March 30, 2004
The Washington football team will begin its annual Spring Football practices Thursday, April 1. The Huskies will hold a total of 15 practices, including the team's Spring Game on Saturday, April 24. Husky second-year coach Keith Gilbertson welcomes 48 letterwinners back from last season's team that posted a 6-6 record and placed fifth in the Pac-10 with a 4-4 league record. Spring practices are open to credentialed UW media only, and are closed to the general public.
Washington has six returners back on offense including senior wide receiver Charles Frederick, a first-team All-Pac-10 pick last season as a special teams player. Also returning on offense will be senior tackle Khalif Barnes, sophomore guard Clay Walker, junior guard Tusi Sa'au, sophomore tight end Ben Bandel and senior fullback Zach Tuiasosopo.
Frederick returns as the Huskies' top pass catcher. He grabbed 59 passes for 831 yards and five scores last season. He led the Pac-10 in punt returns last year with a 11.72 average, ranking 23rd in the nation.
A trio of quarterbacks will be competing for Cody Pickett's vacated position. Pickett finished as Washington's all-time passing leader, throwing for 9,946 yards. Junior Casey Paus completed 10 of 23 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns last year while sophomore Isaiah Stanback completed both of his attempts for 18 yards. Stanback also played receiver last season, catching 10 passes for 143 yards. Also expected to figure in the mix for playing time at quarterback is redshirt freshman Carl Bonnell.
The Husky defense also returns six starters from last season including Derrick Johnson, who was a second-team All-Pac-10 pick in 2003 after intercepting six passes. Manase Hopoi is the lone returning starter from the defensive line while Tim Galloway is back at linebacker. Sam Cunningham, who started six times at cornerback returns to the secondary as well as free safety Jimmy Newell, Evan Benjamin was a starter at strong safety last year and moves to outside linebacker this spring.
Washington will conduct spring practices on April 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22 and 24. Scrimmages are scheduled for April 9 at 4 p.m. and Apr. 17 at 10:00 a.m. Washington's annual Coaches Clinic will be held April 16 and 17.
Weekday practices are scheduled for 3:40 p.m. at Husky Stadium. Practice on Sat., Apr. 3 is scheduled for 10:25 a.m.
Graduate Assistant Coaches
Washington coach Keith Gilbertson hired former Huskies Kyle Benn and Patrick Reddick to serve as graduate assistant coaches for the 2004 season. Benn will work with the offense while Reddick will assist the defense.
Benn was a four-year letterwinner as a three-year starter at center. He helped the Huskies lead the Pac-10 in rushing during both his sophomore and junior seasons. He was a member of the Huskies' 2000 Rose Bowl championship team and a first-team all-Pac-10 selection as a senior. Reddick earned four letters at Washington as a wide receiver. He played from 1997 to 2002, earning a rare sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA due to knee injuries that prevented him from playing in 1998 and 1999. He appeared in 41 games and caught 76 passes during his career for 948 yards and four scores.
Several Huskies will miss or be limited during spring practices due to injuries. The list includes: Charles Frederick (shoulder), Jason Benn (shoulder), Dashon Goldson (shoulder), Joe Toledo (back), Joe Lobendahn (knee), Tusi Sa'au (back) and Rob Meadow (knee). Justin Robbins (knee) will no longer play football, but will assist the staff as a student-coach.
Several players will move to new positions this spring. That includes: Stanley Daniels (DT to OT), Tui Alailefaleula (DT to OT), Graham Lasee (DE to TE), James Sims (SS to FB), Andy Heater (TE to DE) and Manase Hopoi (DE to DT).