Huskies Insider Blog

To update, UW lineup status heading into scrimmage

Always a talker piece - getting to those lineup issues. Generally, the starting position groups that are pretty much settled are quarterback, tailback, tight end, offensive line, cornerback and placekicker.

With one scrimmage, then another week remaining, let's look at how it all stacks up:

QUARTERBACKStarter: Keith Price.Backup: Nick MontanaSkinny: While at times Price's accuracy has waned in fall camp, he still shows the best command of the offense. Personally, I'd suggest giving true freshman Derrick Brown a real shot at the backup spot, but to his credit, Montana (despite a couple careless interceptions per practice) has looked better as of late.

RUNNING BACKStarter: Chris Polk (out two weeks after knee surgery).Backup: Jesse Callier.Skinny: At this point, assume the UW coaching staff will not utilize Bishop Sankey's redshirt season. He has made explosive plays, including a 65-yard TD run Friday night. Wish he would get a few more plays against the No. 1 defense ahead of Johri Fogerson.

WIDE RECEIVERStarter: Jermaine Kearse.Other contenders: Devin Aguilar, Kasen Williams, Kevin Smith.Backups: James Johnson, DiAndre Campbell, Cody Bruns.Skinny: Deepest position group, by numbers and talent (and it isn't really even close). All seven receivers could see snaps during games this season. Right now, Kearse is the mainstay - a team captain - and should be the leader. If the decision were up to yours truly, the starting three-receiver set on most downs would be Kearse, Williams and Smith. Cornerbacks would shiver in their cleats at that sight.

TIGHT ENDStarter(s): Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Michael Hartvigson.Backup: Evan Hudson.Skinny: Will be fascinating to see how coaches use these two, along with fullback Jonathan Amosa, in certain situations. With Seferian-Jenkins' dependable hands down the field, and Hartvigson solid in pass-catching and blocking, an area of weakness in the past has suddenly shot up to be a strength.

OFFENSIVE LINEStarters: LT Senio Kelemete, LG Colin Tanigawa, C Drew Schaefer, RG Colin Porter, RT Erik Kohler.Backups: Micah Hatchie (LT), Nick Wood (LG), Mike Criste (C/LG), James Atoe (RG), Skyler Fancher (RG), Ben Riva (RT).Skinny: The most pleasant devleopment of camp, the starting five are solid heading into the season opener. Tanigawa has opened eyes with his nastiness and physicality, and Kohler looks recovered from spring-game knee injury.

DEFENSIVE LINEStarters: DT Alameda Ta'amu, DE Hau'oli Jamora, DE/DT Everrette Thompson.Contenders: DT Danny Shelton, DE Talia Crichton.Backups: DT Sione Potoa'e, DT Semisi Tokolahi, DT Lawrence Lagafuaina, DE Andrew Hudson, DE/Rush end Josh Shirley.Skinny: The emergence of Shelton in just two weeks has given the coaching staff, including defensive coordinator Nick Holt, something to ponder. My guess is when Sept. 3 rolls around, Crichton would start at one defensive end spot, and Thompson would move inside. Ultimately, I think the best lineup would be starting Shelton next to Ta'amu, and having Thompson on the outside as the best run-stopper on the edge.

LINEBACKERStarters: MLB Cort Dennison, OLB John Timu (strongside) and OLB Princeton Fuimaono (weakside).Backups: Garret Gilliland (MLB) and Thomas Tutogi.Skinny: In the first week, Timu's speed and range overtook Gilliland for one of the outside spots. What was kind of a surprise Friday night was that UW coach Steve Sarkisian declared this quintet as the ones who would play when the season starts, leaving the likes of Jamaal Kearse and Cooper Pelluer on the outside looking in. Still, arugably the biggest question-mark group on the team.

CORNERBACKStarters: Desmond Trufant, Quinton Richardson (currently out 2-3 weeks with high ankle sprain).Backups: Gregory Ducre, Anthony Gobern.Skinny: Ducre and Gobern are in a heated battle to start if Richardson misses any games. Or it could be a share-by-committee arrangement, too, since neither guy has distinguished himself. When healthy, the Trufant-Richardson duo is clearly superior.

SAFETYStarter: Sean Parker (SS).Contenders: Nate Fellner (FS), Justin Glenn (FS).Backups: Will Shamburger, Taz Stevenson, Greg Walker, James Sample.Skinny: At this point, two-thirds of the way into fall camp, it would be difficult NOT to see Glenn start over Fellner - he has arguably had the second-best camp of any defensive back other than Trufant. With Glenn, you get better instinct. With Fellner, you get a head-hunting hitting beast. Coaches must decide, or could platoon. Parker has created the necessary space at strong safety to win the job.

PUNTER/PLACEKICKERStarter: PK Erik Folk.Contenders: P Will Mahan, P Kiel Rasp.Backup: PK Eric Guttorp.Skinny: Dead heat in the punter race - Mahan had a good year in 2009, but is coming off injury, and Rasp had a good year in 2010 - should be decided after the scrimmage today. I think Rasp has the edge, just in overall health and the impact he made last season.

RETURNERSKickoff contenders: Jesse Callier, Kevin Smith, Kasen Williams.Punt contenders: Kasen Williams, Devin Augilar, Cody Bruns.Skinny: What is becoming increasinly clear - coaches want Williams involved in this phase. Would not be surprising to see the true freshman start at punt returner, or get in on both return jobs.