University of Washington

After starting against Arizona, freshman Asa Turner moves to safety on UW Huskies’ depth chart

There were a few updates to Washington’s depth chart this week. One of them was at safety, where freshmen Asa Turner and Cameron Williams are now listed with an ‘OR’ in between them.

Williams started the first six games of the season, but Turner started alongside senior Myles Bryant in Saturday’s victory over Arizona. Turner was previously on the depth chart as Elijah Molden’s backup at nickelback. Brandon McKinney now occupies that spot.

Turner finished with four tackles and a tackle for loss against the Wildcats, and head coach Petersen praised his performance after the game. On the season, he has 10 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and an interception.

“I thought Asa played really well,” Petersen said during his press conference on Monday. “But what I was saying after the game is every time Asa had been in the game, starting with the BYU game — even though it was kind of end of the game, not super-pressurized situation — he goes out and picks the ball off and the next game he gets in for a handful of reps in more meaningful time and get a nice job.”

“It’s so awesome to see. You see him practice well and you put him in the game and it translates. It doesn’t always translate but it really has been for him. So I think it was awesome to get him in there a bunch and I think the confidence will keep building.”

On the other side is Williams, who only saw the field for a few plays late in the fourth quarter against the Wildcats. Petersen said that wasn’t the plan for Williams going in, but that’s how the game unfolded.

Williams has been through highs and lows during his first season at UW. He leads the Huskies with three interceptions, but he’s also struggled with missed tackles and made noticeable mistakes on coverage-bust touchdowns from USC and Stanford.

“That’s hard on anyone,” Petersen said of the change. “But Cam will be in the mix. He’s going to be a really good player for us, there’s no doubt. … But he’s been awesome. He’s been working and he will be in the mix and be a factor for us.”

MJ Tafisi update

Redshirt freshman linebacker MJ Tafisi was carted off the field during the third quarter of Saturday’s win over Arizona. After staying down after a hit, Tafisi was strapped to a backboard and gave the crowd a thumbs up as he road toward the tunnel. Petersen said after the game that Tafisi was taken to a local hospital where they were running final tests. Later that night, a UW spokesman said Tafisi was able to ride plane home with the team.

“He obviously got a significant stinger,” Petersen said, “and our doctors and trainers are so awesome in terms of how quickly they respond, how careful they are with those types of things.”

On Monday, Petersen said Tafisi didn’t suffer a concussion. He was checked both by doctors in Arizona and again when he returned to Seattle. Tafisi has been with the Huskies for team meetings this week.

“I think he was kind of disoriented in what happened,” Petersen said. “When you watch the hit — we looked at it a bunch — it was a shoulder tackle just like you want. Whether his head got into it, that’s something hard to see. ... I think we’re trending in the right direction.”

Ty Jones redshirt?

Petersen has been saying for weeks that junior wide receiver Ty Jones is healthy and practicing fully after suffering an injury. He reiterated on Monday that Jones has been at full-speed for a while.

But Jones has yet to play in a game, and Petersen confirmed that Jones wanted to redshirt. Jones could take the field in up to four games this season while still preserving that option. With five games left on the schedule — not including a possible Pac-12 championship appearance and bowl game — Petersen said it’s time to start considering when Jones will see the field.

“Whether it’s the last of the games or you pick and choose your games and how he factors in,” Petersen said. “Because he has really not been factored in at all. So yeah, we’re kind of in that figuring out process.”

Jones played in all 14 games last season, starting eight. He finished with 31 receptions for 491 yards and six touchdowns.

Extra points

The Huskies returned to the AP top 25 this week at No. 25. Oregon is the highest-ranked Pac-12 team at No. 12. Utah is 13th and Arizona State is 17th. … UW junior Ryan Bowman was named the Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the Week. He had two tackles, a tackle for loss, a sack and an interception against Arizona. … Oregon tight end Jacob Breeland will miss the remainder of the season after a suffering an injury last week. He was leading the Ducks with 26 receptions for 405 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 15.6 yards per catch.

Lauren Kirschman is the UW Huskies beat writer for The News Tribune. She previously covered the Pittsburgh Steelers for A Pennsylvania native and a University of Pittsburgh graduate, she also covered college athletics for the Beaver County Times from 2012-2016.
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