Huskies Insider Blog

'Tribute to Troy' becoming a tune of blatant misery at UW

It is Steve Sarkisian's tribute to unsettling one's senses.

Particularly hearing.

Last season, as the UW prepared for its visit to Notre Dame, the Irish fight song blared loudly throughout practice for one day (Wednesday) before the team left.

This week, it's a whole different animal.

For every practice since Monday, USC's fight song, 'Tribute to Troy,' has been excessively played for nearly every minute of workouts.

In fact, Sarkisian signaled to Jared Blank, the team's director of player personnel (in charge of such tedious tasks of selecting music for different days), to turn up the volume.

"There is something wrong with our speakers," said Sarkisian, apparently dissatisfied that the volume was not deafening and disruptive enough.

Then he poked at insubordination as the reason.

"Jared might not have wanted to turn it up very loud," Sarkisian said. "I think he's a little tired of it."

After 108 turns over a two-hour period, aren't you, coach?

"I've learned to love being miserable," Sarkisian said. "Sometimes when you hear a song over and over, it can make you miserable. I kind of enjoy it now."

A Seattle-area reporter suggested he could have repeated a DIFFERENT tune.

"Yeah, but (the Trojans) just have a tendency to play that one a lot," the former USC assistant responded.

Other nuggets of truth:

• Seeing more of Marlion Barnett on the football field? He's an emerging entity in the revolving door that is the tight end group.

Chris Izbicki is technically still the starter, but when the UW goes to its quick passing game – and that could be a lot Saturday – Barnett can be found splitting out and running intermediate routes.

The redshirt freshman from Corona, Calif. – also the first recruit to commit after Tyrone Willingham was released at the end of 2008 – is a speedy, sure-handed target for quarterback Jake Locker to survey.

"They knew I could run, they knew I could catch a little bit but they did want me to focus on blocking, too," Barnett said. "But when the ball did get passed my way, they expect me to catch it."

Barnett drew his first career start against Nebraska, catching one pass. Against Syracuse, he hauled in a career-high two passes, both for first downs.

He learned valuable lessons last season sitting out about how to play the game.

"I was on scout team versus Daniel Te'o-Nesheim every day," Barnett said. "That woke me up to a lot of stuff. It's the whole physicality and you have to do everything right, day in and day out."

Adding weight will be a constant emphasis. He came to UW at 215. As of Monday, he was up to 225 – and expects to get to 240-245 by the time he finishes up his career.

• The first day of fall quarter started Wednesday. With it comes more on the pile for the football players than there has been the first four weeks of the regular season.

The biggest adjustment?

"Getting up (early) and going to lift, going to school and having the mindset to get ready and bring it in practice," UW receiver Jermaine Kearse said.

• Quick-hit stuff: Practice ended early for outside linebacker

Victor Aiyewa

(finger), who dislocated it during an early drill. He went immediately sent off for X-rays. Sarkisian said he would be "shocked" if the senior did not play Saturday at USC. Meanwhile,

Matt Houston

ran with the No. 1 defense in his place. … Running back

Johri Fogerson

(upper leg) is out for Saturday. The only work he put in Wednesday was on the stationary bike and working the medicine ball with

Marques Tuiasosopo

. …

Former walk-on Daniel Kanczugowski is now the team's No. 3 offensive tackle, and has been playing on the right side of the line. … This week, Nathan Fellner has been getting twice as many repetitions at starting free safety as Will Shamburger. The ratio was closer to 50-50 at the beginning of the season. "He's just playing a little better right now," Sarkisian said. …

Justin Glenn, who started at free safety last season before suffering a gruesome lower-leg injury at Notre Dame, has worked his way back into the fray for playing time. He has been running as the No. 2 free safety (with Shamburger, too) alongside Sean Parker. "He's earning his way up, definitely," Sarkisian said. "He looks a lot healthier to me. His suddenness is better. I think his own belief in his leg is better."