Quarterback Cyler Miles and wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow, two projected starters for the Huskies next season, will remain suspended from team activities as Washington begins its first practice of the Chris Petersen era on Tuesday morning.
“I have nothing new to report on that,” Petersen said during a news conference Monday to preview the spring workouts. “We’ll just let that play out and see how it goes.”
Miles and Stringfellow allegedly assaulted Seahawks fans near campus after the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. In a news release on Feb. 6, Petersen announced their indefinite suspensions for an unspecified violation of team rules.
The city prosecutor’s office is reviewing the case.
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Asked if he was trying to send a message with the suspensions, Petersen said: “This is a work in progress in terms of the culture that we want and how we’re going to do things. … There’s been no talk of those guys. They haven’t been here and we’ve moved on, and we’re going. It’s not about those guys; it’s about the guys that are in the room, that’s the message.”
Miles’ suspension leaves the Huskies with just two quarterbacks vying to replace graduated Keith Price. Miles, the No. 2 quarterback last season, is considered the favorite to start in 2014; without him on the field, sophomore Jeff Lindquist and redshirt freshman Troy Williams will share snaps to start the spring.
“They’re going to get more work than they ever dreamed,” Petersen said.
In what Petersen said will be a “clean slate” for everybody, about 80 to 90 percent of spring practices will be devoted to fundamentals.
“Guys don’t need to worry about their rank in the depth chart. They just need to get better each day,” Petersen said.
Washington will hold practices on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for the next two weeks, followed by a two-week break between academic terms. The final nine spring practices will be held in April.
Shaq back to the backfield?
It worked wonders for UCLA and Myles Jack last season.
Could Shaq Thompson wind up being UW’s jack-of-all-trades talent?
Petersen on Monday introduced the idea of putting Thompson, UW’s standout outside linebacker, in the backfield as a running back this spring as the Huskies try to replace All-American Bishop Sankey.
UCLA used Jack, the former Bellevue High School star, in similar roles last season, with Jack being named the Pac-12’s offensive and defensive freshman of the year.
In high school, Thompson was a first-team All-American and one of the most decorated recruits to sign with UW in the past decade. As a senior at Sacramento’s Grant High, he rushed for 1,134 yards and 15 touchdowns on 120 carries.
Thompson was an all-Pac-12 honorable-mention selection at outside linebacker in each of the past two seasons.
Petersen said speedy sophomore receiver John Ross, who helped out at nickel back in UW’s final three games of 2013, will also continue to play both ways in the spring.
Kasen Williams out for spring practices
Senior receiver Kasen Williams (leg), junior LG Dexter Charles (shoulder) and sophomore walk-on WR Taelon Parson will miss all of spring ball while recovering from injuries.
Williams, UW’s leading receiver in 2012, broke his left leg Oct. 26 in a game against California at Husky Stadium. Petersen said Williams should be “full-speed, rocking and rolling” by this summer.
Five other players will be “really limited” this spring with injuries: senior left tackle Micah Hatchie, junior defensive end Cory Littleton, sophomore safety Kevin King, junior LB Scott Lawyer and sophomore running Ryan McDaniel.
UW’s spring roster features 79 players in all — and no one from the 2014 recruiting class — and having just 71 healthy players made the prospect of playing a traditional spring game on April 19 a “scary” proposition, Petersen said. Instead, the final spring workout will be more of a scrimmage.
Campbell, Hudson return
Two veteran Huskies will be back on the field for the start of spring practices Tuesday. A third will not return to the team.
Defensive tackle Lawrence Lagafuaina has left the team after playing sparingly as a junior reserve in 2013. Lagafuaina tore his ACL in 2012.
Wide receiver DiAndre Campbell and defensive lineman Andrew Hudson, introduced during UW’s senior ceremony before the Apple Cup last November, have been working out with the team this winter and will get a shot to prove themselves to the new coaching staff during spring practices.
If all goes well, Petersen said Campbell and Hudson could be back on the team in the fall as fifth-year seniors.
• The Huskies seldom used the fullback position last fall in their shift to an up-tempo offense. It appears UW won’t use the position at all now. Sophomore Psalm Wooching, the starting fullback last season, has been moved to defensive end, and backup Ralph Kinne has shifted to tailback, leaving no fullbacks on the roster.
• James Atoe, a 6-foot-7 senior offensive lineman, enters spring with a listed weight of 375 pounds, up 26 pounds from his listed weight in December’s Fight Hunger Bowl.
• Petersen said one signee from UW’s 2014 recruiting class could join the team for the second half of spring practices in April. Petersen said he wasn’t sure if he was allowed to name the player, but the mother of defensive lineman Jaimie Bryant, of Tumwater, said her son planned to enroll at UW for spring term. Bryant grayshirted in 2013.
• Four new walk-ons have joined the team for spring: WR David Garlington (Vancouver, Wash.), DB Jonathan Kwon (Kent), LB Devon Phillips (Tacoma) and DB Hayden Schuh (Vancouver, Wash.).
Adam Jude: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @a_jude.