By Todd Dybas The News Tribune
SEATTLE — It has been almost five months since Austin Seferian-Jenkins was pulled over and cited for DUI on a March night in the University District, then quickly suspended from the Huskies’ football team.
Tuesday, he met with the media for the first time since multiple court appearances, a hefty fine and a night in jail were applied as part of his sentence.
Seferian-Jenkins ex-plained he knows he made a major mistake. And, of everything that followed, one thing galled him the most.
“The worst part about it was letting down my teammates,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “Those are my guys. Every day you wake up at 5 a.m. and go workout with them, it’s really tough. It’s like losing a family member. It was completely my fault and I wish I could take it back, but I can’t.
“It’s been a huge privilege to play here. Letting them down has been the worst thing about this whole entire thing.”
Seferian-Jenkins is considered by many to be America’s finest college tight end. He was second on the Huskies last season with 69 receptions and seven receiving touchdowns. He holds just about every record among Washington tight ends despite having played just two seasons. Those numbers led him to being among the three finalists for the John Mackey Award last season, which goes to the nation’s best tight end.
He’s crucial to Washington’s offense and his availability for the season-opener against stout Boise State is still up in the air. When asked if he would be playing in that game, Seferian-Jenkins said, “I expect to practice tomorrow.”
He, like his head coach, would not elaborate on the particulars of his punishment or if he’s expected to miss any game time.
“I’ve done a lot of things since my incident in March,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “Extremely, extremely terrible situation I put myself, my teammates and my family in. Since then, I’ve obviously apologized to my team and I’ve apologized in many other ways.
“I’ve done a lot of different things to get their respect back and their trust back since that incident and I’m just really lucky to be out here, I feel really privileged to be out here and back with my team.”
Seferian-Jenkins, 20, also said that the process of gaining his teammates’ trust back is not yet complete. He’s hoping to keep working at it throughout camp and into the season. He said losing football was a jolt.
“You take things for granted sometimes and I think I might have done that,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “Getting back out here and getting with the guys is a really special thing This has been a huge growth opportunity for me.”
Keith Price was sharp Tuesday. He hooked up with speedy freshman John Ross for a deep touchdown. ? Running backs Jesse Callier and Deontae Cooper, each coming off ACL injuries, were incrementally more involved in practice Tuesday than Monday. Each had carries during 7-on-7 sessions. ? Offensive lineman Shane Brostek had a walking boot on his left foot. ? Wide receiver Jaydon Mickens appeared to hurt his shoulder and sat out the majority of practice afterward. ? Converted tight end Evan Hudson was working on the defensive line with the No. 1 group. The Huskies will make a decision next week if Hudson will stay on the defensive line or be moved back to offense full-time.