In UW’s 10th April practice, the defense dominated.
Several offensive bright spots came courtesy of graduate transfer quarterback Patrick O’Brien, who threw the only touchdown of the day — a 20-yarder up the seam to redshirt freshman tight end Mark Redman in a 7-on-7 drill. O’Brien also made three consecutive completions in an 11-on-11 scrimmage session — 10-yarders to wide receivers Sawyer Racanelli and Ja’Lynn Polk, followed by a fluttering 28-yard rainbow down the left sideline to sophomore wideout Taj Davis.
Davis — a 6-foot-1, 200-pound sophomore, who opted out of the 2020 season — had by far his best day of the spring, hauling in a nearly identical 23-yard pass from freshman quarterback Sam Huard as well.
O’Brien only received one drive with the starters, and it was marred by a dropped shotgun snap, a penalty and a sack by senior outside linebacker Jeremiah Martin.
Sophomore quarterback Dylan Morris, who took the vast majority of the starting snaps, was inconsistent with his accuracy — though he did create space before finding redshirt freshman wideout Jalen McMillan for a 19-yard gain, and stacked up back-to-back chunk completions to senior receiver Terrell Bynum in the first drive of the day.
Early enrollee quarterback Sam Huard, on the other hand, struggled mightily. The former Kennedy Catholic standout threw four interceptions — a crossing pattern that sailed over its intended target and into the waiting arms of nickelback Kamren Fabiculanan, followed by picks over the middle to outside linebackers Carson Bruener, Cooper McDonald and Martin.
Walk-on freshman quarterback Camden Sirmon threw an interception to walk-on linebacker Ben Hines with the fourth team as well.
Of course, the hope and expectation is that Huard will find his footing as he adjusts to a new offense and an accelerated pace of play. But to this point, Morris and O’Brien have been indisputably UW’s most effective quarterbacks.
It was also a rather inconsistent day for UW’s pass catchers, who sprinkled in drops throughout the 90-minute practice.
Here are some other observations from the Huskies’ 10th practice of the spring.
As in previous practices, right tackle Victor Curne, outside linebacker Sav’ell Smalls, safety Alex Cook and tight end Mason West watched Friday’s proceedings from the sideline. In Curne’s place, junior Matteo Mele again worked with the starters at right tackle.
Junior cornerback Trent McDuffie continues to take part in individual drills but sit out scrimmage sessions, allowing sophomore walk-on Mishael Powell to scrimmage with the starters opposite junior Kyler Gordon.
Safety Asa Turner and cornerback Kasen Kinchen also sat out practice, while inside linebackers Alphonzo Tuputala and Miki Ah You and running back Sam Adams II didn’t appear to be present.
Without Smalls and junior Zion Tupuola-Fetui (who will miss 6-10 months with a torn Achilles), the starting outside linebackers were senior Ryan Bowman and sophomore Bralen Trice, with senior Martin and redshirt freshman McDonald working into the top rotation as well.
- Junior kicker Tim Horn had a nice day, connecting on a 52-yard field goal after being iced with two timeouts, and converting a 30-yard field goal as well. Senior Peyton Henry’s only field-goal attempt, a 45-yarder, knocked off the left upright and was no good.
- The primary running backs working with the first team were senior Sean McGrew, junior Richard Newton and sophomore Cameron Davis. McGrew served as the starting kick returner as well.
- In the secondary, the tandem of juniors Dominique Hampton and Cameron Williams served as the starting safeties. Fabiculanan and senior Oklahoma transfer Brendan Radley-Hiles continue to alternate with the starters at nickelback.
- Redshirt freshman Jacobe Covington (6-2, 200) continues to cross-train at cornerback and safety.
- Thirty minutes after practice ended, quarterback Dylan Morris and wide receiver Ja’Lynn Polk were the only players still on the field — continuing to talk and run through routes.
- Friday’s work ended roughly a half-hour early, which likely indicates there will be more significant scrimmaging Saturday. That practice begins at 10:30 a.m. and is open to fans.