Washington’s four scholarship quarterbacks — graduate student Kevin Thomson, redshirt sophomore Jacob Sirmon, redshirt freshman Dylan Morris and true freshman Ethan Garbers — will continue to compete in the Huskies’ first padded practice of the fall Friday.
Coach Jimmy Lake said he legitimately doesn’t know who will receive the first reps in that practice, and he doesn’t have a timeline for when a starter needs to be named.
“It’s really going to be more of when it feels right, that that person has earned that job,” Lake said. “I would go to every position with that answer, not just the quarterback position. Those guys are going to get their reps. I don’t worry about reps. They’re going to get their reps, and they’re going to take a bunch of mental reps. But as soon as someone takes control and they’re able to operate our offense and make plays in practice and be able to lead our team and it feels right, then we will make that announcement at that time.
“If it doesn’t feel right and we don’t feel like our starter is ready to go that first game, then we may have multiple guys play. And again, that’s the same answer for any position.”
Since the NCAA ruled that the 2020 fall football season won’t count against a player’s eligibility, Lake has the freedom to use true freshmen — even solely on special teams — who otherwise would have redshirted. This will give college coaching staffs increased flexibility to use players in specialized roles, and thus protect their standouts from overuse or injury.
“I think that’s going to be a great resource for not only us but the whole country, to be able to use their players so we don’t put our guys at risk of injury by playing too many reps,” Lake said. “That was a great decision by the NCAA, and we’ll definitely use that here at Washington.”
Nonconference games at neutral sites?
To repair the Pac-12’s tattered reputation, its teams must start winning nonconference games against Power Five opponents. Unfortunately, two high-profile matchups in Pac-12 stadiums — UW-Michigan and Oregon-Ohio State — were canceled this fall.
But those nonconference spotlight games will continue to be a priority moving forward.
And though he prefers home-and-home series, Lake said he’d be interested in playing games at West Coast neutral sites — such as the Las Vegas Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium and Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium — as well.
“The home-and-home I think is great, because it’s back-to-back years, and it’s fair. One time they come here, and one time we go there,” Lake said. “I think those are fantastic. But yes, for sure, these neutral-site games … I think that site in Las Vegas looks beautiful on TV. I can’t wait to actually visit it in person.
“It would be phenomenal to get those guys to come out into our neck of the woods, with our fan base. I think that would be awesome. Let’s get that set up.”
- UW offensive-line coach Scott Huff has previously floated the possibility of moving senior Luke Wattenberg and junior Jaxson Kirkland — who have previously primarily played guard — to center and left tackle this season, respectively. On Wednesday, Lake did not commit to those positions, instead emphasizing the need for flexibility up front. “Those two guys that I mentioned, Jaxson Kirkland and Luke Wattenberg, I believe can play at a high level at any position across the line,” he said. Either way, the Huskies will be searching for three new full-time starters.