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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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August 4, 2008 1:54 PM

Media day notes, Savannah academically ineligible

Posted by Bob Condotta

UW coach Tyrone Willingham met with the media for about 30 minutes or so today, then players also met with reporters for a while as the team kicked off the beginning of the season. The first practice will begin at 3:45 p.m. and will be open to the media.

Here are a few quick news and notes from the media session:

--- Willingham said that E.J. Savannah is academically ineligible but that there are also some other issues, saying that "when that is cured, we will at that time talk about his status with the team.'' Savannah is also still recovering from a broken humerus bone, and Willingham said he wouldn't be able to play right now, anyway. Willingham said he wouldn't give specifics on the other issues with Savannah but that "the parties involved know what they are.'' He labeled Savannah's suspension as "indefinite'' and that there is no timetable for his return. "Sometimes these things can change over night and sometimes they may be forever,'' he said. Willingham said the team's three starting LBs heading into practice are Donald Butler, Mason Foster and Josh Gage.

--- Willingham did not go into detail on any of the freshmen but said all are academic-related. Interestingly, the team has 101 players right now and can have no more than 105 this season. There are currently five players facing academic issues still apparently trying to get onto the roster for this season, meaning UW coaches may already be counting one of them out. Besides Savannah, the other four are freshmen Craig Noble, Demitrius Bronson, Senio Kelemete and Vince Taylor.

--- Willingham said the the recovery for Juan Garcia has gone as well as hoped so far but that it now takes on a different level with the start of practice. He said he didn't know when Garcia would be able to return to practice or when he might be able to play, saying the team would be "cautious'' with him.

--- He said Brandon Johnson and Jason Wells are recovered and ready to go, as is Ryan Tolar.

--- Chancellor Young returns with just one year of eligibility left. Offensive coordinator Tim Lappano said he thought Young could help immediately on special teams but that he would need to see more of him in camp to get a read on how much he would be able to help at receiver. Willingham said Young faced some academic issues, as well as some other unspecified issues, during his absence from the team ---- he was last with the team during the spring of 2006.

--- Asked if he expected the Huskies to play in a bowl game this season, Willingham simply said "yes'' and then took the next question. Some will likely make a big deal out of that, but I don't know what else he could say. He certainly can't say no.

--- Jake Locker also met with the media and said his goal for the season is to complete 65 percent of his passes. That would be a hefty increase from last year's 47 percent.

More later.


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