Huskies Insider Blog

Here is another tight end who catches long passes

He is one degree of separation from star tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins in terms of jersey number, and a million degrees in expectations.

Cameron Salley still resides in relative anonymity as an invited walk-on at the University of Washington.

But the Central Kitsap High graduate, who last played football at the University of Puget Sound (NCAA Division III) in 2009, has made some sort of an impression - so much he was even mentioned by coach Steve Sarkisian after practice Thursday.

"We've been doing quite ... a lot of two tight sets with Austin and Michael (Hartvigson), as well as Evan Hudson, and Cameron Salley has shown up too at that spot," Sarkisian said. "I think it's been good to us. We've created alot of big plays in the passing game and the running game because of it, so I think we'll stay the course and it'll be a part of our offense."

Now hold on a minute if you think Salley is on the verge of overtaking the returners. At 6-foot-4, 236 ppounds, he is a bit undersized to be a regular, but it is conceivable to think he could be an H-back - coming out of the backfield as a pass-catcher.

"My thing is catching the ball," Salley said. "I am trying to work on my blocking. It is coming along."

But No. 87 in the huddle is catching passes from Keith Price, Nick Montana and Derrick Brown with much of the same ease as No. 88 (Seferian-Jenkins) so far in the first week of fall camp.

When Salley graduated from high school in 2009, he was 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds. He chose UPS over the UW because he felt he wasn't big enough to try NCAA Division I football.

Salley endured an 0-9 season with the Loggers in 2009, which was former coach Phil Willenbrock's final year. Jeff Thomas was hired a few months later.

Salley participated in spring ball with UPS in 2010, but left the program - and university.

Working a summer labor job at Robinson Mechanical, Inc. in Bremerton, Salley said an idea came to him one day,

"I was like, 'I have one life to live,'" Salley said. "I’ve got one chance, and I am going for it. It was pretty big."

Last fall, he enrolled at Olympic College to finish his two-year degree. And with help from former UW assistant Dick Baird, Salley got in contact with Sarkisian and the staff about joining the team for spring ball.

"I've picked things up pretty fast," Salley said. "In high school, we ran a pro-style offense that was similar to this one."

NOTESOne of Sarkisian’s first recruits, linebacker Victor Burnett, was dismissed from the team Thursday for "violation of team rules." The Los Angeles product redshirted last season – after enrolling in the spring of 2009. … Four injured players – safeties Taz Stevenson (knee) and Evan Zeger (hamstring), and defensive linemen Semisi Tokolahi (foot) and Sione Potoa’e (knee) – are making their way back to action. All of them were in pads Thursday. Tokolahi did some individual contact work against the sled, but Sarkisian is uncertain when the junior will return to live action. … Cornerback Marquis Persley (left leg) had his upper leg wrapped early in practice and was a limited participant. In fact he was hobbled noticeably. ... Sarkisian identified true freshman John Timu – who played ahead of Garret Gilliland with the starting defense at outside linebacker Thursday – and strong safety Sean Parker as the most impressive players of fall camp so far. … Sarkisian noted he will know more about the status of incoming freshmen Marvin Hall (receiver) and Kyle Lewis (running back) in the next seven days. Both are having NCAA Clearinghouse eligibility issues. ... The team held two animated 11-on-11 periods over on the East practice field, which has new turf. Once Husky Stadium closes for renovation on Nov. 6, that is where the team will practice full time. ... The team will be in full pads starting Friday - and hold its first two-a-day sessions Saturday.