Rejoice, for Washington has completed its final 8:30 a.m. practice of the spring. It was sunny this morning at Husky Stadium. We have notes and observations, as usual.
— Tuesday is a particularly light day in terms of personnel, because there are a handful of players with class conflicts. Among the absent today: DE Hau’oli Kikaha, CB Marcus Peters, WR Kasen Williams, RB Jesse Callier, TE Derrick Brown, TE Josh Perkins and CB Travell Dixon (and, of course, QB Cyler Miles and WR Damore’ea Stringfellow, who remain suspended).
S Kevin King, S Brandon Beaver and DE/LB Cory Littleton wore yellow, no-contact jerseys. OLs Micah Hatchie and Dexter Charles obviously remain out, but are still able to participate in some individual drills.
RB Dwayne Washington and DE Jarett Finau remain sidelined by injury and not in pads.
— Shaq Thompson didn’t participate much during 11-on-11 work today, though he did take a couple of handoffs at running back during an early, lighter 11-on-11 period that seemed more about fundamentals and setting up the play properly than anything else.
With Thompson standing on the sideline during most of the 11-on-11 work, the No. 1 linebackers group consisted of Travis Feeney, John Timu and Keishawn Bierria. With Kikaha absent, Josh Shirley and Andrew Hudson were the first-team defensive ends, along with Evan Hudson and Danny Shelton on the defensive line. Jermaine Kelly and Brian Clay lined up at cornerback, and Beaver (though in yellow) and Trevor Walker lined up at safety.
The first-team offensive line remains the same — Jake Eldrenkamp, Siosifa Tufunga, Mike Criste, James Atoe and Ben Riva. The second-team offensive line looks like this, from left to right: Coleman Shelton, Michael Kneip, Colin Tanigawa, Shane Brostek and Ross Dolbec.
— The play of the day was likely a 74-yard touchdown pass from Jeff Lindquist to tight end Darrell Daniels, who had to turn his head at the last second to haul in the ball over walk-on safety Thomas Vincent and then sprint the remaining 40-50 yards to the end zone.
“Great catch,” coach Chris Petersen said afterward. “Jeff got that thing in there with pretty good time. He throws it another foot in front, he probably doesn’t have to make the circus catch. But that’s what quarterbacks need. They need guys to make plays. They don’t need guys that are wide open and can catch a hitch. I can do that and I’m old. So we need better than me out there. So we need playmakers, and we saw one out there today.”
— Petersen worked closely with the quarterbacks for most of practice, because offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Jonathan Smith is in Boise with his wife. They are expecting a newborn in the very near future.
— The defense came up with a pair of turnovers today — an interception by Timu, then a fumble recovery after running back Ralph Kinne put the ball on the turf. And it had ample opportunity to come up with a third, gasser-preventing takeaway. First, walk-on defensive back Jonathan Kwon dropped what could have been an interception. Then Bierria had a chance for a pick of a pass that deflected off the hands of a receiver, but he couldn’t haul it in. Beaver dropped an interception later in practice.
— Today’s wacky competition was simple: offensive and defensive lineman lined up and tried to catch punts. The defense won after Drew Schultz, Jaimie Bryant and Taniela Tupou each caught the punts booted their way. James Atoe and Ross Dolbec each caught theirs for the offense, but Andrew Kirkland couldn’t haul in his try.
— It was an up-and-down day for Troy Williams at quarterback. During an 11-on-11 period, Williams first threw an incomplete pass that was broken up by Kelly (he made a nice play on the ball), then threw wide for DiAndre Campbell (Travis Feeney helped bust that play up), then threw an interception to Timu. Not pretty.
But Williams also had a pretty impressive series during an 11-on-11 period that had the offense with its back against the goal line. Lindquist had the first series in that drill, first sneaking forward for a couple yards before handing to Lavon Coleman and completing a pass to Michael Hartvigson.
Williams stepped in for his turn, completed a nice throw to Hartvigson that netted about 20 yards up the right sideline, connected with Hartvigson again for a moderate gain, then handed to Coleman, who showed some nice burst up the middle for a solid run.
Coleman had a couple of other pretty impressive rushes, and continues to take advantage of the extra carries he’s receiving as a result of injuries (plus, Deontae Cooper leaves Tuesday practices early to make it to class).
— Walk-on kicker Mitch Johnson made a 29-yard field goal to end practice.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple