Here’s a practice report from columnist Dave Boling, who is helping out on the UW beat this week while Todd is covering the US Amateur Golf Tournament:
Having been converted from defensive tackle to offensive guard and then tackle in successive seasons, Senio Kelemete was asked if he had any thoughts on which position the Washington Husky football staff might try him next.
“I think as soon as Jake leaves … quarterback,” Kelemete suggested, hinting that he might be considered a candidate to replace Jake Locker.
Kelemete has proven his versatility, but the fact that he’s 6-4, 290 pounds makes him an unlikely successor at quarterback.
However, he appears a natural to protect Locker from the crucial left tackle position.
Although recovering from an ankle sprain that has limited his practice, Kelemete in this morning’s session showed the athleticism that has wowed coach Steve Sarkisian. On several screen plays, Kelemete displayed impressive speed and agility getting out in front of the play and laying blocks on elusive secondary players.
“When we first got here, he was a defensive lineman, and we saw his athleticism and we saw his room for growth, so we moved him over,” Sarkisian said Kelemete’s conversion. “At left tackle, he just looks at home out there. It looks easy for him.”
Sarkisian said part of the play calling for Friday’s practice was geared to seeing what Kelemete could do on the move and in the open field. And? “He looked fantastic,” Sarkisian said.
A junior from Evergreen High, Kelemete has what Sarkisian called “a pretty high football IQ.”
The big thing, Kelemete said, is that he’s looked at the line from both sides. “I know all the D-line stuff, and that transfers over,” he said. “They give me hints what they’re going to do when they line up.”
He tries not to think about how important are his duties in keeping Locker from taking too many hits. “If you’re thinking too much about that, you won’t play well,” he said. “What we have to do is all work together; the important thing is for all of us to do our jobs.”
Optimism is high on most campuses this time of year, but Kelemete said he senses something special for this season’s Huskies.
“I expect us to be a dominant team … to go to a bowl game … to go to the Rose Bowl,” he said, getting more excited as he made grander predictions. “I feel it all around me, in the locker room, in the weight room, from the coaches to the players. Everyone is determined and motivated.”
Camp goals: Friday was the final two-a-day schedule for fall camp for the Huskies.
“I wanted to see our screen game improved offensively; I think we got that done,” Sarkisian said when asked of his goals for camp. “I wanted to see us play more man-to-man coverage and challenge more routes, and I think we proved we can do that in this training camp.
“And I wanted to make sure we were a physical football team. We have a nice array of skilled athletes on our team, but at the end of the day, this game is about blocking and tackling, and to do that, you’ve got to be physical. And I think we accomplished all three of those things.”