UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt says Tigers' speed is biggest concern

The answer is out of Nick Holt’s mouth almost before the question is asked — what’s the biggest concern in preparing for LSU?

“The speed,” says Holt, UW’s defensive coordinator.

The Huskies open the season against LSU at 7:30 p.m. game Saturday at Husky Stadium.

In fact, LSU’s stable of fleet players includes one the school claims in its promotional material is “the fastest player to ever play college football” — senior Trindon Holliday. The 5-foot-5, 161-pounder won the NCAA 100-meter title last spring with a time of 10.0. He’s mostly a return specialist for the Tigers and has three kickoff or punt returns for TDs. But he also could see time as a running back. While Holliday is listed third on the depth chart, Holt said this week he expects to see him at some point on offense.

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Holt also said he thinks LSU will find a way to get true freshman Russell Shepard on the field. He is the team’s No. 3 QB but is a multitalented athlete who rushed for almost 2,000 yards as a senior in high school and could line up at RB or receiver for the Tigers.

“I expect to see some double passes, some tricks with him,” Holt said.

While coaches can gameplan for schemes, pure speed is a separate challenge, Holt saying that “it’s hard to simulate when you don’t have those types of athletes at every position. But we go against our (No. 1 offense) a lot and our offense is playing with good speed. So hopefully it’s not going to be too big of a shot to us.”


• Coach Steve Sarkisian announced five walk-ons were awarded scholarships for this season. The five players are: OG Gregory Christine, LB Josh Gage, LB Brandon Huppert, LB T.J. Poe and OL Nick Scott

• Sarkisian also said LB Matt Houston, OL Skyler Francher, FS Jason Wells will not play in Saturday’s game due to injuries.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com.