Demitrius Bronson, a sophomore from Kentwood High, lingered a half-hour after practice, hitting a blocking sled in solitude, working on his pass-blocking skills — all part of his recent move to fullback.
Football depth charts are a little like Newton’s law — for every action, there’s a corresponding reaction.
So as true freshmen Jesse Callier and Deontae Cooper move their way up the depth chart at tailback, something has had to give.
The reaction to their action was in evidence Thursday as Demitrius Bronson, a sophomore from Kentwood High, lingered a half-hour after practice, hitting a blocking sled in solitude, working on his pass-blocking skills — all part of his recent move to fullback.
Coaches haven’t made it a permanent switch yet and Bronson saw some time at tailback as well.
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But with veterans Johri Fogerson and Chris Polk also returning at tailback, coaches have told Bronson that if he wants to see the field, he might want to figure out how to play fullback.
“What they throw at me, I’m going to take it,” Bronson said. “Whether I like it or not, it’s the name of the game. Coach tells you do to something, you’ve got to do it and run with it.”
That Bronson was doing just that was apparent as he pulled out a sled shortly after practice ended — and after doing some extra work catching passes — then spent a few minutes hitting it as the field cleared. Soon, he was the only player remaining, departing about a half-hour after practice had officially ended.
“I’ve got to play catchup,” he said. “At the fullback spot you are taking on a lot of bigger guys and you have to know how to take them on, so I’m just working on my technique for blocking.”
A year ago, Bronson’s future at tailback seemed bright as he emerged as one of the stars of the spring. But he’s struggled at times to hold onto the ball (he lost a fumble against Washington State) and the emergence of Polk and the move of Fogerson from safety last fall — and now the addition of Cooper and Callier this spring — has made tailback suddenly a deep spot for the Huskies.
“I’m taking it as a goal,” Bronson said of fullback. “It’s a move that the coaches feel I’ll get on the field a little bit more. Whether I’m at fullback or tailback, I’m going to compete my butt off to get on the field.”
Kickoff rules change impacts UW return team
The NCAA announced a few rules changes Thursday, including one that will impact the Huskies next season by eliminating wedge blocking on kickoffs (three or more players banding together to run ahead of the returner). That change goes into affect this fall.
“The second half of (last) year, we became a wedge kickoff return team, which the majority of our conference is, so that’s affected us,” said UW coach Steve Sarkisian. “We’ll have to change schemes on kickoff returns, not completely but subtly, as will everyone else.”
Sarkisian said coaches knew the change might be coming so UW has already been working on changes to its kickoff teams.
The NCAA also revised a taunting rule beginning in 2011 allowing officials to nullify touchdowns if they throw a flag for taunting during the play. Sarkisian said that will also require some talks with his team.
“It kind of hits you because you put in a lot of time and effort and work and a guy (referee) makes a decision because he thinks a guy is high-stepping or taunting or diving into the end zone and that could cost you a touchdown that could cost you to win a football game,” Sarkisian said. “So that’s concerning. We’re going to have to address it and address it hard.”
• UW practiced in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts Thursday and there were no apparent new injuries. Center Greg Christine was limited with a case of turf toe.
• UW will practice Saturday at 1 p.m. but it won’t be a scrimmage on the scale of last week. The school is hosting its annual coaches clinic this weekend.
• The school announced that the April 30 spring game will be taped and condensed into a 90-minute show that will be replayed on UWTV May 1 at 8 p.m. and then on FSN-Northwest three times later beginning on May 3. The game will also be broadcast live on KJR-AM.
• Writers for SportsIllustrated.com and The New York Times were each in town Thursday to write stories on Jake Locker.
• The school will soon mail out postcards featuring Locker’s picture and some statistics and other information to college football writers around the country as part of an attempt to raise further awareness of Locker’s Heisman Trophy hopes.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.