Four days into fall camp, converted safety Victor Aiyewa is running with the No. 1 linebackers, alongside Mason Foster and Cort Dennison.
"It’s still good competition, but Victor Aiyewa’s done a nice job," linebacker coach Mike Cox said after practice. "He’s getting more of the reps right now. Matt Houston’s still doing a good job. And the young guy, Cooper Pelluer, is doing a good job in there.
"We haven’t even been in full pads yet. We still have to play the run and be physical. That’s one of the biggest things we’re looking for at that spot. Until we see that we’re not going to make a concrete decision."
Even though it's early, Cox seems pretty certain that Foster and Dennison have a hold on their spots.
"Yeah, they’re pretty steady, they really are," he said. "They know what they’re doing, they know how to play. The biggest thing is to make sure they get a lot of work, but not to where we wear them out this early in fall camp."
And behind them?
"I’m impressed with our young guys," Cox said. "Garret Gilliand the last couple of days has impressed me. Brandon Huppert’s done a solid job coming back from a knee injury a year ago. But the young guys, Princeton Fuimaono, Victor Burnett, and Cooper and Jamaal Kearse are all going to be solid players for us. ... (Fuimaono) has got a natural knack for playing football: very instinctive."
We'll have more on the linebacker competition in our Friday paper.
Meanwhile, other notes:
The Huskies move to full pads Friday for the first time. However, coach Steve Sarkisian maintains that after four physical workouts, the change shouldn’t be dramatic. “We’re going to see guys play football (today. But) to me, whether we’re in full pads or half pads, we’re playing football at a pretty good tempo and a pretty high intensity. … Sarkisian said he has scheduled two full-scale scrimmages: Tuesday and Aug. 21. … Tight end Evan Hudson suffered a sprained shoulder on Wednesday and is expected to miss about a week. … Tailback Chris Polk was shaken up a bit, so the staff used the opportunity to give extra work to Johri Fogerson, Deontae Cooper and Jesse Callier. “I kind of wanted to see those other guys run the ball,” Sarkisian said. “I wanted to see what Johri and Coop and Jesse run the ball when it was getting hot in the kitchen." There were a couple of minor skirmishes on this hot afternoon. However, Sarkisian said he was encouraged that the players policed their teammates without coaches getting involved, and that the players involved sought each other out afterward to exchange a hug and move on. … In the race for fourth wide receiver, Sarkisian said he is pleased with “a lot of players,” but the first he mentioned was D’Andre Goodwin. Then he went on to mention Jordan Polk (who dropped one early in practice, but bounced back), Kevin Smith and DiAndre Campbell, who caught a deep ball from Nick Montana. … Quarterback Jake Locker has been named quarterback of the Playboy preseason All-America team. "That's a pretty good honor, lifetime achievement award,” Sarkisian said. “He's got that one forever. To me, it's like all those other pre-season All-American things that are out there, and that's just one of them. But I think for us and for everyone involved, I hope he's the post-season All-American quarterback. That one is a little more important." … Washington will hold its annual picture day Sunday at Husky Stadium. Fans will be able to meet the players and coaches, and get pictures and autographs. Members of the volleyball and soccer teams also will be available. Gates open at 11:30 a.m., and admission is free. More information at www.gohuskies.com.