Today marks the start of two-a-day practices for the Huskies, but we only get one media briefing, and that came between the two sessions.
There wasn't much real breaking news, which is good in a way, given that so far this week "real breaking news" has meant injuries and arrests.
Willingham did try to give us some early indication of how the tailback competition is going. It has been clear all camp that the coaches are crazy about Louis Rankin (pictured) this season and he seems to be in a class by himself as the No. 1. However, there is no real indication that J.R. Hasty is as safe at No. 1. And Willingham singled out Curtis Shaw and (perhaps surprisingly) Brandon Yakaboski as the true freshmen who have made the best early impression.
The coach added that he likes playing only two backs per game, but he feels like he'll have to prepare four backs for each game, meaning at least two of the freshmen likely won't redshirt. He also said those young runners are candidates to contribute on the return teams, especially on kickoffs.
Speaking of special teams, there doesn't seem to be much so far to separate Jared Ballman, Cory Rutkowski or Ryan Perkins in the kicking competition, nor Ballman, Perkins and Kiel Rasp in the punting competition. Scholarship freshman kicker Erik Folk continues to be held out with a back problem, with no return date stated.
Finally, Willingham also spoke warmly about annual Picture Day, which will be held Saturday at Husky Stadium. I'll post more on that later.
In the few minutes that we were allowed to watch during the afternoon session, Rankin continued to wear the honorary gold jersey.
Meanwhile, Four Lakes High School prospects were on the sidelines and greeted warmly by coaches: tight end/defensive end Kavario Middleton, receiver Jermaine Kearse, running back Johnny Dixon, and quarterback Calvin Schmidtke.