Well, fall camp has started at the University of Washington.
The Huskies’ first practice of the day -- veterans in the morning, newcomers and some redshirts in the afternoon -- is behind them, and being that this was Day 1, it was a relatively uneventful affair. It rained a little bit at the start of the workout, but the weather mostly cooperated thereafter. Here are some notes and observations.
--- I counted 57 players in attendance at this morning’s practice. Unlike each of the last two seasons, there were no freshmen participating in the veterans’ practice. That might speak to how much deeper UW’s roster is, overall, than in 2014 and 2015 -- though there will obviously still be some true freshmen who play this season.
--- Washington’s defense is still very much ahead of its offense. That’s not a surprise, considering how good that group was last year, how many starters it returns this year (seven), and that the offense is simply not as established. But both Jake Browning and K.J. Carta-Samuels -- particularly Carta-Samuels -- found it difficult to thread their passes around the arms and hands of UW’s experienced secondary.
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Sophomore cornerback Jordan Miller probably -- actually, definitely -- had the best day of anybody. He first intercepted a throw by Carta-Samuels during an 11-on-11 period -- one snap after redshirt freshman linebacker Jusstis Warren picked off a Carta-Samuels pass -- and later made a highlight-reel interception by leaping over receiver John Ross and pulling the ball away from him as the two came to the ground.
Miller also had a nice pass breakup during the final 11-on-11 period of practice.
Junior cornerback Darren Gardenhire had the defense’s fourth pick of the day, snagging a poor throw by Browning during a 7-on-7 period.
--- The offensive highlight of the day was probably a short completion to tailback Myles Gaskin, who made a nice move near the sideline to shake a “tackle” attempt from linebacker Azeem Victor (no pads, no contact, etc.) and elicited several “ooohhhhs” from his teammates.
--- The first-string offensive line featured, from left to right, Trey Adams, Jake Eldrenkamp, Coleman Shelton, Shane Brostek and Andrew Kirkland. The No. 2 group featured Jared Hilbers, Michael Kneip, Matt James, Jesse Sosebee and Kaleb McGary. I would expect the competition between Kirkland and McGary for the starting right tackle spot to continue throughout camp.
--- No surprises among the early defensive starters. The secondary involved some combination of Budda Baker, Jojo McIntosh, Gardenhire, Sidney Jones and Kevin King (depending on whether they were in nickel), with Miller obviously getting some reps as well. Victor, Keishawn Bierria, Psalm Wooching and Joe Mathis (buck) were at linebacker. The defensive line was a little more fluid -- at one time, the front three were Elijah Qualls, Jaylen Johnson and Damion Turpin, though Greg Gaines, Vita Vea and Shane Bowman got in there, too.
Wooching had a sack during the final 11-on-11 period.
--- Newcomers and redshirts take the field at 4 p.m. for the second practice of the day.