Washington prepares for Fall
It’s that glorious time of the year where football fans, after months of cold, bitter, football withdrawal, have a glimmer of hope on horizon. It’s spring football season, that magical time of the year rabid fans anxiously attempt to gauge the team’s progress through spring practices and drills.
Here’s five things to keep in mind as the Huskies begin spring scrimmaging.
This is the obvious elephant in the room. Keith Price ended last season on a spectacularly bad note, choking away the Apple Cup and MAACO Bowl in Washington’s last two games . His starter status remains to be seen in 2013. Troy Williams, Jeff Lindquist, and Cyler Miles will all be gunning for the position.
Price struggled all season with decision making and holding onto the ball, and now as spring rolls around, Husky Nation will be following the starting quarterback battle closely.
It’s anyone’s game.
CenturyLink Field is a great place to play (for the home team) but it’ll be good to take the Dawg Pack back to Montlake. The brand new Husky Stadium is nearing completion. It’ll be good for Washington to be back playing at home.
Washington was struck early and struck hard by bad luck with injuries in 2012. Preseason, starting lineman Colin Porter had to leave the team because of chronic shoulder issues. Jesse Callier went down with a torn ACL against San Diego State.
Offensive linemen Erik Kohler and Ben Riva were sidelined for parts of the season with knee and arm injuries. Guard Colin Tanigawa was knocked out for the year with a knee injury as well. And although his injury was less severe in nature, Austin Seferian-Jenkins‘s nagging ankle injury could be seen slowing him down at times.
Hopefully, the Huskies will come out healthy next season.
Washington ranked in an exceptionally strong recruiting class this year, another tribute to Steve Sarkisian’s skills as a recruiter. While most of the class will likely take a redshirt, a few are strong candidates to play major minutes. Checkout my signing day breakdown for more, but don’t be surprised next fall to see true freshmen logging major minutes.
Previously mentioned quarterback Troy Williams, wide receivers Darrell Daniels and Damore’ea Stringfellow, and defensive tackle Elijah Qualls are a few to keep an eye on.
Who was Washington’s third option in the air this year after Kasen Williams and ASJ? Uhhh…..there wasn’t really one (Bishop Sankey doesn’t count). But Washington heads into 2013 with refreshing depth at the receiver spots in particular.
Kasen Williams will be one of the best receivers in the Pac-12. Freshmen Daniels and Stringfellow are both athletic playmakers with the size and athletic ability to thrive in the PAC. Lesser hyped freshmen Jermaine Kelly also has the potential to be very good, although I predict he will his career start on special teams.
And although they went through some growing pains this year, sophomores Jaydon Mickens and DiAndre Campbell should have the experience under their belts to contribute next season.
All these targets should help take the pressure of ASJ, who for the record, is also poised to be the best tight end in the country.
A lot is up in the air as this Washington team continues to take shape.
But top to bottom, the team comes back deeper and more experienced. They’ll make an always stingy now Pac-12 an even tougher place.