Huskies Insider Blog

Steve Sarkisian: "I think we are primed for a nice run"

Steve Sarkisian held his pre-fall camp press conference on Monday in the Founders Room at Alaska Airlines Arena. Sarkisian was excited to get fall camp going. His opening statement was 1,031 words, and  he then answered 34 questions from various media outlets.

Some personnel notes ...

Three players have yet to be cleared to practice because of eligibility. Freshmen wide receiver Marvin Hall and tailback Kyle Lewis have yet to be cleared by the NCAA clearinghouse but have been admitted by the university.

"Hall and Lewis are NCAA issues where they have questions – and that is natural," Sarkisian said. "They’ve got to get letters, and different things from their high schools submitted to the NCAA, they have to get read and that can take time. That one is out of our hands. Both of those kids have been admitted into school."

Junior college transfer cornerback Antavius Sims, who was originally recruited as a quarterback, and can supposedly return kicks and even play receiver still has a couple of classes to finish to become eligible.

There will be a handful of defensive players that will be on limited participation for first few weeks.In the secondary, three safeties will be on limited participation, though Sarkisian says none of the three are serious. Taz Stevenson has a knee sprain, Justin Glenn has a sprained foot and Evan Zeger has been bothered by a hamstring issue.

"None of which are serious, which should hold them out for an extended period of time," Sarkisian said. "But they are three injures that we want to get these guys back healthy and going here when they are 100 percent rather then them fighting lingering injuries weeks into the thing."

On the defensive line, defensive tackles Sione Potoa'e and Semisi Tokolahi will both be limited early on.

"So that will create some nice competition up front and allow for some opportunities from some younger guys," Sarkisian said.

Freshman lineback Scott Lawyer was initially going to greyshirt this season. But he's healthy enough now to participate and is on the roster.

"Yeah, he got healthy," Sarkisian said. "He had shoulder surgery in the offseason, and all of the reports back, from the MRI and his doctor, he’s healthy and he’s fine and he’s ready to go. We were greyshirting him because of the simple fact that we didn’t think he’d be healthy enough to practice with us right now. But he is, so we brought him in, and he’s ready to go."

Freshmen wide receiver Jamaal Jones from Graham-Kapowsin, who missed his whole senior season with a shoulder injury, is also healthy and cleared to play.

"He looks great," Sarkisian said.  "He’s 100 percent, ready to go."

Deontae Cooper, who tore his ACL in spring, is still in California with his family, but will be back in Seattle in a week. He was spending some extra time with his family. The surgery "went well" and he's expected for a full recovery.

Cornerback Adam Long is not on the roster. He is also recovering from ACL surgery and will join the team in a few weeks.

A few other quick notes ...

Keith Price will take 2/3 of the reps with the first team and Nick Montana will get 1/3 of the reps.

"There will be days when there will be days more for Keith, and there will be days there will be more for Nick – depending on what the emphasis of those days are, and where we are at in training camp,"  Sarkisian said. "I want to get Derrick Brown reps as well with the No. 2s, so as we bump up, more guys get reps. I want to see Thomas Vincent as well. He’s a kid that kind of intrigued me in spring football practice. He is a tremendous athlete. You are going to see him on special teams doing other things as well. It all works hand-in-hand as Nick gets a few more reps with the 1s, Derrick gets a few more reps with the 2s and Thomas gets a few more reps with the 3."

Right now, former walk-on Jonathan Amosa, is the leading candidate to be the starting fullback job. Sarkisian said they will audition a few defensive players - probably linebackers - at fullback in the coming days, but wouldn't elaborate just who.

Because of the questions at fullback, Sarkisian said they will also look at using more double tight end sets.

Obviously, the biggest position battles will be for the two outside linebacker spots flanking Cort Dennison, strong safety and punter, where Kiel Rasp and Will Mahan will battle for the spot.

Note: I will post the full transcript later.
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