The Washington Huskies returned to the east practice field on Friday, running through drills for the second time this spring. And, on another cold and breezy day on the shores of Lake Washington, the defense largely dominated.
Here are some observations from UW’s second spring practice.
The quarterback competition
This may come as a surprise, but UW’s quarterback competition hasn’t been decided just yet. For the second consecutive practice, redshirt sophomore Dylan Morris took the entirety of the starting reps, with graduate student Patrick O’Brien working with the second team and early enrollee Sam Huard working with the third team.
And, of the three scholarship signal callers, Morris was the only one who didn’t throw an interception on Friday (though he did serve up passes to cornerbacks Trent McDuffie and Elijah Jackson that could’ve been picked). There were few explosive plays to choose from, but Morris did display plus-arm strength with a deep out in tight coverage to wide receiver Terrell Bynum. He also showcased underrated scrambling ability with a 12-yard scamper for a first down in a team scrimmage period.
In a half-field scrimmage drill, junior safety Julius Irvin jumped a route to intercept O’Brien. A little earlier, Huard was forced to step up in the pocket by a Zion Tupuola-Fetui pass rush, then delivered a pass into double coverage that was intended for tight end Devin Culp and intercepted by redshirt freshman corner Kasen Kinchen instead.
It was a difficult practice for Huard, who overthrew wide receivers Jalen McMillan and Rome Odunze on deep balls and also slung a pass wide of tight end Mark Redman on a short out route. In his first two practices at UW, Huard — who operated exclusively out of the shotgun in Kennedy Catholic’s air raid offense — has also fumbled several snaps under center.
In between series, Huard often huddled with offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach John Donovan. It’s important to remember that this is merely the second college practice for a prospect who should technically still be a high school senior. It will be interesting to monitor how Huard progresses throughout the spring.
At the tight end spot, junior Devin Culp occasionally lined up at the H-back spot often frequented by Jack Westover with the starters.
The second-team offensive line consisted of left tackle Troy Fautanu, left guard Nate Kalepo, center Corey Luciano, right guard Julius Buelow and right tackle Matteo Mele. The third-team offensive line featured left tackle Roger Rosengarten, left guard Gaard Memmelaar, center Geirean Hatchett, right guard Myles Murao and right tackle Samuel Peacock. It’s worth noting the shift to right guard for Murao, who arrived at UW in 2020 as a highly touted center.
Wide receivers Ja’Lynn Polk, Sawyer Racanelli and Taj Davis worked with the second team, as did tight ends Quentin Moore and Mark Redman.
Defensively, Jacob Bandes and Faatui Tuitele rotated in with the first-team defensive line. The starting safeties were juniors Cameron Williams and Dominique Hampton — with returning starter Asa Turner participating in position drills but sitting out scrimmage sets. The backup safeties were Alex Cook and Julius Irvin.