Huskies Insider Blog

As the world turns . . . in the UW defensive backfield

Cornerback was a hot topic, equal to what was developing on the field (Gregory Ducre), and who was standing on crutches off of it (Quinton Richardson).

First, the news on Richardson's injured left leg from Saturday night - not much new to report. He did go in for a magnectic imaging resonance (MRI) sometime late Monday afternoon or early evening, then returned to the field for the final two-thirds of practice.

Based on the way he was hobbling around, wearing a protective boot, he is not going to be back in a few days. More like weeks. Quite possibly, because of all the cutting and back-pedaling defensive backs do, his status of uncertainty could carry into the regular season.

After practice, UW coach Steve Sarkisian reiterated the tests already conducted reveal no broken bone in the left leg. But the MRI?

"We are just trying to get if there is any other damage in there that can potentially be long term," Sarkisian said.

So, UW camp proceeds without Richardson for the time being. And it could end up being a big opportunity to shine for Ducre - whom Sarkisian singled out a year ago at this time as one of the incoming freshman he most wanted to see get on the field.

He did not exactly become the show-stopper - or pass defender - everyone had hoped for. True freshmen rarely are. And by the end of the season, he was dinged up with a shoulder injury in which he had surgery for in the offseason.

Ducre, a sophomore out of Los Angeles, missed team-period action during spring ball, but "was able to do a lot of the footwork stuff, and that's of huge importance. And then he was able to keep hearing all the (defensive) calls and things, and that's the second most important thing," Sarkisian said.

And pretty much since the outset of fall camp, he hasn't appeared to favor the shoulder defending the likes of Jermaine Kearse, James Johnson, DiAndre Campbell, even Kasen Williams - all big, physical receivers - as he has played as physical a pass-defense brand as anybody not named Desmond Trufant.

In Richardson's stead, Ducre ran with the No. 1 defense opposite of Trufant the entire way.

"He really showed up," Sarkisian said. "Sometimes a guy thinks of himself as a backup, and can almost play like a backup. Then all the sudden, they get pushed to the forefront and go with the (No. 1 unit) and that talent that we know is there comes out, and they start playing like a starter. I thought Greg did that tonight."

Make no mistake, everyone would feel a lot better if Richardson was healthy, and Ducre was the No. 3 cornerback, because a gaping hole exists without the senior from O'Dea.

But at least Ducre is willing to get in there, take a couple licks and keep at it - all encouraging signs so far.

Sarkisian identified five cornerbacks, likely in order they would play: Trufant, Richardson, Ducre, Marcus Peters and Anthony Gobern.

Other stuff:

* Easily the best catch so far of camp was made by Gig Harbor's Austin Seferian-Jenkins during 7-on-7 live period early Monday evening.

Keith Price's throw was a tad high, but the true freshman tight end hauled it in with just his left hand along the left seam - never breaking stride en route to a 77-yard touchdown.

And, of course, any time Williams even goes up for a ball, a hush around Husky Stadium can be heard.

"Those two guys are two competitive suckers. The more I'm around them - they don't not like making plays," Sarkisian said. "They don't like when the ball is thrown to them and it's a bang-bang play, and they don't catch it. You almostsee a sense of frustration in both of them, and that's a good thing."

* Williams, Cody Bruns, Devin Aguilar and Lakes High's Willis Wilson were all back taking punts early. But the staff has made a pointed effort to see if it is a role Williams can handle - and sent him back there plenty during live punt-coverage action.

* Speaking of Peters, even though Sarkisian called Monday one of the true freshman's best workouts, he did drop two interceptions without anybody around.

And later, while standing on the sideline, Peters hauled in Nick Montana's errant pass during 11-on-11 period that sailed over everybody's head. Richardson started a chorus of teasing directed toward Peters.

* Sad to report, the only scoring of the final 11-on-11 period - some 40 plays - was a safety. It came when defensive end Josh Shirley stuffed running back Johri Fogerson in the end zone on a run play.

Price was 5-of-7 for 24 yards in his three series.

* Other notes: Defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu (right wrist) will be sidelined for at least a couple days. He did no work with the team Monday. Auburn High product Danny Shelton filled in at that spot with the No. 1 defense. … Defensive tackle Sione Potoa’e (knee) and incoming safety Evan Zeger (hamstring) saw their first live-tackling work of fall camp. … Tuesday is the first scheduled scrimmage, followed by one Saturday.