By Ryan Divish The News Tribune
SEATTLE — Running back Willis Wilson and tight end Joshua Perkins have been dismissed from the Huskies for a violation of team rules, University of Washington football coach Steve Sarkisian announced Thursday.
Sarkisian would not go into any further details about the situation.
With Jesse Callier and Bishop Sankey vying for the spot vacated by Chris Polk, Wilson, a Lakes High grad and sophomore walk-on, was making a push at practice while getting carries with the second-team offense.
With Wilson’s dismissal and the season-ending injury to Deontae Cooper, it leaves only redshirt freshman Dezden Petty, walk-on redshirt freshman Cole Sager and true freshman Erich Wilson II as the remaining depth at the position.
“We know who our primary backs are,” Sarkisian said. “Obviously, there are opportunities for guys to emerge and do things. … It’s not ideal like a couple of other positions we have on our roster, but something that we just have to monitor. But I feel good about the guys that we have.”
Perkins was a receiver who redshirted last season and was moved to tight end/H-back before camp. He struggled with the blocking, but had been productive catching passes from the slot. To offset his absence, sophomore walk-on defensive end Alec Kimble has been converted to tight end. The East Lake grad was a receiver in high school.
Starting wide receiver James Johnson and sophomore linebacker Jamaal Kearse, a major contributor last season, were not dressed for Thursday’s practice because of injuries.
Johnson’s arm was heavily wrapped around a splint on his wrist while Kearse was in a walking boot and on crutches. Sarkisian said that Johnson has a dislocated wrist and Kearse a stress fracture in the tibia of his left leg.
Sarkisian said there wasn’t an immediate timetable for their return.
“I don’t know enough right now, it happened in (Wednesday) night’s practices pretty late,” he said.
Johnson is one of UW’s most experienced receivers and top playmakers. But Sarkisian said his team’s depth at receiver should compensate.
“We’ve got some pretty quality guys,” Sarkisian said of his receivers. “It’s a deep group and it’s a talented group so I’m not nearly as concerned at that spot as maybe some of the other ones.”
Last one in …
Sarkisian decided to make players unavailable to the media after the short one hour and 45 minute practice. Instead, coaches and players went for a dip in Lake Washington to cool down from temperatures that were well over 90 on the turf surface of the East Practice Field.