Hard to imagine an April morning nicer than what we saw at Husky Stadium today. Sunny and blue skies throughout the Huskies' 10th practice of the spring. Here are some notes and observations from the full-pads session.
--- A few personnel notes: sixth-year senior RB Deontae Cooper, who had been home in California tending to a family matter, practiced for the first time this spring. John Ross continues to participate in a limited capacity -- he's still not in pads -- and TE Drew Sample also returned to practice in a limited capacity, wearing a yellow, no-contact jersey and going through some drills after being sidelined completely for the last few workouts. OL Devin Burleson also appeared to be able to do a little more, and is no longer in yellow. Those still unavailable: DB Jermaine Kelly, DB Kevin King, DB Trevor Walker, LB Keishawn Bierria, LB Travis Feeney, OL Coleman Shelton and OL Andrew Kirkland. And OL Dexter Charles was again present early, but did not suit up. He's been leaving practice early to attend class.
--- The Huskies wore full pads for just the second time that we've seen this spring, though I assume it's their fourth time overall (the two Saturday practices closed to media also included some live tackling). There was a little more contact than usual, though still no full-on, live tackling during 11-on-11 periods.
--- The highlight of practice was probably QB Jeff Lindquist's 70-yard touchdown run up the middle off of a read-option play. The defense bit on the fake to the running back, and Lindquist sprinted straight through the middle of the defensive line, untouched, for a score.
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--- It wasn't a great day for the receivers, who dropped at least four passes during a single 11-on-11 session (and during that same span, two defenders dropped interceptions). WR Marvin Hall did run a nice route on 4th-and-5 on Lindquist's final 11-on-11 series of the day, catching a 67-yard pass that Lindquist dropped into his hands in stride. Hall beat walk-on freshman Ian Biddle on the play, easily outrunning him to the end zone after making the catch.
Earlier in that series, redshirt freshman DT Greg Gaines dominated LG Dane Crane en route to a tackle for loss of RB Lavon Coleman.
--- Redshirt freshman DB Brandon Lewis had the only interception of the day, picking off a pass from freshman QB Jake Browning during a 7-on-7 period.
--- On Browning's final 11-on-11 series, Tristan Vizcaino booted a 39-yard field goal after a Browning completion to WR Taelon Parson came up short of the sticks on third down.
--- Psalm Wooching capped an earlier 11-on-11 period by "sacking" QB K.J. Carta-Samuels. Freshman LB Kyler Manu also "sacked" Browning later in practice.
--- Vizcaino and Cameron Van Winkle each attempted four field goals to end practice and help determine how many gassers the team would have to run afterward. Each kicker made 2-of-4 -- the longest make was a 45-yarder by Vizcaino -- and the offense and defense each had to run a pair of gassers.
--- The Huskies also went through a drill I hadn't seen yet this spring. It was a 7-on-7 period modified for the running game -- meaning the defensive front seven lined up against the offensive line, quarterback and tailback, and each play was a handoff. On the other end of the field, receivers and defensive backs went 1-on-1 on passes in the end zone.
--- The first-team offensive line still featured Jake Eldrenkamp, Crane, Siosifa Tufunga, Shane Brostek and Matt James. The first-team defense also remains the same, with Jaylen Johnson, Elijah Qualls and Taniela Tupou up front, JoJo Mathis at buck linebacker, Azeem Victor, Cory Littleton and Scott Lawyer at linebacker, Brian Clay and Budda Baker at safety, and Sidney Jones and Darren Gardenhire at cornerback. Jojo McIntosh is still getting some run with the first-team defense at nickel back, too. Also saw Gaines get some time with the first-team defensive line.
--- Baker again took some reps with the offense, and said afterward that he's open to doing whatever the coaches ask him to do.
--- Baker, Ross and WR Dante Pettis each practiced catching punts.
--- The Huskies return to practice on Friday morning.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple