Michael Hartvigson found out that John Ross is the oldest of six kids (five boys, one girl) in his family. Ross found it funny that Jake Eldrenkamp has a yellow lab named Blue.
Such are the details the Washington Huskies are discovering about each other this spring under a mandate from coach Chris Petersen. Call it Chemistry 101, a subject on which the new coach places high priority.
“You’ve got to know your neighbor in your locker room. If not, you’ll probably have a bunch of push-ups,” senior defensive lineman Evan Hudson said. “Coach Pete’s really trying to get us to know our teammates and know about them, not just know them.”
As the new UW coaching staff has gone to great lengths to reintroduce football fundamentals this spring, Petersen has also asked players to reintroduce themselves to each other. And any point, Petersen might call on a player to stand up in front of the team and present about their locker mate.
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And knowing that your neighbor forgot to wear deodorant that day isn’t going to be enough. It has to be deeper (and hopefully more hygienic) than that.
“It’s all about trying to get to know your teammates better. I think when they do that, I think it is more fun,” Petersen said. “Just because you’re on a team doesn’t make you a teammate, and it certainly doesn’t make you a good teammate.”
Hartvigson, a senior tight end from Bothell, shares a locker wall with Ross, a sophomore receiver from Long Beach, Calif. Eldrenkamp, an offensive lineman from Bellevue, sits on the other side of Ross.
“Everyone’s on the same page,” Hartvigson said, “and that’s what we need to get better at.”
Danny Shelton, a senior nose guard from Auburn, has a locker next to redshirt-freshman running back Lavon Coleman and walk-on linebacker Devon Phillips.
“It’s just random guys you sit next to, and Coach expects us to learn their life story, something new that people don’t really know,” Shelton said, adding: “Guys are really making it important, trying to learn each other’s personal lives. …
“It’s funny, but it’s serious. That’s going to really help us get to where we want to be — that championship.”
Tweet tweet, Pete
When he was at Boise State, Petersen banned players from using Twitter, the popular social media networking site. At Washington, Petersen has relaxed his stance a bit — though he hasn’t quite jumped in completely.
Petersen is the only Pac-12 coach without a Twitter profile, but he hasn’t ruled out the idea of a first Pete tweet.
On Saturday, UW players participated in a seminar with a social media strategist to educate them about “the right way” to use Twitter and other social media platforms, Petersen said.
“That’s the world we live in,” he said. “We’ve got to be able to operate in it, do it the right way, open our eyes, see what kind of message we’re throwing (out) about ourselves, the university, what our brand is going to be. Very good talk, and hopefully our guys got something out of it.”
Twitter has become a powerful tool to use for coaches in recruiting — per NCAA rules, coaches can send private messages to recruits, and many recruits now announce their college destinations on Twitter — and everyone on UW’s staff created a new Twitter profile upon arriving at UW. Everyone, that is, but Petersen.
“The only way I’m (going to do) that is because of recruiting,” he said, smiling. “So we’ll see.”
Miles, Stringfellow remain suspended
Quarterback Cyler Miles and wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow remain suspended from the team, and Petersen said Tuesday he does not have a time frame for Miles’ potential return.
Miles, linked to an assault of a Seahawks fan after the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, was not charged in the case. Stringfellow was charged with three gross misdemeanors and is scheduled for arraignment in King County District Court on Wednesday.
Adam Jude: 206-464-2364
On Twitter: @a_jude