Aug. 26, 2009
Fall camp has been full of surprises so far for the Huskies with impressive performances from underclassmen and veterans showing new parts of their game under the new coaching staff of Steve Sarkisian. One player that has been a steady and consistent performer throughout the camp is junior safety Nate Williams.
Williams is entering his third year at Washington and is one of the most experienced Huskies on defense. Gohuskies.com spoke with the Husky safety after a recent fall camp practice about camp, local ties and his fellow safeties.
Gohuskies.com: How are you feeling about practice now here nearing the end of camp?
Williams: "I'm feeling good. The energy is still pretty up-tempo and everything. We're out there practicing hard against each other, working out the little kinks that we have against each other and just having fun."
NW: "Actually now that Vic [Victor Aiweya] is healthy again they've been working him in and working me at free so there's still just as much competition there. Nobody has that spot locked or any of the spots locked really. So there's just as much competition with everybody and we all just compete everyday to try to do our best and just try to win that spot."
GH: Are you starting to get more excited for the LSU game now that is just over a week away?
NW: "I'm sure later on in the week when we start putting in our plan for them and watching for tape on them and hearing more about them and everything then I think I will. Now we're still in camp mode. It's the last week of camp and everyone is getting tired and they just want to get out of here because camp is long. I think later on in the week once we start to look at them a little more that it will be."
GH: As a veteran player here, how do you think camp is progressing?
NW: "I think it's great. The practice style, how up-tempo it is and how much we compete every drill, every individual thing, just everything we do is all about competition. I think it's great. I think having it open to the media and everybody, I think that motivates us more to practice harder because nobody wants to be taken up top or run over in front of all of these people out here. I think it helps us out and makes us practice harder so I really like that."
GH: Do you feel a connection to the local guys on the team, especially former fellow Kennedy Lancer Everrette Thompson?
NW: "It's still a whole team thing but me and Everrette have been playing together since we were about eight so I really feel that kind of special connection with him because I know how he likes to play and how he like to celebrate and everything. I guess with me and him we do connect a lot more. We're all a team and we do have our own friendships and everything but when it really comes down to it I'll go to war with any of these guys and they'll go to war with me too."
GH: Have you felt any extra pressure having come to Washington as a local product?
NW: "There hasn't been any added pressure really. We're all just out here for the same reason. I think most of us really do want to make it to the next level and I think that's what most of us practice for every day because you never know who is watching and why. We're all out here trying our hardest every day just trying to make plays and get our name out there."
NW: "Greg is a great player. He's really smart, and that's what I like about him. He likes to hustle a lot. This is his first year so he's still kind of tense back there. With me, I'm in my third year, and with time, you can be more relaxed. It is still his first year so at times he can be tense but he's very smart and hustles a lot. Batts on the other hand, he really hustles too. This is his first camp so he's still learning everything. He's still learning but we can definitely see the progress moving forward. We're excited to see what he can bring for us."
GH: You are really talkative on the field and on the sideline. Is that part of your game?
NW: "Coach Mills always makes us talk. He's always yelling at us, `We're too quiet out there! Safeties need to talk and be the quarterbacks of the defense. You guys need to talk more.' I'm just trying to say whatever I can to make coach happy."
GH: And the extra stuff that comes a long when you make a good play?
NW: "At times you can. That's just kind of how the game goes. We try to keep that to a minimum but as long as we are out there having fun and everyone knows that when it comes game time we all have each other's back, we can all just be out there having fun."
WEDNESDAY PRACTICE UPDATE: The Huskies had a half-pads practice Wednesday afternoon at Husky Stadium on the next-to-last day of their fall camp. Thursday, the team will practice at 8:45 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. in their final double-day of the fall.
In a long-standing annual tradition, during lunch Wednesday, players and staff had lunch with members of the 101 Club. After lunch, Coach Steve Sarkisian addressed the group as well, breaking down the team. Several of the 101 Club members also
Also, the day after former Husky head coach Don James visited practice, the Dawgs had another prominent visitor Wednesday as former Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren attended.
On the field, one noticeable difference was the fact that offense and defense spent significant time working against scout-team units, rather than the first-team offense facing the first-team defense.
Missing from practice due to injuries were tailback Chris Polk and receiver Cody Bruns, both having suffered minor issues on Tuesday. Coach Sarkisian indicated that neither was seriously hurt. In fact, the coach stated that the only players, at this point, likely to have to sit out the LSU game, are safety Jason Wells and tackle Skyler Fancher.
Make sure to check the links at the top of this page for info on in-season practices, and for information if you're attending the