Keith Taylor speaks after Day 1 of UW fall camp
Washington opened fall camp on Friday with the first of six practices open to the media. From Ty Jones’ acrobatic catches to the beginning of the quarterback battle, here’s what stood out from the day:
Offensive and defensive starters
- Jake Haener opened the day with the first-team offense with Jacob Eason playing with the second-team offensive line. Hunter Bryant was the No. 1 tight end. Aaron Fuller and Ty Jones — who both missed most of spring practice — and Andre Baccellia were the first-team wide receivers. Salvon Ahmed took most of the snaps at running back with the No. 1 offense. The No. 1 offensive line was the usual lineup. From left to right: Trey Adams, Luke Wattenberg, Nick Harris, Jaxson Kirkland and Jared Hilbers. Henry Roberts and Matteo Mele both worked at center with the second-team offense.
- The first defensive group featured Levi Onquzurike and John Clark on the interior. Joe Tryon and Ryan Bowman were the outside linebackers with Brandon Wellington and Kyler Manu at inside linebacker. Kyler Gordon and Keith Taylor were the cornerbacks with Elijah Molden at nickel. Myles Bryant and Cameron Williams were the safeties. Benning Potoa’e and Josiah Bronson were the second-team linemen while Myles Rice and Ariel Ngata were the outside linebackers. Dom Hampton worked at No. 2 cornerback. Isaiah Gilchrist saw some time at nickel while Brandon McKinney and Alex Cook were the second-team safeties.
Jones made several impressive grabs. With Taylor in close coverage, Jones made a leaping grab along the left sideline off a throw from Haener. Later, Jones made another leaping catch off a deep ball from Haener along the right sideline. Head coach Chris Petersen said Jones might need some time to get his hand strength back after spending most of the spring in a cast, but he didn’t appear to be struggling on Friday.
- None of the of the quarterbacks did much to seperate themselves during the first practice. Haener and Eason both went 4-for-4 during their first outings in the 7-on-7 period. One of the most impressive throws came from Haener, who hit Baccellia in stride down the right sideline.
- Redshirt freshmen wide receiver Trey Lowe made one of the best catches off the day during 7-on-7. With Trent McDuffie in coverage, Lowe used one hand to haul in a laser from Dylan Morris. Lowe also caught a touchdown pass from Morris during an 11-on-11 period.
- Freshman Puka Nacua also came up with a big play during 7-on-7. After a pass from Morris was batted away by Taylor, Nacua was sent to the turf. But he managed to tip the ball with his feet and catch it from his back before it could hit the ground.
- Freshman defensive back Nick Juran drew the biggest cheer of the day when he picked Morris to come up with the first interception of fall camp .
- Peyton Henry and freshman kicker Tim Horn both attempted field goals from about 32 yards out. Henry made his while Horn missed.
- As promised, the three wide receivers who missed all or most of spring practice — Fuller, Jones and Quinten Pounds — returned on the first day of fall camp.
- As Petersen mentioned during his Thursday press conference, offensive lineman Troy Fautanu (foot), tight end Jacob Kizer (back) and offensive lineman Cole Norgaard (ankle) didn’t participate. They did attend and spent some time working on the exercise bikes.
- Redshirt freshman defensive back Julius Irvin didn’t participate in spring practice but he was back on the field — and all over the field — on Friday. Irvin saw time at cornerback, nickelback and safety. “It’s going to be interesting,” said defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake. “That’s another that’s another versatile guy. He knows our defense. He’s been here for over a year now and now he’s healthy. He’s not the only one I’m excited to watch but I’m excited to see how well he can perform in any one of those positions and how many plays he’s going to make over the next couple of weeks.”
- The offensive linemen and defensive linemen wore guardian caps, which are designed to reduce impact during practice. “Trying to just minimized the collisions with the linemen, the short-order collisions,” said outside linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski. “They bang a lot and helmet-to-helmet is a lot more. You can’t stop them from banging heads so it’s just a way to minimize the blows.” Kwiatkowski said the helmets are currently in a trial period.
- The first practice ended early, wrapping up around 4:40 p.m. when it was scheduled to run until 5:05 p.m. Afterward, the coaches explained it was part of a new plan implemented by Petersen and strength and conditioning coach Tim Socha. “Just ease into it,” Kwiatkowski said. “Early on, guys are all gung-ho and they’re out there and when we give them a high work load, that’s when we get more pulls. We’re going to ease them into it. It’s all planned out based off of work load. Light, medium, heavy. The whole thing is planned out.”