Aug. 13, 2008
SEATTLE - The Washington football fall practice season neared its halfway point Wednesday. Now in its 10th day, the camp runs essentially through Saturday, Aug. 23, before thing switch over to more of a regular-season, game-week mode.
The afternoon practice featured an sideline appearance from former UW quarterback and baseball pitcher Johnny Durocher, currently a member (though injured) of the Seattle Mariners organization.
The morning brought a familiar face back to the sidelines during practice as Hall of Fame former coach Don James was on hand for the first time this season. Last week, former UW player, assistant coach and head coach Jim Lambright watched on during practice.
Coach James likely took a look at the numerous talented newcomers practicing with the Dawgs. Among them is freshman defensive end Everrette Thompson, from Seattle's Kennedy High School. Thompson was one of the better-known names in his class of recruits and has made a solid showing in the camp thusfar.
GoHuskies.com had a chance to catch up with Thompson. Here's what he had to say:
How's has fall camp been treating you?
"It's been cool, just learning everything Coach Hart is giving us - information about defenses and stuff."
Defensive line is one of the biggest question marks heading in to the season. Are you feeling the pressure to perform?
"Well, I'm just trying to learn my keys and all my stuff so I can better the team and the D-Line as a whole. I'm just trying to do my part right now."
Sophomore Nate Williams was a high school teammate of your's. Has he been helping you out as you make the transition to college football?
"Yeah, Nate has taken me under his wing from the get-go. He gave me some pointers and hints coming into camp about what to expect and he's been there for me."
Now you're coming straight from high school, and now you're playing for a Defensive Coordinator, Ed Donatell, that coached in the NFL for a long time. Have there been any technical obstacles in learning his system?
"Coach Donatell ... he's cool. I mean, yeah I am straight from high school and he's an NFL-experienced D-Coordinator, but he just goes around helping everyone with their techniques and stuff."
What's been the biggest thing you've had to get used to adjusting to the college game?
"Probably just staying within the scheme of the defense. I tended to be kind of a ball hog in high school, trying to make every play, but you have to be more disciplined in this scheme and just play your key."
You played on both sides of the ball in high school as a tight end and defensive end, and now you're strictly defense. Do you miss playing tight end at all?
"Yeah, just a little bit. I miss scoring touchdowns, but I'm still good with just DE. I like defense."