Washington defensive back Kyler Gordon, an Archbishop Murphy alum, makes a catch during practice on April 7, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Washington defensive back Kyler Gordon, an Archbishop Murphy alum, makes a catch during practice on April 7, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Archbishop Murphy alum a versatile weapon for UW

Kyler Gordon is expected to be a starting corner, but he’s making an impact in other areas as well.

By Mike Vorel / The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — Kyler Gordon can win in numerous ways.

On Friday, Washington coach Jimmy Lake directed Gordon to go against second-year freshman wide receiver Jalen McMillan in the program’s “spotlight” drill — in which a pass-catcher is tasked with beating a defensive player 1-on-1 on a single play, with 10 pushups assigned to the losing unit. When the ball was snapped, Gordon — a 6-0, 200-pound corner — jammed McMillan off the line, then ran step-for-step and forced both McMillan and Sam Huard’s pass out of bounds for an incompletion.

Later, Gordon — who is expected to start opposite sophomore Trent McDuffie in his fourth collegiate season — leaped to intercept graduate transfer quarterback Patrick O’Brien on a deep ball in the back of the end zone.

But the former Archbishop Murphy standout’s impact transcends defense. Gordon also worked as a returner on Friday, and he sprinted downfield with the coverage team to down a 49-yard Race Porter punt at the 3-yard line.

Come Sept. 4, expect Gordon to contribute in just about every aspect except offense.

In all, UW’s seventh fall practice — its first away from Husky Stadium — lasted just under two hours, cut short perhaps due to the smoke sweeping over Seattle.

But here are some other observations from Friday’s field trip to Memorial Stadium in Seattle:

Morris-to-Otton connection

On Wednesday, Lake declared tight end Cade Otton’s hands the best on the team.

On Friday, Otton — a first-team All-Pac-12 performer — dropped one of the first passes that came his way.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end from Tumwater spent the rest of UW’s seventh fall practice making up for that mistake.

Specifically, Otton — the older brother of 2022 four-star tight end recruit Ryan Otton, another UW commit — hauled in a pair of touchdown passes from starting quarterback Dylan Morris in two-minute scrimmage drills. The first strike arrived from 17 yards out, as Morris zipped a pass through a tight window to Otton down the seam in a 7-on-7 drill. After Otton secured the score, the starting offense celebrated by sitting arm-in-arm behind the end zone — as a thin layer of smoke somewhat obscured the Space Needle.

But the Morris-to-Otton connection had more in store. Near the end of practice, Morris took a shotgun snap at the 21-yard line, turned to his left and lofted a floater towards the corner of the end zone. Despite tight coverage from Husky safety Dominique Hampton, Otton extended to pull the ball in over his shoulder.

The safety shuffle

In UW’s ongoing safety competition, Alex Cook and Dominique Hampton operated as the starters on Friday.

But Julius Irvin made the play of the day.

In a 7-on-7 two-minute drill, Irvin — a 6-1, 185-pound sophomore — jumped a post at the edge of the end zone to intercept O’Brien and end the drive. Though the play was blown dead, Irvin sprinted 100 yards to the opposite end zone.

UW was also short several safeties on Friday, as Cameron Williams missed his third consecutive practice with an apparent injury and Asa Turner was not in attendance at all. While Irvin, Hampton and Cook continue to compete for high leverage reps, Williams and Turner’s statuses will be worth monitoring in the practices ahead.

Extra points

— Second-year freshman corner Jacobe Covington played without the club he’d been wearing on his left hand this fall for the first time on Friday. The 6-2, 195-pounder also received a few first-team reps and picked up a sack of O’Brien on a blitz up the middle. A former four-star recruit from Chandler, Ariz., Covington seems to embrace the physical aspect of the game — and he, Elijah Jackson and Mishael Powell have separated themselves behind starting corners McDuffie and Gordon.

— Richard Newton, Cameron Davis and Kamari Pleasant were the primary tailbacks with the starters on Friday. Davis, in particular, continues to impress as a pass-catcher. It’ll be interesting to see how often they utilize that aspect of his skill set this fall.

— Besides Turner and Williams, linebacker Alphonzo Tuputala, cornerbacks Elijah Jackson and Dyson McCutcheon, and offensive lineman Samuel Peacock all missed Friday’s practice with apparent injuries.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Marysville-Pilchuck running back Dylan Carson creaks away from Yelm defensive back Marius Alone for a touchdown run during Saturday afternoon’s 3A football state quarterfinal game at Yelm High School in Yelm, Washington, on Nov. 20, 2021. Marysville-Pilchuck won the game, 39-21.
3A state semifinal preview: Marysville Pilchuck vs. Bellevue

It’s déjà vu for the Tomahawks, who face perennial power Bellevue in a rematch of the 2014 semifinals.

Lake Stevens’ Trayce Hanks eludes defenders during a 4A state quarterfinal game against Gonzaga Prep on Nov. 20 at Lake Stevens High School. (John Gardner / Pro Action Image)
4A state semifinal preview: Lake Stevens vs. Eastlake

After their Week 1 matchup was canceled, the Vikings and Wolves meet in a semifinal clash of unbeatens.

Washington State running back Max Borghi (21) evades a tackle attempt from Washington tight end Carson Smith (42) as he runs for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Cougars end Apple Cup skid, clobber rival Huskies

Washington State snaps a seven-game losing streak to Washington with a record-setting 40-13 win.

Lake Stevens' Grayson Murren competes against O'Dea High School in Seattle on September 17, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Lake Stevens standout QB ‘so glad’ to be back from injury

After an injury threatened to end his senior season, Grayson Murren is leading the Vikings’ offense again.

Arlington's Gage Price leaps over a Marysville-Pilchuck player during the game on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021 in Arlington, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
MP’s ‘overlooked’ defense has been a dominant unit this season

The Tomahawks’ offense gets much of the attention, but the defense is nearly as good.

Eastern Washington wide receiver Efton Chism III, a Monroe High School graduate. (Photo provided by Eastern Washington University)
Former local standouts hope to lead Eastern to national title

With Efton Chism III, Josh Jerome and Anthany Smith helping lead the way, the Eagles begin their quest for a crown.

Kevin Clark / The Herald

***Silvertips Special Sections*****
Yan Khomenko signals for substitution Sunday night at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wa on September 6th, 2015

Sports:  Silvertips Special Section
Shot on: 09/06/15
Royals snap Silvertips’ 10-game win streak in overtime

Victoria scores late to force the extra period and again early in overtime to win 4-3.

Washington State wide running back Max Borghi (21) reacts late in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Arizona, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 44-18. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
WSU looks to snap Apple Cup losing streak vs. Washington

The bowl-eligible Cougars haven’t beat the Huskies since 2012. Both teams are led by interim coaches.

Seattle Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn, left, greets center Jared McCann after McCann scored a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes with an assist from Dunn during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Johanssons late winner gives Kraken win over Hurricanes

The goal with just over 3 minutes to play lifts Seattle to a 2-1 victory.

Most Read