Friday, April 29, 2011
Exiting the spring: Washington
By ESPN.com staff
Washington concludes spring practices with its spring game on Saturday. Here's a brief primer.
Spring game: The Huskies play their spring game at 2 p.m. ET -- 11 a.m. PT -- at Husky Stadium. Admission is free.
Questions answered: Garret Gilliland's move from middle linebacker to replace Mason Foster on the weak side appears successful. True freshman TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, an early arrival, proved equal to his recruiting hype. He and Michael Hartvigson will provide a huge upgrade at a position that used to be a program strength. Kevin Smith asserted himself as a potential No. 3 receiver behind Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar in what should be a deep crew of receivers. DE Josh Shirley showed a nice burst off the edge as a speed rusher. The defensive front, as a whole, looks sneaky good.
Questions unanswered: Coach Steve Sarkisian has yet to tap a replacement for Jake Locker at QB, though there was a sense that sophomore Keith Price holds a lead over Nick Montana entering the offseason. The offensive line didn't have a great spring, though it hurt that LT Senio Kelemete was out with an injury. Line issues are not a good thing for a run-first offense breaking in a new QB. The pecking order at safety wasn't resolved in large part because of an injury to sophomore Sean Parker. The third LB spot on the strong side remains up for grabs (a number of candidates battled injuries this spring).
Spring stars: Shirley was a revelation as a speed rusher, while Hartvigson answered the challenge from Seferian-Jenkins. Two big, athletic tight ends will provide a nice security blanket for the new QB. Smith asserting himself is important because touted incoming freshmen Kasen Williams is expected to be in the mix immediately.