Washington Huskies

UW Huskies spring football practice: News and observations from Day 4

UW Huskies head football coach Chris Peterson directs the Dawgs during the opening day of spring football practice at the University of Washington in Seatle on Wednesday, April 3, 2019.
UW Huskies head football coach Chris Peterson directs the Dawgs during the opening day of spring football practice at the University of Washington in Seatle on Wednesday, April 3, 2019. toverman@theolympian.com

After completing a closed practice on Saturday, Washington held its fourth spring practice on Monday.

The Huskies split their time between Dempsey Indoor and working outside in the light rain. Here are some news, notes and observations.

Offensive lineups

Center Nick Harris was out for much of Monday’s practice so the starting offensive line was as follows: Left tackle Trey Adams, left guard Luke Wattenberg, center Cole Norgaard, right guard Jaxson Kirkland and right tackle Jared Hilbers. Corey Luciano and Will Pliska also took snaps at center with Luciano getting some reps with the first team.

Jake Haener and Jacob Eason once again split the quarterback snaps with the No. 1 offense. After practice, offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan said there was a five-man competition at quarterback.

“It’s just the reality of this thing,” Hamdan said. “Somebody’s going to emerge. Somebody’s going to take care of the ball, make great decisions, be accurate, be the playmaker. Whoever that is will play quarterback for us.”

Running backs Salvon Ahmed and Sean McGrew both took starting snaps as did tight ends Hunter Bryant, Jacob Kizer and Cade Otton.

Wide receivers Andre Baccellia and Terrell Bynum took most of the reps with the No. 1 offense with Chico McClatcher, Austin Osborne, Marquis Spiker and Jordan Chin all getting opportunities.

Defensive lineups

The Huskies showed some new looks defensively.

Myles Bryant spent most of his time at safety alongside Brandon McKinney. Keith Taylor and Kyler Cordon started at cornerback while Elijah Molden, who had been working mostly at cornerback, was at nickelback. Converted wide receiver Alex Cook and early enrollee freshman Cameron Williams both worked at safety.

Defensive linemen Levi Onwuzurike, Tuli Letuligasenoa and John Clark all took snaps with the first-team defense. Letuligasenoa and Sam Taimani also worked with the second team.

Brandon Wellington and Kyler Manu started at inside linebacker while Ryan Bowman and sophomore Joe Tryon were the outside linebackers. Benning Potoa’e, who moved from outside linebacker to the defensive line this offseason, spent much of his time back at outside linebacker on Monday.

Special teams work

The Huskies spent a significant amount of time working on special teams. Sean McGrew, Chico McClatcher, Salvon Ahmed, Andre Baccellia, Myles Bryant, Trey Lowe, Kyler Gordon and Richard Newton all fielded punts.

Peyton Henry went 2-for-2 on field goals from approximately 35 yards.

Standout plays

Taylor picked off a short pass from Haener early in Monday’s practice. He then returned the interception 25 yards for a touchdown.

Gordon had a standout performance as he batted away several passes in coverage. He also knocked down an Eason pass attempt during one of the 11-on-11 periods.

Isaiah Gilchrist took some snaps at cornerback and broke up a deep Haener pass intended for Spiker. After practice, redshirt sophomore wide receiver Terrell Bynum pointed to Spiker as a player to watch among the wide receivers.

During the final team period, Haener hit Osborne with a 48-yard touchdown pass. Osborne caught the ball in stride down the right sideline. Haener also found Andre Baccellia with a 35-yard pass during a 7-on-7 period.

Extra points

Wide receivers Aaron Fuller, Quinten Pounds and Ty Jones were all in attendance but didn’t participate. Jones had his right arm in a cast and sling. Outside linebacker Myles Rice and defensive lineman Jacob Bandes also didn’t participate. Linebackers Miki Ah You and Zion Tupuola-Fetui, defensive lineman Sama Paama and defensive backs Dom Hampton and Julius Irvin were all limited.

Tight ends coach Jordan Paopao told reporters that fifth-year tight end Jusstis Warren, who attended Lincoln High School in Tacoma, has left the team. Paopao reportedly said that Warren wanted to move back to defense and that UW’s coaches would do whatever they could to assist him.

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