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Spring practice, Day 7: Notes and observations

Post by Christian Caple on April 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm with No Comments »
April 1, 2014 3:01 pm

After the Washington Huskies complete their practice on Thursday night — it starts at 7:15 p.m., so it should wrap up by 9:45 or so — they will be a little more than halfway through their spring workouts.

Tuesday was Day 7, and the first day back on the practice field after a two-week layoff for final exams and spring break (one of those ventures tends to be more relaxing than the other, depending on what classes you’re taking).

Anyway, here are a few notes to pass along from today’s practice.

— We ran down the major personnel news in an earlier post, so check that out if you’re wondering who was missing from practice and whatnot. A couple additional notes: OL Mike Criste and Micah Hatchie remained limited by injury, as did safety Kevin King, though he wore a yellow no-contact jersey and participated in drills.

Cory Littleton also wore a yellow jersey and participated in some drills.

— Two players have been added to the roster — Mitch Johnson, a kicker from Bellevue High who transferred from UCLA, and Aaron Chapman, a defensive back from Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, Calif., the same school incoming quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels attends.

— Jaimie Bryant, the defensive tackle from Tumwater who grayshirted last season before signing a letter of intent in February, became the first (and only) member of the 2014 recruiting class to enroll at UW and participate in spring practice.

— The No. 1 defense looked similar to what we saw during UW’s first six practices, though there were a few changes due to some players missing practice with class obligations. Andrew Hudson, Elijah Qualls, Evan Hudson and Josh Shirley occupied the defensive line. Shaq Thompson, Timu and Keishawn Bierria were at linebacker. Jermaine Kelly and Brian Clay were at the cornerback positions, and Trevor Walker and Brandon Beaver were at safety.

— With Ben Riva absent and Charles and Hatchie still nursing injuries, the first-team offensive line featured, from left to right, Jake Eldrenkamp, Siosifa Tufunga, Mike Criste, James Atoe and Ross Dolbec. Colin Tanigawa took a few snaps.

— Beaver made probably the most notable play of the day, snagging an interception on a deep ball thrown by Troy Williams to Kendyl Taylor. Beaver also stripped Williams later in practice and recovered the fumble.

— Each practice, strength coach Tim Socha introduces an off-the-wall competition designed to pit the offense and defense against each other in some type of test of strength or athleticism.

On Tuesday, a few offensive and defensive players were selected to compete against each other in the high-jump, with pads stacked on top of each other to simulate the bar.

The defense was eventually declared the winner after linebackers coach Bob Gregory edged offensive line coach Chris Strausser in a winner-take-all leap (a low leap). But sophomore receiver John Ross was probably the most impressive, eventually clearing a tall stack of pads that cornerback Jermaine Kelly couldn’t quite hurdle.

“I actually enjoy it. We talk bad about each other in the locker room, fun and games,” Ross said of the regular challenges. “The competition period is just a way for us to compete against each other while having fun.”

Christian Caple can be reached at christian.caple@thenewstribune.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple

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