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

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August 7, 2008 10:32 PM

Husky nightcap, day four

Posted by Bob Condotta

Sorry for the lateness of the post. Had one last summer swim event to attend.

Anyway, on to the day that was:

WHAT HAPPENED --- UW held one full-squad practice in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts at Husky Stadium.

THE BIG STORY --- The biggest news today was that the academic picture for the incoming freshmen appears to be clearing up. Vince Taylor is in, and now playing receiver, while the road appeared to open for DT Senio Kelemete to join the team sometime next week (read the details here).

We also learned that DT Craig Noble is waiting another week or so for results of the California High School Exit Exam. If he passes it, he could enroll be in by mid-to-late-August, as well. Conventional wisdom is that RB Demitrius Bronson probably won't make it in this year while no one seems to know exactly what will happen with E.J. Savannah, who is on-campus daily, appearing to work on his issues.

WELCOME TO THE BIG TIME --- The last two days have seen the first hitting of any kind this season for the Huskies. While just in helmets and shoulder pads, the team can hit above the waist, but not wrap up. This has led to a few rude awakenings for some of the newcomers.

Freshman RB David Freeman said his came Wednesday when he reached to grab a pass on a flare route and was leveled by sophomore cornerback Matt Mosley.

"It was a little bit of a welcome to college football,'' Freeman said with a smile. "it was not like a high school hit. But you get up and do it all over.''

Freeman said he caught the pass, which he thinks impressed some of the vets.

"They were like 'way to get up' because I didn't stay down,'' he said. "I just got right back up and went to the huddle.''

WATCHING FAVRE FROM AFAR --- Husky defensive coordinator Ed Donatell has a unique perspective on the Brett Favre-to-New York move, having worked as an assistant with the Packers for four years and then with the Jets last season.

"It's kind of fresh because I've been on a team with him and then the Jets last year so I can kind of visualize that I think it will fit together pretty nicely,'' Donatell said. "I just know when he says he wants to play he's going to be very effective. They have a nice group of receivers there and they will welcome him with open arms and he'll mix in quickly.''

Donatell said he knew Favre might miss the game.

"He was one of the most natural people at what he does that I've seen,'' he said. "He always loved the locker room. The players. I just think when he really thought about it, he decided he wanted to keep playing.''

ROSTER REPORT --- Redshirt reshman OL Scott Shugert was not at practice today but my understanding is that he will likely be back tomorrow. CB Anthony Gobern was in red for an undisclosed injury.

QUOTABLE --- "He's a great guy. I'm a great guy. So we get along,'' UW running back Johri Fogerson on his relationship with RB coach Steve Gervais in light of the fact that it was Gervais' Skyline team that beat Fogerson's O'Dea team for the state title last year.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Let's just say that all 4 scholarship players are available to come back next week, will they ask a couple of walk ons to come back after the roster can expand?

A: My understanding is that they could do just that. However, as I detailed above, I think the general thought is that Bronson won't make it in and that if Savannah makes it in, it may not be until after that time. Willingham seemed pretty clear today that he didn't think that would be an issue. Of course, there could always be some attrition that would result in opening up another scholarship, as well.

ON TAP --- Huskies are scheduled for their first full pads workout Friday afternoon, again working in split squads.


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August 7, 2008 4:01 PM

Taylor to receiver, more practice notes

Posted by Bob Condotta

Our 25 minutes has elasped for the day, and the most noteworthy thing to come from practice was the sight of Vince Taylor playing receiver.

Taylor, taking part in his first practice after clearing up some academic issues, is listed as a safety in the UW media guide. As this wasn't noticed until after UW coach Tyrone Willingham spoke today, we'll have to wait until tomorrow to get the thought process on that.

Taylor was rated the No. 65 WR in the nation last yeara by Rivals.com.

Other notes from practice:

--- UW was again in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts.

--- New defensive coordinator Ed Donatell continues to take a real hands-on approach with the cornerbacks, working specifically with that group during early warmups, with J.D. Williams working with the safeties.

--- Freshman cornerback Anthony Gobern was in red, the only player wearing red today, with an undisclosed injury. It didn't look serious, however, as he was running around taking part in drills.

--- Juan Garcia was among the OL groups hitting the blocking sled in what appeared to be some of his most serious work so far. He didn't appear to struggle in any way.

--- Chris Polk was still with the running backs, and as coaches said before practice, he will remain there for a week or so while coaches sort out where he could best help the team.

--- Among the visitors were Matt Elisara, father of Cameron Elisara; Jermaine Kearse's mom and his brother, Jamaal, who is a junior WR at Lakes and figures to be a major recruit for the Class of 2010; and Lakes High coach Dave Miller, who was warmly greeted by Willingham and WR coach Charlie Baggett.

--- And just to settle the issue, the QB wearing a yellow No. 7 jersey is walk-on Taylor Bean. No one's sure why he has switched numbers but it's not Cody Bruns wearing 7 and playing QB in any pictures you might have seen.

All for now.


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August 7, 2008 3:05 PM

Thursday Willingham notes

Posted by Bob Condotta

UW coach Tyrone Willingham led off his meeting with the media today saying that Wednesday "was another good work day for us.'' It was particularly good, he said, because the team was able to split into two groups, getting a lot of work for younger players.

He also announced the addition of freshman DB Vince Taylor to the roster, which now gives the Huskies 103. Teams can have no more than 105.

Since UW has four scholarship players still attempting to get eligible, Willingham was asked if he was worried about going over that number. He said "we can't go over 105, it's just that simple'' and then added that "I anticipated that we will not go over 105.''

He said he left room for the currently ineligible players to make their way onto the roster if they get there. Sounds as if Willingham is anticipating that one or two of the currently ineligible players --- Craig Noble, E.J.Savannah, Senio Kelemete and Demitrius Bronson --- won't make it back (conventional wisdom around the program is that Bronson is pretty iffy to make it this year). The team can expand to 115 players after the first week of the season.

Willingham also touched on a few other items:

--- RB Brandon Johnson is still not 100 percent but is "getting a lot of good work.''

--- He said it's "tough right now'' to really assess any of the newcomers at running back because they aren't getting a ton of snaps at the moment.

--- He said Ryan Perkins appears to be doing fine with his chronically injured leg, but that the team will remain cautious in how it uses him.

--- He said the shift to bigger cornerbacks wasn't really a change in philosophy. Rather, UW finally had the players to make it work to have bigger players at cornerback.

--- Said Byron Davenport appears to be healthier than a year ago and also is more comfortable in his second year in the program.

--- He talked a little about the visit to Florida last spring and said that it's a common practice to exchange information. He said one thing UW looked at was how Florida has used two quarterbacks through the years. He said making personal visits can elicit more info than just looking at film. He also said again that the defensive staff visited Missouri to look at things the Tigers do on that side of the ball.

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August 7, 2008 2:08 PM

Locker-Tebow comparison "scary''

Posted by Bob Condotta

UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano gave an early-camp update to reporters today, but what might have been most interesting was his discussion of the trip some coaches took last spring to Florida to look at the spread offense of the Gators.

Lappano said the coaches got to watch a couple of practices and most of the scrimmages. While Lappano said UW coaches wanted to study Florida's spread offense, he said another task was to look at Florida's personnel to see how it compared with Washington's.

That included studying Florida QB Tim Tebow, the reigning Heisman Trophy holder and a player often compared to UW's Jake Locker.

Lappano said the comparisons are accurate.

"I stood right behind him for two days,'' Lappano said. "I watched him throw every ball, every hand off, the whole thing. They are a lot alike. He's a great kid, class kid, polite, good-looking, sharp kid. A really good kid. They are a lot a like. It's scary almost how much (alike).''

Here are a few other notes from Lappano:

--- He said he's been impressed by the incoming freshmen. "I like the speed at receiver, the speed at running back. Jordan Polk can run. He can fly. Johri Fogerson can run. He had a good day yesterday. Cody Bruns can run. He had the second-fastest shuttle time. Everything we thought those young guys were (they are). David Freeman is explosive. He did some nice things yesterday. So all those kids can run, which is nice. ... And the big guy, Kavario (Middleton) is showing up. He's really athletic. He doesn't have it all figured out yet at the line of scrimmage and the run game and all, but he's a really athletic kid who has great hands, good ball skills and good body control. He's really talented.'''

--- UW suddenly has almost a glut at running back with seven players at tailback due to the fact that Chris Polk is currently playing there. "We're going to have to figure it out in the next couple of weeks where to plug them all in at,'' Lappano said.

--- Lappano said Jake Locker has looked good throwing the ball. "He was great the first day, okay the second day, and great yesterday. He just missed a couple of throws the second day, but he's playing pretty good right now. He hasn't had a bad day yet, and he's had two really good days.''

--- Backup Ronnie Fouch is also playing well, he said. "He's throwing accurately and doing a pretty good job,'' he said.


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August 7, 2008 11:52 AM

Noble shaken, but not daunted

Posted by Bob Condotta

UW freshman defensive lineman Craig Noble is stil hopeful of arriving at Husky camp sometime in the next few weeks, said his high school coach Matt Kerstetter.

Noble was unable to come to camp this week as initially planned because he hasn't yet passed the California High School Exit Exam, a requirement to receive a dipolma in the state.

Kerstetter, the coach at Taft High, said Noble took the test on July 29 --- the same day as the 5.4 earthquake that rocked Southern California.

"He was taking the test at the time and he had to walk out of the room,'' Kerstetter said. "He had a little extra pressure on him that day.''

But Kerstetter said Noble feels confident he passed and when he hears the results "he'll be on the next plane out of town.'' Kerstetter said Noble has fulfilled all other requirements. He had taken the Exit Exam one other time but didn't get the score he needed, Kerstetter said.

Kerstetter said Noble has been told it will take about three weeks to get the results of the test. That means it could take until around Aug. 19 or so. If Noble doesn't pass the test, he will need to take it again, and that could result in having to wait until January to enroll.

It's an unanticipated delay for a player the Huskies hoped could help out immediately this season.

But DL coach Randy Hart said Wednesday he still plans on having any of the freshmen who arrive this year play, noting the season runs until Dec. 6. "I'm not sure we can afford to redshirt any of them,'' Hart said.

This latest news begins to give more clarity to the picture surrounding UW's ineligible players. Vince Taylor is now officially on the roster, and Senio Kelemete could be in next week, according to his coach at Evergreen High, Shaun Tarantola. Dominique Blackman has said he won't enroll until January, and it is thought that RB Demitrius Bronson is retaking some classes on-line and may also have to delay his enrollment.

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August 7, 2008 10:08 AM

Kelemete could be in soon

Posted by Bob Condotta

UW freshmen defensive linemen Senio Kelemete is finishing up an on-line course needed to fulfill a final core class credit and could be officially joining the Huskies in a week or so, according to Shaun Tarantola, Kelemete's coach at Evergreen High School.

"It wouldn't surprise me if he's back by Monday or the middle of next week,'' Tarantola said. "He should be done (with the class) by Saturday.''

Kelemete took part in UW's summer bridge program as he was initially given academic clearance.

But Tarantola said there was a mixup at the last minute concerning a class Kelemete took last summer at a local community college. Tarantola said Kelemete took a class hoping to fulfill a needed core class credit. But he said that while the class had a different name, it was judged to be the same as another class Kelemete had already taken, so he was officially declared to be .25 credits short of the core class requirement of 16 (here's some background on that here).

"Everybody said he was good core credit wise the whole time and then all of a sudden once he completed the bridge program they said (the class at the CC last year) was the same class,'' Tarantola said. "It was a weird deal. It was a bad situation for him. But it's getting taken care of.''

Tarantola said Kelemete is working six hours a day to get the class completed on-line. The case will still have to be reviewed by UW admissions once Kelemete completes the class, but Tarantola said it is his understanding that shouldn't be a real issue.

While Kelemete is listed by the UW at 260 pounds, Tarantola said he weighs 295 now and will play tackle for the Huskies once he arrives.

"He was pretty upset about it,'' Tarantola said of the news of the core credit mixup. "But he's breezing through it now. He's getting it done.''

Another freshman, defensive back Vince Taylor, is joining the team today.

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August 7, 2008 10:05 AM

Hasty likely to begin at CWU today

Posted by Bob Condotta

Just a quick note that Central Washington begins practice today and J.R. Hasty is on the tentative depth chart there and is expected to participate when the Wildcats hit the field this afternoon.

There could be an official announcement of Hasty's joining the Wildcats later today.

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August 7, 2008 8:47 AM

Thursday morning links

Posted by Bob Condotta

But not quite as hot today. ...

--- For our main story today, I took a look at the challenge facing defensive line coach Randy Hart as he attempts to rebuild a defensive line returning only one player with any significant experience --- DE Daniel Te'o-Neshiem.

Among the things Hart said that didn't make the story:

He's been impressed with what he's seen of Alameda Ta'amu and Everrette Thompson. "They are what we thought they were,'' he said. "I'm excited for them, but we are not going to put pressure on them. But they are good people and they like to work and they appear very athletic. It's exciting to see those guys.''

Jovon O'Connor, listed at tackle during the spring, has slimmed down a little and is now playing end. Hart said he weighs in ithe 275-pound range.

Hart said he figures there will be more rotating of players this year than in recent seasons. "People are going to be saying at times 'who's that guy? Where'd he come from?' My idea is not to hold to a single line. You can't kill anybody.''

On to more links:

--- GoHuskies.com had this review of the day, as well as a Q-and-A with tight end Michael Gottlieb.

--- Here's a Bellingham Herald story on Jake Locker and his stated goal of completing 65 percent of his passes.

--- Here's a little feature on Brandon Johnson from the Los Angeles Wave.

--- The Seahawks signed former Husky Derrick Johnson on Wednesday, though unfortunately he was then injured in his first practice

--- Roy Lewis has apparently worked himself up to being a third team cornerback for the Steelers.


--- Here's Ted Miller's daily look around the Pac-10.

--- The AP has this preview of the Pac-10.

--- Former Oregon Duck Jordan Carey, the Seattle Times 4A Player of the Year in 2003 when he was at Capital High School, is now playing at Western Washington.

All for now.


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