Aug. 14, 2005
SEATTLE - Every freshman football player has a big adjustment to make from his days in high school to his years on the college gridiron. Only a week after reporting, the Huskies' class of newcomers is fitting in nicely so far, though several mentioned Sunday that they have run into a few surprises in their brief time in the purple and gold.
"The speed is totally different," said freshman offensive lineman Ben Ossai, from Bakersfield, Calif. "From high school to college is just a big, big speed difference. If you miss a block, a guy will just fly right by you."
"I'm surprised by how much of an opportunity there is to play," freshman punter/kicker Ryan Perkins (Olympia, Wash.) said. "It's been pretty fair. We all get to show the coaches our abilities right off the bat."
Freshman tailback J.R. Hasty, from Bellevue, Wash., points to the new Conibear Shellhouse -- where the team eats its meals and, once school starts, will go for academic support -- as a pleasant surprise.
"The crewhouse is a really nice," Hasty said. "I thought it was going to be nice, but not this nice."
"I'm surprised at how well everyone gets along with everyone else and how much they take you in as a teammate so quickly," Hasty continued.
With two-a-day practices yet to begin, perhaps the newcomers have yet to face their biggest challenges of the fall camp. Nonetheless, they all profess to liking things thusfar.
"I'm enjoying it all," Ossai says. "The Picture Day yesterday was cool. I didn't know there would be all those people there. It was exciting."
Perkins was also impressed with the turnout at Saturday's Picture Day. "I met a lot of people that really love UW football," he said. "We really got to see and meet the true Husky fans."
Sunday afternoon, it was back to business for the Dawgs as practice resumed after free time for much of the morning.
As one of a large corps of tailbacks, Hasty has his work cut out for him as far as working his way up the pecking order. However, he's happy with his progress so far.
"I feel like I'm keeping up pretty well," Hasty said. "It's a really fast pace, but I think I'm learning as much as everyone else. The older guys have an edge because of spring practice, but I think I'm catching up."
In other news Sunday, Coach Tyrone Willingham informed the press Sunday that a new addition has been made to the Huskies' fall camp roster as outside linebacker Joshua Gage has joined the team. Gage is a true freshman from Edison High in Huntington Beach, Calif.