Freshman QB shows off a deft touch on deep balls.
What: UW’s first full-squad practice for the third day of fall camp
Where: Husky Stadium
Gear: Jerseys and shorts only; no pads.
Quarterback quick reads:
— If there was any doubt about Jake Browning‘s viability as a starting QB candidate, he put much of it to bed Monday. The 19-year-old true freshman had his best day of camp and probably the best single day of any QB so far — the obvious caveat that it is still very early. You won’t find any sweeping statements here, but we will say this: Browning can play. And he can definitely throw the deep ball. He doesn’t have the strongest arm on the team, but he already has the best touch on the longer throws. That was evident during a 1-on-1 passing drill when he completed three consecutive deep passes, one on a fade to the right sideline to WR Dante Pettis, who made the catch ahead of decent coverage from CB Sidney Jones. Later, in the final period of the day (the two-minute drill), Browning hit walk-on WR Max Richmond for a 50-yard gain. (To show that, no, he’s not perfect, Browning missed an open receiver on the next play for what probably would’ve been a touchdown, prompting Chris Petersen to bark at Browning a bit.) If you missed it, Browning and K.J. Carta-Samuels were for the first time made available for interviews, and they both came across as mature and poised.
— Carta-Samuels, the redshirt freshman, had the only interceptions of the day, the first picked off by LB Cory Littleton. CB Darren Gardenhire had the other interception during the final 11-on-11 period on a sensational diving grab, the highlight play of the day. KJCS has been solid, though, and he didn’t sound discouraged afterward. “It’s a long process,” he said. “There’s going to be ups and downs with everything, so just learning from those mistakes is going to really benefit me in the end.”
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— Junior Jeff Lindquist couldn’t get the offense moving much in his two-minute drive at the end, but he has continued to do a good job of protecting the ball — no interceptions for him in the first three days. He was also used on a couple of Wildcat plays, as he was occasionally last season.
— Petersen singled out JUCO transfer Tony Rodriguez. “The guy that completes more passes than anybody right now is Tony Rodriguez,” he said. “Every time he gets in there, the ball’s complete. So we’ll look at that. Maybe he needs more reps. Everybody’s getting evaluated.” What Petersen didn’t say, and what’s worth noting, is that Rodriguez is only going against the third- and fourth-string defense. Make no mistake: This is a three-man competition, and while no one is counting out Lindquist, the hunch here is the two young QBs could start to separate themselves soon enough.
— It was the first day in shoulder pads, so it sounded more like real football. Looked like it at times, too. Guys got a little feisty. At the end of a heated running drill, sophomore LB Connor O’Brien and freshman LT Trey Adams got into a shoving match, with O’Brien’s helmet coming off. The first scuffle of camp.
— RB Deontae Cooper and SS Brian Clay were not at practice; Petersen said both are excused to complete their graduate degrees this week. Kudos to them.
— FS Budda Baker was eased back onto the field after being sick the past couple days.
— Both the offense and defense ran gassers after practice, after the offense “won” the first two days.
— Pettis had a great one-handed catch along the left sideline on apes from Rodriguez during the 7-on-7 drill.
— The O-line shifted around quite a bit, with Coleman Shelton getting time at left tackle, Jake Eldrenkamp working some at guard and Dane Crane at center with the twos. That versatility, Petersen said, is important.
Next: The Huskies will hold their fourth practice Tuesday morning at Husky Stadium. UW’s only practice open to the public is Sunday starting at 3:30.