University of Washington

Huskies spring practice begins with transfer news, QB debuts

Hear what Chris Petersen had to say after the first day of spring practice

Washington Huskies football coach Chris Petersen met with reporters Wednesday after the team finished their first spring practice of 2018.
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Washington Huskies football coach Chris Petersen met with reporters Wednesday after the team finished their first spring practice of 2018.

Washington opened spring camp Wednesday with the news quarterback Daniel Bridge-Gadd will transfer to Northern Arizona, Huskies coach Chris Petersen said.

Bridge-Gadd was a three-star recruit who signed in 2016 with UW out of Paradise Valley (Ariz.), where he was named his state's Gatorade Player of the Year. He only played in one game and that was when he ran once for minus-1 yards in UW's win last season over Fresno State.

His departure wasn't the only one. Defensive back Jomon Dotson has also left the team. Petersen said he was unsure of where Dotson would play in 2018.

Dotson was initially a tailback when came to UW in 2014. He was given a redshirt in his first campaign and played two seasons at running back before moving to defensive back last season. Dotson finished his UW career with 302 rushing yards and a touchdown to go with 13 tackles plus an interception.

Who's on the mend

UW has made a habit of keeping players coming off injury off the field during spring camp. That was the case with star left tackle Trey Adams, linebacker D.J. Beavers, receiver Chico McClatcher, cornerback Jordan Miller and receiver Quinten Pounds.

Adams was wearing a right knee brace but he did stay active on the sidelines by doing push-ups and paying attention to drills. McClatcher did step onto the field during punt return drills. He didn't participate but he was behind his teammates to simulate the timing for fielding a punt.

QB watch: Debuts and a No. 2

Here's the rundown when it comes to new UW quarterbacks Jacob Eason, Jacob Sirmon and Colson Yankoff:

Eason is every bit of the 6-foot-5 and 235-pounds the roster lists him as. He already has the strongest arm on the team and the ball, even on short throws, looked different compared to everyone else.

Sirmon, who is listed at 6-5 and 223 pounds, showed a bit of mobility at times while the 6-4 and 211-pound Yankoff appeared to be the quickest of the whole group.

Jake Haener, who will be a redshirt freshman in 2018, opened camp as the No. 2 quarterback behind senior-to-be Jake Browning. As for the quarterback rotation, Browning took reps with the first team. He was followed by Haener and then the Huskies mixed it up between Eason, Sirmon and Yankoff.

Offensive line update

Adams' injury meant Henry Roberts, who will be a redshirt junior, filled in for the All-Pac-12 First Teamer at left tackle. Luke Wattenberg, who became UW's starting left tackle after Adams was injured, took first-team reps at left guard. Nick Harris, last year's starting right guard, was at center with the Huskies trying to replace Coleman Shelton. Matt James was inside at right guard while former Fife High star and All-Pac-12 First Team selection Kaleb McGary was at right tackle.

Return game options

Dante Pettis' departure means UW is seeking a new punt returner. The Huskies ran through a few options Wednesday by testing out Aaron Fuller, Andre Baccellia and Byron Murphy at the role. Fuller fielded three punts for 13 yards last year and has four punts in his time at UW. Baccellia has not returned a punt in college but he was a kickoff and punt returner in high school. Murphy is another player who has not returned a punt for the Huskies but he did do it in high school.

As was mentioned earlier, McClatcher was in the drill but was not active. The former Federal Way star has six career returns for 72 yards.

Ryan S. Clark: @ryan_s_clark