By Gregg Bell
UW Director of Writing
SEATTLE – His leg is fractured. His foot has ligaments displaced.
But two things for sure aren’t broken on Kasen Williams: His spirit and determination.
Two weeks following the junior wide receiver’s surgery to repair a broken fibula and foot displacement that ended his junior season, Williams caught a round of passes shot out of a JUGS passing machine that was maybe 15 yards away from him Tuesday morning after practice at the Dempsey Indoor facility.
And he did it on one leg.
He was standing on the track that rings the indoor field in a helmet and hoodie, one leg while propped against a high-tech brace/crutch that supported his bent, injured leg, UW’s leading receiver in 2012 caught just about every ball shot at him for approximately 10 minutes. He even mimicked the chopping of his arms getting into the break of his route before each catch.
It was the same routine Williams does alone on the side of the field after the end of most practices — when he has two, healthy legs, that is.
"Man, that was easy!" Williams declared to those gawking at his breezy exhibition.
His spirit despite having his junior year cut short by 5½ games is remarkable.
Wearing a purple UW beanie and a black, W hooded sweatshirt with the red-white-and-blue logo the Huskies wore on white helmets last weekend versus Colorado for Veterans Day, Williams beamed. He joked with teammates John Timu, Sean Parker, Shaq Thompson and others as they came off the field after practice for Friday’s game at UCLA.
Two weeks ago, Williams did flashed a W to UW fans while on the back of a cart on his way out of Husky Stadium to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center (as captured by Scott Eklund of Red Box Pictures, below). That was moments after he got hurt leaping to catch a Keith Price pass against California, and while already knowing he was likely done for the season.
The original estimate for Williams was to perhaps return to running and field workouts up to four months following surgery, so maybe into late February or just before the Huskies’ 2014 spring practice.
If the determination he’s been showing since he got hurt has any impact on his recovery, he may beat that estimate.
INSIDE THE DAWGS: UW has sold 1,410 tickets for Friday’s game, but that comes nowhere near the total of Husky fans that will be inside the Rose Bowl. That figure doesn’t include the players’ and coaches’ allotments – and almost all of them will be used, with 39 Dawgs and many of their coaches from southern California – or the number of extra tickets friends and family have obtained from other sources in the Los Angeles area. … The weather forecast for Friday in Pasadena: Ideal. Sunny, a high of 82 degrees during the day, with temperatures dropping into the 60s during the game after sunset.