Terrell Bynum threw more touchdown passes than Dylan Morris on Wednesday.
Late in UW’s 13th practice of the spring, Morris — UW’s redshirt sophomore and returning starter — turned to his right and tossed a swing pass to Bynum, who caught the ball before quickly releasing an arcing liner into the corner of the end zone. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Rome Odunze did the rest, diving to nab the double pass for a 25-yard touchdown.
In the final April practice made available to the media, the Huskies turned in perhaps their most exciting offensive play.
But it was far from the only Husky highlight on Wednesday.
Graduate transfer quarterback Patrick O’Brien — who has more than pushed Morris in an exceedingly strong spring — threw three more touchdown passes with zero interceptions, the highlight being a 25-yard back-shoulder touchdown dart to sophomore wide receiver Ja’Lynn Polk. In a drill designed to simulate the final play of a game, with the offense needing to score a touchdown, O’Brien also found sophomore wideout Taj Davis in the back of the end zone for a nine-yard score (and Davis held on despite a hit from safety Makell Esteen).
O’Brien’s third touchdown was the most memorable — but not because of the quarterback. From 10 yards out, the Colorado State transfer lofted a pass up the seam that redshirt freshman wide receiver Jalen McMillan pulled in with his right hand for a scintillating score.
However, when O’Brien and Co. immediately tried for a two-point conversion, McMillan promptly dropped a pass that hit him directly in the chest. Therein lies the McMillan dilemma; the 6-1, 190-pounder’s talent is immense, but his spring has been marred somewhat by inconsistency.
The same can be said of early enrollee quarterback Sam Huard, who continually mixes pristine passes with mistakes as he adjusts to a new offensive system. His best throw on Wednesday was a 10-yard touchdown on a picturesque fade to Davis, who has somewhat surprisingly ascended in the last five practices. He then found a leaping Polk (who made several nice catches Wednesday) for the two-point conversion. But Huard later threw a jump ball interception in the end zone to cornerback Kyler Gordon.
It was a difficult practice for the aforementioned Morris, who tossed a pair of interceptions — a ball that sailed wide of tight end Cade Otton and into the waiting arms of cornerback James Smith in a 7-on-7 drill, and a fluttering popup that defensive back Brendan “Bookie” Radley-Hiles snared in the end zone after Morris’ arm was hit by blitzing linebacker Jackson Sirmon.
By the way, that was one of two interceptions for Radley-Hiles — who also settled under a deep out from walk-on quarterback Camden Sirmon early in practice. “Bookie” and sophomore Kamren Fabiculanan have both played well in pursuit of the vacant starting nickelback job, but it’s difficult to imagine Radley-Hiles — a three-year starter at Oklahoma — not eventually settling into the role.
Here are some other observations from UW’s 13th practice of the spring.
Right guard Henry Bainivalu, right tackle Victor Curne, safeties Alex Cook and Asa Turner, tight end Mason West, offensive lineman Myles Murao and inside linebacker Alphonzo Tuputala all missed Wednesday’s practice.
Without Bainivalu and Curne, sophomore Julius Buelow and junior Matteo Mele worked as the starting right guard and right tackle, respectively.
Redshirt freshman outside linebacker Sav’ell Smalls, who has been limited at times this spring, was a full participant on Wednesday. Sophomore Miki Ah You also worked with the outside linebackers, as UW continues to rotate inside linebackers outside to compensate for the loss of standout Zion Tupuola-Fetui. Inside linebackers M.J. Tafisi and Edefuan Ulofoshio have previously made cameos on the outside as well.
- Sophomore running back Cameron Davis and junior Richard Newton both broke off nice runs on Wednesday. The 6-0, 205-pound Davis has had the most time with the starters of any back this spring.
- As for the ongoing secondary competitions, juniors Cameron Williams and Julius Irvin served as the starting safeties, while Radley-Hiles received the most time with the first team at nickel. Irvin had a particularly strong practice, with a physical tackle of the larger Otton near the goal line and several pass breakups. Redshirt freshman Jacobe Covington, who has been cross-training at corner and nickel, turned in an interception of Camden Sirmon and a leaping pass breakup of a pass intended for tight end Mark Redman in the end zone as well.
- Besides his interception of Huard, Gordon swooped into the backfield for a tackle for loss of running back Cameron Davis as well.
- UW continues to occasionally pull out a formation with three tight ends on the field — that being Otton, Redman and Quentin Moore on Wednesday. The 6-5, 245-pound Moore turned in another impressive practice, most notably hauling in a 20-yard completion from Huard up the seam.
- McMillan operated as UW’s primary punt returner.
- Junior outside linebacker Zion Tupuola-Fetui, who had surgery on his torn left Achilles last week, attended Wednesday’s practice on a scooter, with a cast on his leg.