Huskies Insider Blog

Day 1: Notes and observations from Huskies first newcomers practice

After the veterans practiced for about two hours this morning at Husky Stadium, the rest of the Huskies’ roster – newcomers and redshirt freshmen, mostly – took the field for a 4 p.m. workout of roughly the same length.

We have a few notes and observations from the night session.

--- First, a rundown of which players were in attendance. The short version: everyone on the roster who wasn’t at the morning practice was there this afternoon (with the exception of Budda Baker, who is ill).

QB (3) – Jake Browning, Tony Rodriguez, *Anthony Berg

RB (4) – Myles Gaskin, Jomon Dotson, Ralph Kinne, Gavin McDaniel

WR (8) – *Jamon Jones, Andre Baccellia, Quinten Pounds, Drew Before, Nik Little, Max Richmond, *Forrest Dunivin, John Gardner

TE (3) – David Ajamu, Michael Neal, *Connor Griffin

OL (6) – Henry Roberts, Cory Fuavai, Jared Hilbers, Trey Adams, John Turner, Devin Burleson

DL (9) – Joe Mathis, Benning Potoa’e, Bryce Sterk, Vita Vea, *Jared Pulu, *John Clark, Ricky McCoy, Shane Bowman, Jason Scrempos, Greg Gaines

LB (7) – Jusstis Warren, Kyler Manu, DJ Beavers, Ben Burr-Kirven, *Gerran Brown, Matt Preston, Ian Biddle

DB (7) – Austin Joyner, Jojo McIntosh, *Dustin Bush, Jordan Miller, Ezekiel Turner, Trevor Walker, Sean Vergara

Specialists (3) – Tristan Vizcaino, A.J. Carty, *Sebastian Valerio

The oldest non-newcomer in that group is Trevor Walker, who is back after missing spring following ACL surgery.

*Denotes walk-on who is new to the roster this fall. There are obviously a few other walk-ons listed -- such as Gardner, Richmond, McDaniel, etc. -- but those players have been with the team since at least spring.

--- Browning threw high and incomplete on his first couple throws, but settled down and hit a few nice throws during the first 7-on-7 session, including strikes over the middle to Pounds and Ajamu. The freshman quarterback also threw a nice deep ball intended for walk-on receiver John Gardner, but walk-on defensive back Sean Vergara came over to make a nice play and break it up.

During the final 11-on-11 period, Browning led the offense to the 9-yard line before a short pass to walk-on receiver Forrest Dunivin came up a few yards short of the goal line on fourth down. Prior to that, Browning had extended the drive with a really nice swing pass to Dotson out of the backfield, hitting the tailback in stride before Dotson ran for a gain of about 25 yards.

--- JUCO transfer Tony Rodriguez, whom coach Chris Petersen said will likely redshirt this season, practiced for the first time as a Husky. He has a bit of an odd release – sort of shotput style, in a way – but he showed a pretty accurate arm tonight. He had a nice throw to walk-on tight end Connor Griffin – the former Gonzaga basketball player – during a 7-on-7 period, and later completed a pass in stride to Gardner running up the left sideline.

Of course, Rodriguez also threw the only interception of the practice, a pass that Preston tipped in the air and eventually corralled for the pick.

--- If you didn’t know any better, you might have thought Hau’oli Kikaha was back in his No. 8 uniform on Saturday night. Benning Potoa’e wears that number now, and the touted freshman certainly looks the part, right down to the long hair flowing from the back of his helmet (he’s actually listed at 6-foot-3, 270 pounds, about 25 pounds heavier than Kikaha was listed at least season, if you were curious). Potoa’e is a big dude, and on the second play of the first 11-on-11 session, he blew past the right tackle and stopped the tailback’s progress by grabbing his jersey with one hand. It was just one play in a no-pads, no-contact practice of course, but you can see why the former Lakes High star had so many scholarship offers.

--- Griffin, a 6-4, 235-pound tight end, had a pretty nice first practice. In addition to the aforementioned pass from Rodriguez, he also caught about a 15-yard pass from Browning near the right sideline, and nearly came down with a leaping grab amid coverage from redshirt freshman safety Jojo McIntosh.

--- It means approximately nothing at this point, but just for kicks, here’s what the first-team offensive line looked like: Trey Adams, Henry Roberts, John Turner, Jared Hilbers and Devin Burleson.

--- Rodriguez’s series during the final 11-on-11 period ended when Joe Mathis burned Burleson off the edge, recording the “sack” despite what was pretty much a bear-hug of a hold by Burleson. That was five plays after Rodriguez connected with Dunivin for completions of 15 and seven yards, then sandwiched incompletions around a 6-yard carry by Gavin McDaniel.

--- Same schedule tomorrow – veterans at 10:30 a.m., newcomers at 4 p.m. They’ll have just one practice per day beginning Monday.

Christian Caple can be reached at Twitter: @ChristianCaple