Aug. 16, 2010
Updated to include Monday night's practice.
SEATTLE - There were plaudits thrown around from the entire Huskies coaching staff after Monday night's practice, one of the best so far since Fall Camp began. Both sides of the ball made significant plays, up and down the depth chart. Cody Bruns snagged a pair of touchdown passes from QB Keith Price, including a nice sliding catch in the corner of the end zone for a 25-yard score ... Safety Sean Parker came through with a sack and a monster hit during 11-on-11 drills ... Offensive tackle Erik Kohler drew the attention of coaches with a pancake block of a pass-rusher during 1-on-1 drills ... Safety Taz Stevenson and linebacker Cort Dennison each came through with interceptions, the latter picking off a tipped pass ... Jake Locker made a pinpoint accurate throw during the 11-on-11 portion that resulted in a 35-yard touchdown to Jermaine Kearse ... Demitrius Bronson had a beautiful cutback run for a TD in the red zone simulations ... Erik Folk was 4-for-4 on FG attempts, including a booming 46-yard effort.
A cool opening morning of the second week of Fall Camp at Washington offered a respite from the recent heat wave that has gripped the Puget Sound region. But while the Huskies wore just helmets in Monday's early practice, the competition aspect of their preparations never changed.
The quarterbacks made their mark with several standout plays, most notably the 70-yard touchdown Nick Montana heaved to DiAndre Campbell. During the two-minute drills, Locker highlighted his morning with a 30-yard strike to Kearse, which set up a 39-yard field goal from Folk. On defense, Justin Glenn made a nice play with a diving effort to knock down a pass. After tonight's workout, the Huskies have four more two-a-day workouts left before the preparations begin, in earnest, for BYU on Aug. 30.
Another reminder, the first official scrimmage for the Huskies will be Tuesday, Aug. 17 at 3:00 p.m.
Q&A with Nate Williams
When Steve Sarkisian met with the media before the start of Fall Camp, the Huskies football coach confidently said Nate Williams was the most knowledgeable defensive player on his roster. As a safety, Williams is typically the last defender that separates an opponent from the end zone, so it's imperative to know the schemes inside and out to prevent confusion. The senior from nearby Renton, Wash., is heading into his final season at UW leading a deep group of defensive backs, which should give the Huskies some level of comfort going against the strong quarterbacks the rest of the Pac-10 typically puts out. In a Q&A with GoHuskies.com correspondent Kyle MacDonald, Williams talks about the new fangled depth among the DBs, his plans after college and the responsibilities of being the defensive leader.
GoHuskies.com: So you've started every game when healthy the last two seasons. What did you work on in the offseason to get better?
Williams: I've just worked on my eyes really; just to be able to recognize everything I need to with my run reads and my pass reads and everything like that. That was really one of the main things coming out of last year that coach wanted me to work on. So that's really what I worked on in the offseason, so my eyes and recognizing things.
GH.com: With four safeties starting at some point last season, is it more competitive within the group?
Williams: Yeah, it does. We're always out here competing every day though. So having a couple more guys out there--we could easily play because I could get hurt, Will could get hurt so everyone has to be ready to play so it raises the level of competition a lot and makes us all great in the end
GH.com: Can you describe how it is preparing for Pac-10 quarterbacks like Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, and Nick Foles?
Williams: When we're watching tape on them we're trying to get any kind of tips and keys that we can like when they drop back if they like to watch their receiver the whole way or if they look off or what they do with their hands. That's really what we look at whenever we're watching tape on them. They're all really great quarterbacks and we just try our hardest to get as many keys and tips off of them that we can.
GH.com: How does having a quarterback like Jake Locker help you to prepare for those guys?
Williams: Playing against Jake in practice everyday makes it a little easier playing against the other quarterbacks because honestly you're not going to find another quarterback like Jake in our conference or any other conference. He's a heck of an athlete and a great player. Playing against him makes it a little easier whenever we see other quarterbacks because Jake can run and pass and we're out here tackling him and covering his routs everyday so it makes us better and that's really what coach talks about, making each other great players. We have to make Jake the best he can be and he has to make me the best I can be. So that's what we're doing here every day; we're just out here having fun all the time.
GH.com: How does this year's defensive back group compare to last year's group?
Williams: We have more depth this year. Last year, we were obviously really thin and a couple of true freshmen had to play. So we have two new guys in this year -- Taz Stevenson and Sean Parker. They've both shown a lot of heart and they're both really smart. They just need to learn their plays a little more first. Other than that we have me, Will Shamburger, Nate Fellner, Greg Walker, Justin Glenn and Marquis Persley. So that's six of us right there. That's the most depth we've had my whole time being here. That's the main difference from last year to this year.
GH.com: As a defensive leader, how do you call the plays/audibles?
Williams: We'll have a call in the huddle and whatever set the offense comes out in, if it's a certain set then we have to check a certain thing. It's usually me or the free safety that's calling the checks. We give the checks to the linebackers and the corners. Then the linebackers give it to the defensive line. So we really have to be the quarterbacks of the defense back there, and we really take pride in that, making sure that whenever we have to check anything that we make sure it all gets checked down.
GH.com: Is there any specific game or matchup you're looking forward to this year?
Williams: I really like taking it one game at a time. Obviously the WSU game, the Oregon game, it's kind of a heated rivalry between us. The UCLA game I'm looking forward to as well because it's my last home game. I'm just trying to take everything in this year, enjoy it as much as I can because it's my last year here. I'm just going to be out here having fun the whole year.
GH.com: What are your plans after the season ends?
Williams: I haven't really figured out what I'm going to do yet. I'm just worried about this year, hanging out with my boys on the team, just enjoying this while it lasts. Then when the season's over I'll start worrying about that but as of now I just want to take care of this season, try the hardest I can, and have the greatest year a senior possibly could have. That's really what I wan to do here so I'm just worried about that first, and whatever happens after that happens.