If we disregard the lack of supporters in the stands, or the fact that the players were not wearing protection, or the glaring absence of a real opponent…
It was like a fall Saturday inside Husky Stadium.
That’s because the first preseason practice of the Kalen DeBoer era was greeted by a sudden bout of Pacific Northwest weather, as rain spat onto the turf inside Husky Stadium. Thursday. But that didn’t bother junior quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who took the vast majority of the shots with the starters and made a collection of impressive accomplishments.
Penix – who enters August locked in a quarterback competition with second Dylan Morris and redshirt freshman Sam Huard – dropped a rainbow in the arms of the freshman wide receiver in Ja’Lynn Polk’s red shirt for a 45-yard touchdown despite cornerback Mishael Powell draped over Polk’s back like a cape. The 6-foot-3, 213-pound Indiana transfer was certainly UW’s most consistent quarterback on Thursday, also adding a pair of 40-yard completions to wide receiver Rome Odunze.
Morris took the majority of second team snaps and gave up a pair of interceptions – an impressive pick that freshman safety Tristan Dunn jumped to trap in a one-on-one drill, followed by a ball deep under the bottom that cornerback Davon Banks fell with in front of wide receiver Jabez Tinae along the sideline during a scrimmage session.
Huard — the 6-foot-2, 193-pound sophomore and former five-star rookie — was clearly No. 3 in the quarterback pecking order, even working with the scout team on separate ground. during some first and second-team scrimmage drills. But DeBoer stressed after practice on Thursday that there was still a three-way race and that each quarterback would share first-team reps for at least the first week, when the coaching staff could reassess whether the contenders start. to separate.
Here are some other observations from Thursday’s practice.
The main starters on either side of the ball were:
QB: Michael Penix Jr.
RB: Wayne Dock
LT: Jaxson Kirkland
LG: Troy Fautanu
C: Corey Luciano
RG: Henry Bainivalu
RT: Roger Rosengarten
TE: Jack Westover
WR: Rome Odunze, Jalen McMillan, Ja’Lynn Polk
DL: Tuli Letuligasenoa, Ulumoo Ale
Edge: Bralen Trice, Jeremiah Martin
LB: Cam Bright, Alphonzo Tuputala
DC: Mishael Powell, Jordan Perryman
Husky: Dominique Hampton
S: Alex Cook, Asa Turner
It should be noted that running back Cameron Davis and right guard Geirean Hatchett also took a few shots with the starters.
Meanwhile, the UW second-team offense consisted of quarterback Dylan Morris, running back Will Nixon, wide receivers Taj Davis, Giles Jackson and Junior Alexander, tight ends Devin Culp and Quentin Moore, left tackle Julius Buelow, left guard Nate Kalepo, center Matteo Mele. , right guard Geirean Hatchett and right tackle Victor Curne.
The second-team defense included defensive linemen Voi Tunuufi and Kuao Peihopa, edges Zion Tupuola-Fetui and Sav’ell Smalls, linebackers Kristopher Moll and Carson Bruener, corners Elijah Jackson and Davon Banks, husky Kamren Fabiculanan and safeties Cameron Williams and Julius Irvin.
It’s certainly worth noting that UW’s first- and second-team running backs — Taulapapa and Nixon, respectively — were transfers participating in their first UW practice, though the limited availability of Richard Newton says a few. Newton wore a “limited” yellow jersey on Thursday, and DeBoer said that would remain so for a week or two.
It will also be interesting to see if right tackle Roger Rosengarten, linebacker Alphonzo Tuputala and defensive lineman Ulumoo Ale take advantage of their starting opportunities. Moll will likely overtake Tuputala once the UAB transfer is settled at UW, while Ale will have to retain Tunuufi, Peihopa, Faatui Tuitele and more.
It’s hard to discern why Tupuola-Fetui continues to take mostly second-team reps, which he also did for the majority of the spring. Coach Eric Schmidt might really consider Trice and Martin more capable options, but time will tell.
- On the injury front, Newton is still limited after tearing his ACL last season, while transfer New Mexico running back Aaron Dumas didn’t seem like a full participant either. Linebackers Edefuan Ulofoshio and Demaro King and defensive lineman Armon Parker did not participate Thursday and are expected to miss fall camp. DeBoer noted that Ulofoshio in particular will miss at least the first half of the season due to an injury suffered last winter.
- Wide receiver Giles Jackson made one of the plays of the day, snatching a potential interception from cornerback Dyson McCutcheon on an ill-advised float from Loonie.
- Odunze, Jackson, McMillan, Nixon and wide receiver Brennan Holmes all returned punts Thursday.
- Edge Jeremiah Martin was credited with the first sack of fall camp, crossing the line for Corral Penix.
- Hampton – a 6-foot-3, 221-pound husky – overwhelmed a block to swallow McMillan for a tackle for loss on a wide receiver screen. From a physical standpoint, few people inside Husky Stadium are more impressive than Hampton.
- A scout for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — who drafted Joe Tryon and Cade Otton in the previous two cycles — attended practice Thursday and stood on the sidelines.