of noise from the safeties where Wells, and Forrester will start the season. One piece of good news is it looks like Harris is back to stay after taking more than a year off because of a back injury. He will never be a force, but he provides some experienced depth which is needed. It will be exciting to see which frosh develop quickly enough this Fall to help out.

Specialties are still a work in progress. Ballman hasn't punted consistently, and we have to wait till Fall for the freshman place kicker to arrive. It is nice to see Ryan Perkins back out on the field, and he could be very valuable if healthy this Fall.

Return threats haven't surfaced, and that isn't a big surprise because other than Marlon Wood we didn't have any other options last Fall. Look for a couple of the frosh to get early time returning the ball.

We have the Spring game coming up, and it will be the first opportunity for the general public to get a good look at this years squad. I expect a bigger than average crowd. Talking about large Spring game crowds Alabama drew 92,000 to it's Spring game this year.

Recruiting off to a solid start

Kamiak CB Justin Glenn became the fourth verbal of the Spring when he accepted an offer from Coach Willingham on Saturday. This is an unusually strong year in Washington State, and there are 25-30 kids who have the potential of getting a Pac Ten offer this year which is dramatically up from the usual 10-15. Look for Washington to continue getting commitments this Spring and Summer from the local standouts.

Scout has come out with their first National Top 100, Western Top 1oo, and Northwest Top 100 lists. The information is over at Dawgman. Here is an early list I put together that lists the top 25 recruits inside the state of Washington, and all of them look like they are headed to the Pac Ten.

With around 22-24 scholarships to give out UW could possibly fill most it's needs in state this year.

1 Middleton DE
2 Thompson DE
3 Kelemente OT.....Verbaled to UW
4 Taamu DT
5 Kearse WR

6 Guyton DT
7 DeCastro OG
8 Bronson RB
9 Schaeffer OL.....Verbaled to UW
10 Turner WR

11 Stockton S
12 Karstetter WR
13 Wilson LB
14 Mann LB
15 Edwards OG

16 Tapea S
17 Schmidtke QB
18 Taylor S
19 Leonard QB
20 Hill DE/QB

21 Henry QB
22 Glenn CB.....Verbaled to UW
23 Washington TE
24 Bernard OG
25 Manaea DT

Spring Sports

Jason Erickson and Nick Hagadone combined on a three-hit shutout as the Washington baseball team avoided a series sweep with 6-0 win over USC Sunday at Husky Ballpark.

The 11th-ranked Washington softball team split a doubleheader with 16th-ranked Stanford Sunday. The Cardinal won the opener 3-2, before the Huskies pounded 14 hits to earn the 12-1 victory in the nightcap.

After going over two years without winning a Pac-10 Conference match, the Husky women's tennis team upset No. 38 Oregon 5-2 in Eugene on Sunday, just one day after beating Washington State. The Huskies (5-16 overall, 2-6 Pac-10) secured seventh in the standings above eighth-place WSU (14-11, 1-7) and ninth-place Oregon (12-11, 0-8).

Senior Ryan Brown won the Oregon Invitational title in the 800-meter run with the nation's fifth-fastest time Saturday, capping an outstanding two days of competition for UW athletes at the prestigious meet.


Husky Stadium, East End Zone - April 28, 10:00 am-12:30 pm

In the spirit of Washington Warm Ups, the UW Alumni Association is partnering with the Big W Club to bring you a pre-spring game party! Come see some of your favorite UW athletes flip fancy flapjacks and socialize with fellow alums, fans and Big W legends as we celebrate Washington Weekend and the official arrival of Spring with the Athletic Department's Spring Fling. Fill yourself with breakfast goodies, juice and coffee and then kick back, bask in the sun and share in the excitement of the Spring football game. The atmosphere will be as sweet as maple syrup!

When: April 28 (10:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.)Where: Husky Stadium East Endzone

Cost: $8-Alumni Association & Big W Club Members, $10 Non-members

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