Huskies Insider Blog

Sarkisian: No 'ceiling' on DT rookie Shelton

Editor's note: Thanks to Scott Johnson, of the Everett Herald, for passing along a few notes from practice Monday in Montlake.

Danny Shelton, the brick wall.

Danny Shelton, the bowling ball.

Danny Shelton, a starting defensive tackles at the UW?

Too early to call that, but the true freshman from Auburn - who, incidentally at 334 pounds is the second-largest human on the team next to offensive lineman James Atoe (337) - is picking up the pace at the Huskies' fall camp.

With returner Alameda Ta'amu (wrist) battling soreness and in and out of workouts, defensvie coordinator Nick Holt is giving Shelton and redshirt freshman Lawrence Lagafuaina a long look at that spot.

After a good scrimmage, Shelton was a topic UW coach Steve Sarkisian broached after practice Monday.

"I thought Danny had a nice scrimmage on Saturday," Sarkisian said. "It’s hard – you run 100 plays, and there’s so much stuff going on, it’s hard to appreciate a nose tackle. But he had a nice scrimmage on Saturday. He was a real factor.

"The installation (of scheme) is basically complete. Now we can really focus on his fundamentals and his technique. And it’s showing up, definitely."

Asked what expectations he holds for his talented newcomer, Sarkisian said he wasn't going to put a cap on what Shelton - or the other impact freshmen - might do in 2011.

"I’d just like them to play," Sarkisian said. "And hopefully as coaches, we can get them in the positions to do the things that they do well so that they can have some success and still be developing their confidence on the field."

Other stuff:

* The nod for the starting punting job between 2009 starter Will Mahan and incumbent Kiel Rasp will go down to the end of the week.

Even with that, Sarkisian said he expects both to be involved in the game plan.

* Linebacker Cort Dennison (leg) and defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu (wrist) were full participants and experienced no new issues. Running back Chris Polk (knee), cornerback Quinton Richardson (ankle) and linebacker Jordan Wallace (knee) remained out.

* After watching Anthony Gobern spend a few days as mainly the second cornerback to Desmond Trufant with the first-string defense, sophomore Gregory Ducre was back with the No. unit.

So, too, was weakside linebacker Princeton Fuimaono, who was replaced for the scrimmage by Garret Gilliland.

* Receiver Cody Bruins (persoal reasons) had missed a few practices in a row late lats week, but returned to the team Monday. But William Chandler remained the primary holder on kicks.