Jacob Eason talks after spring practice
Washington completed its last open spring practice on Wednesday.
The Huskies will hold their final practice on Friday before the Spring Preview at Husky Stadium on Saturday. Here’s what you need to know from Wednesday’s session.
Quarterback highs and lows
Jacob Eason had a good day on Wednesday, and the highlight from the team periods was a 60-yard touchdown pass to Andre Baccellia. Baccellia beat Dom Hampton and then made the catch perfectly in stride for a TD. In showing off the strong arm Husky fans are so excited about, Eason likely completed his most impressive pass of the spring.
“It’s just one of those moments,” Eason said after practice. “We called the right play at the right time and Andre ran a good route and the O-Line protected. All I had to do was do my job because everybody else did theirs.”
Eason completed all nine of his passes during the 11-on-11 periods. A pass intended for Marquis Spiker fell incomplete but Hampton was called for defensive pass interference.
“The biggest thing is the live thing,” Eason said of any rust from sitting out last season. “However many reps I’ve gotten this spring and even on the scout team last year, I’ve kind of tried to stay competitive, have that competitive edge to me.
“We’ll see. This spring game is going to be a fun one for me, back in front of people and just playing. I feel like I haven’t lost much. It’s just kind of getting back into shape.”
Jake Haener, who continued to split first team reps with Eason, didn’t have the same luck.
Elijah Molden and Myles Bryant both picked off Haener during his 7-on-7 period. Then, during the final team period, Kyler Gordon brought practice to an end by diving to intercept a tipped Haener pass. Hampton and early enrolee freshman Cameron Williams also nearly intercepted him during team periods.
Haener did have some solid throws. He hit Hunter Bryant for a TD during 7-on-7. During a team period, he also found Terrell Bynum with a nicely placed ball along the left sideline. Gordon was in tight coverage but Bynum made the leaping grab and came down in-bounds.
More secondary shuffling
Defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake said on Monday he was using spring practice to try several players at different positions. That continued on Monday.
The Huskies used a new pair of starting safeties in Bryant and Williams. Both have worked at safety with the No. 1 defense before but this was their first time paired together during open practice. It was also the first time during open practice that Brandon McKinney didn’t start at safety.
Keith Taylor and Gordon were the starting cornerbacks while Molden was at nickelback. McKinney and Alex Cook were the second-team safeties with Isaiah Gilchrist working at nickel. Hampton and Dustin Bush were at corner.
Bryant and linebacker Ariel Ngata each recorded would-be sacks. Bryant’s came against Colson Yankoff during Yankoff’s only 11-on-11 appearance while Ngata got to Haener.
Wide receiver Austin Osborne took several reps with the first-team offense.
Peyton Henry went 2-for-2 on field goal attempts from 31 and 29 yards.
Running backs Salvon Ahmed and Sean McGrew continue to split time with the first-team offense. Although it’s difficult to tell without tackling, both consistently broke through the defense to pick up significant yardage on Wednesday.