So this may or may not come as a total shock. Washington's might have a player or two on defense worth following.
OK. That's not exactly breaking news. After all, the Huskies were the No. 8 defense in the nation and it showed at times Friday during Day 3 of spring practice.
UW's first-and second-team defense combined for two interceptions and at least eight non-contact "sacks" when they took on the offense in 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 situations. The Huskies are still in shorts and shells. And for those wondering, the offense is in purple while the defense is in white.
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Only difference of note was Georgia transfer quarterback Jacob Eason was wearing a left knee brace. He didn't have it Day 1 but it wasn't like he was limited in practice. Receiver Chico McClatcher, linebacker Brandon Wellington, receiver Quinten Pounds, cornerback Jordan Miller, long snapper A.J. Cary, offensive lineman Henry Bainivalu and left tackle Trey Adams were all still held out but were present.
Jake Browning and Jake Haener each had a few rough moments against the defense. Browning threw a pass in traffic sophomore cornerback Byron Murphy picked off with ease. Haener also threw an interception that was snapped up by Elijah Molden. There were times both players were under "pressure" in the controlled environment. But they each had some good moments. Haener had a solid throw to Salvon Ahmed on a slant route while Browning connected with Aaron Fuller on a slant. Browning nearly had a second interception when Jojo McIntosh stepped in front of what would have been a pick-6 if he hadn't lost control.
Eason, who also took a few sacks, was with the third team when got some strong loft on a pass to tight end DeShon Williams, who beat Zechariah Brown. Jacob Sirmon nearly threw an interception while Colson Yankoff was on the other end of a couple sacks.
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
There weren't a ton of changes. A few guys like receivers Jordan Chin and Alex Cook took some first-team reps but it was what UW went with Day 1 of Browning, Ahmed, Myles Gaskin, Aaron Fuller, Ty Jones, Hunter Bryant and Drew Sample. That's also the same for the offensive line which, from left to right, was Henry Roberts, Luke Wattenberg, Nick Harris, Matt James and Kaleb McGary.
Ahmed, Gaskin and Sean McGrew had a few moments when they were able to break for a couple runs of more than 10 yards.
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
UW kept the same first-team unit it had Day 1. The line was Jaylen Johnson, Greg Gaines, Shane Bowman and Ryan Bowman. Amandre Williams, Ben Burr-Kirven and Tevis Bartlett were at linebacker. Secondary was Austin Joyner, Taylor Rapp, McIntosh and Murphy. Potoa'e also came in on certain series.
Gaines, Johnson and the Bowman's continually found pressure and made it hard for the line to create a clean or stable pocket. They actually combined for a sack either on the first or second play of the first 11-on-11 series. Burr-Kirven and Williams were pretty active when it came to being in coverage. So did Ryan Bowman, who nearly had the interception on Sirmon. Potoa'e was a consistent nuisance by getting one sack and was a half-second away from grabbing another.