UW spring football practice ends Saturday with the annual Purple and Gold game, which kicks off at 12:45 p.m.
The obvious highlight seems to be quarterback Jake Locker’s Dawg debut. However, fans won’t get that full Locker experience because quarterbacks will be protected from contact. And a Locker who can’t run isn’t the Jake Locker who many hope will transform the Huskies come September.
Other things to watch:
&bullNo. 2 quarterback Carl Bonnell, who has been actually been more impressive than Locker in the five open practices that I saw this spring — especially in terms of throwing accuracy.
&bullTailback J.R. Hasty, who is making a belated UW debut two seasons after leading Bellevue to the 2004 3A state title. Hasty has shown flashes at times, but Coach Willingham continues to talk of him as someone who will simply relieve No. 1 Louis Rankin.
&bullThat rebuilt and massive offensive line including 375-pound Morgan Rosborough at left guard.
&bullReceiver Marcel Reece, who has been one of the standouts of camp with a combination of size and speed. Also D’Andre Goodwin, who may be the only receiver on the roster faster than Reece. (Nicknamed “Flea,” he’s also much smaller.)
&bullThat veteran defensive line facing its one last chance to live up to its long-awaited potential. Greyson Gunheim and Caesar Rayford have looked dangerous as speed rushers at times this spring … but they’ve often teased in short bursts.
&bullAn athletic linebacking corps led by Dan Howell, Donald Butler and E.J. Savannah.
&bullA rebuilding secondary including players such as safety Mesphin Forrester, and cornerbacks Jordan Murchison and Matt Mosley, who are competing for starting spots now and will have to compete all over again when promising new recruits arrive in the fall.
&bullPunter Jared Ballman, who has been wildly inconsistent this spring. Much more of that, and this may be something to worry about. But don’t worry — yet — about the kicking. Erik Folk — who is expected to handling place kicking next fall — isn’t on campus yet.
Also a reminder that the football game is only one of a daylong series of free events making up UW’s annual Spring Fling. Also scheduled is a crew meet featuring the No. 1 ranked Washington men’s varsity eight vs. No. 2 California at 9 a.m., a volleyball scrimmage at 11:30 a.m., a softball game vs. Oregon at 2 p.m., and a women’s soccer alumni game at 2 p.m.
Additional events around the football game will include the annual Husky Football Experience for kids 12 and younger on the football field at 10:30 a.m., the UW Alumni Association/Big W Club pancake breakfast in the east end zone from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and a football season ticket open house at Dempsey Indoor from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The football game will not be televised. However, it will be broadcast on JKR radio, 950-AM, and video will be streamed at gohuskies.com.
And, of course, I’ll file a report here after the game … and also probably before and after if the wireless connection in the press box is running.