UW Huskies Insider

Archives: Aug. 2010


Time coming to make important choices on newcomers

That time of the University of Washington’s fall football camp has been reached – men separating themselves from the recently-arriving teenagers.

It’s been two weeks of true freshmen getting acclimated to unfamiliar surroundings, and stuffing their heads with new information.

Defensive coordinator Nick Holt thinks after what he saw in practice last week, and what he witnessed Saturday at the team’s second scrimmage, the freshmen have hit a wall.

“They need to get a little rest,” Holt said. “All of them are a little shaky on things – blurry-eyed. They’re mentally not as sharp as they were a week ago because they’ve had so much put upon them as far as mentally – offense and defense.”

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Big Dawgs of scrimmage? Unanimous nod to defense

Sophomore Semisi Tokolahi registered one of the No. 1 defense's three sacks on quarterback Jake Locker during the scrimmage Saturday.

Christine audio (8-21)

Price audio (8-21)

The usual teeter-totter of football, fall camp or regular season, happened again Saturday at Husky Stadum.

Beaten on Tuesday, the UW defense stood its ground Saturday.

Quarterback Jake Locker had five trips with the first-string offense against the No. 1 defense. One of them led to a Erik Folk 47-yard field goal. Another, right at the end of the first half, netted a 3-yard Locker-to-Cody Bruns scoring connection.

But without receivers Jermaine Kearse (foot) and James Johnson (ankle), and starting left tackle Senio Kelemete (ankle), the offense sputtered out of the gates – gaining minus-2 yards on its first two series.

In fact, the Huskies’ first two offensive plays were a 1-yard loss on a pass from Locker to Devin Aguilar (Alameda Ta’amu tackle) and a 3-yard loss on a sack of Locker by safety Nate Williams.

Needless to say, the start set the tone.

“I’d give it to the defense today,” Sarkisian said.

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Fall camp, Day 11: Special teams need to catch up

Editor’s note: Columnist Dave Boling filed stuff from the morning practice, and Everett Herald reporter Scott Johnson (and special thanks to Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta as well) gave up some tidbits from the night session as I prepare to undertake the colossal task of covering next week’s U.S. Amateur at Chambers Bay.

I will attend the Saturday practice, however:

The day before the scrimmage, UW coach Steve Sarkisian reiterated one point he’s been harping on all week.

Improved special teams.

Extra time in that phase has been used for kickoffs and punt returns – and blocking on both teams.


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Fall camp, Day 10: Ex-UW coach James stops by practice

Former UW coach Don James, right, talks to some of the school’s sports-information officials during the early part of practice Thursday. The coach is now 77 years old.

A year older, still wise and well-versed, the “Dawgfather” showed up at practice Thursday.

Don James was on campus for a fund-raising effort put on by the Huskies’ marching band to help cover travel costs for the upcoming season.

Beforehand, he and his wife, Carol (whom have been married 58 years now), walked the track at Husky Stadium in the early stages of workouts, talked with a few of the older alumni and boosters and caught some of the individual drills.

“Sark doesn’t know I’m here,” James said.

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Fall camp, Day 9: Crisp morning work

It turned chilly this morning, as you may have noticed. But it’s all just part of coach Steve Sarkisian’s preparation for every eventuality of the football season.

“We’re just trying to prepare for late-October, early November: a little wind, a little chill in the air,” he said after the first of today’s two practices.

And actually, upon further review, Sarkisian noted that he wasn’t fully happy with some of his team’s play in the sizzling heat of the Tuesday scrimmage.

“We had to address some things off the film from an effort point of view,” he said. “I thought we

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‘Rejuvenated’ Middleton ready for next chapter at Nebraska

Kavario Middleton, right, moves from Montlake to Lincoln, Neb. – in an effort to revitalize his football career.

It took two rings on the telephone, and a few seconds to realize Kavario Middleton’s state of being.

Thankful for a second chance.

He’s about to be a football player again – at Nebraska, another big-boy program in the Big 12 Conference (and soon to be realigned Big Ten).

Middleton, the talented high school All-American out of Lakes High School, and top in-state recruit from the 2008 class, spent two seasons trying to find his niche under two different coaching regimes at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Even though he had a career-high 26 catches in coach Steve Sarkisian’s tight end-friendly offense, the overall assessment was that his contributions were spotty and inconsistent, particularly as a blocker.

Last spring, Chris Izbicki passed him on the depth chart, and assumed the role of top UW tight end.

Then it unraveled, and quickly for Middleton. On July 20, he was dismissed from the team for good. The reason? Repeated failed drug tests.

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Fall camp, Day 8: First scrimmage ‘efficient football’

The Huskies scrimmaged for a couple of hours today. Here’s the overview from coach Steve Sarkisian:

“I thought all in all the day went well. We took the approach of a first preseason NFL game, with our starter’s somewhat limited reps. Our first offenses went two series, our first defense went three series. I thought both of them played extremely well: efficient football. But the real key to this day was to see the young kids play. Obviously the two young quarterbacks, but all of them from the linemen to the backers to the DBs to the wide outs: to see them play, to see them get through the first couple of series of maybe the jitters, the anxiety, and then relax and play. To ultimately see potentially who could help us this fall and potentially who might be a redshirt guy.”

Who stood out?
“I thought the two quarterbacks – the two young guys – once they settled in did some nice things for us. I thought (safety) Sean Parker did some nice things back there. (Wide receiver) Kevin Smith, early on, I thought might have been a little jittery, a little anxious, he showed up. I was extremely impressed with (offensive lineman) Gregory Christine again. This is the time last year he did it and earned his way onto the field, and he had a heck of a scrimmage today. We used Zach Fogerson some at tailback, we wanted to see what we look like with a big back back there. He looked good. It was great to see Chris Polk get a couple of carries. Jessie Callier, Johri Fogerson, a lot of guys did some nice things today.”

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