Washington coach Kalen Deboer walks among players and staff as they perform early morning warm-ups during spring practice Wednesday in Seattle. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times via AP)

Washington coach Kalen Deboer walks among players and staff as they perform early morning warm-ups during spring practice Wednesday in Seattle. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times via AP)

UW holds first spring practice under new coach DeBoer

The start of spring football rings in a new era at Washington.

By Mike Vorel / The Seattle Times

UW completed its first spring practice of the Kalen DeBoer era inside Husky Stadium Wednesday, working for roughly two hours in jerseys and shorts.

Of course, it’s hard to glean too much from a one-hour viewing window and minimal physical contact. But let’s dive into observations nonetheless:

Starting lineups

Though UW offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Grubb made it clear on Monday that the Huskies’ three scholarship quarterbacks will receive equal starting reps in the first four practices, Dylan Morris took the opening first-team snaps on Wednesday. His first pass was an accurate deep ball that clattered through wide receiver Rome Odunze’s hands for an incompletion.

Besides Morris, UW’s starting offense comprised running back Camden Sirmon (yes, you read that right), wide receivers Odunze, Jalen McMillan and Ja’Lynn Polk, tight end Devin Culp, left tackle Troy Fautanu, left guard Nate Kalepo, center Corey Luciano, right guard Victor Curne and right tackle Matteo Mele.

The inclusion of Sirmon — a walk-on who just converted from quarterback to running back — may seem surprising on the surface, but it’s less so when you consider that Richard Newton, Cameron Davis, Sam Adams II and Emeka Megwa are all dealing with various injuries. Redshirt freshman Caleb Berry didn’t appear present on Wednesday either. The only running backs who received significant reps were Sirmon, New Mexico transfer Aaron Dumas and redshirt freshman Jay’Veon Sunday.

There was also intrigue on the right side of the offensive line, where Curne slid to right guard after starting the last 16 games at right tackle. Returning right guard starter Henry Bainivalu was present but may have been limited in some capacity.

The Huskies’ second-team offense included quarterback Michael Penix Jr., running back Aaron Dumas, tight end Quentin Moore, wide receivers Lonyatta Alexander Jr., Giles Jackson and Taj Davis, left tackle Julius Buelow, left guard Gaard Memmelaar, center Geirean Hatchett, right guard Myles Murao and right tackle Roger Rosengarten.

UW’s starting defense consisted of defensive linemen Tuli Letuligasenoa and Kuao Peihopa, EDGE rushers Bralen Trice and Jeremiah Martin, linebackers Carson Bruener and Alphonzo Tuputala, cornerbacks Mishael Powell and Elijah Jackson, Husky Kamren Fabiculanan and safeties Alex Cook and Asa Turner.

While we’d expect Pitt transfer linebacker Cam Bright to eventually settle with the starters, he only arrived at UW last week and thus likely needs time to adjust. EDGE rushers Zion Tupuola-Fetui and Sav’ell Smalls, defensive linemen Jacob Bandes and Voi Tunuufi, linebacker Daniel Heimuli and Husky Dominique Hampton all worked with the second team.

A Kirkland cameo and other injury issues

Jaxson Kirkland sure looks like he’s still a Husky.

The two-time All-Pac-12 left tackle — who dropped out of the NFL draft after requiring right ankle surgery, re-enrolled at UW and is currently awaiting the results of an NCAA waiver to play in 2022 — watched Wednesday’s practice in his typical purple No. 51 jersey with a boot on his right foot.

As for other injuries, running backs Richard Newton and Cameron Davis, defensive lineman Faatui Tuitele and linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio all watched practice from the sideline. Wide receiver Jabez Tinae wore a yellow jersey, meaning he hasn’t been cleared for contact. Running back Caleb Berry and Emeka Megwa and safety Julius Irvin didn’t appear to be present.

Extra points

Morris’ first significant completion in scrimmage drills was a deep post to Rome Odunze caught in tight coverage in front of cornerback Mishael Powell. Morris pumped his fist after Odunze hauled it in. … In a 1-on-1 drill, husky Dominique Hampton dived to knock a pass away from Jalen McMillan, then bounced to his feet to high-five former teammate Kyler Gordon. Hampton was also one of several players to catch punts on Wednesday. The 6-3, 216-pounder (who now wears No. 7) may be able to do it all. … Gordon and tight end Cade Otton both attended Wednesday’s practice. … A pair of local three-star 2023 offensive linemen, Ferndale’s Landen Hatchett and Kennedy Catholic’s Micah Banuelos were also in attendance on Wednesday. … UW safety signee Tristan Dunn attended and was introduced to the team after Wednesday’s practice, receiving a loud ovation. Hatchett and Banuelos received the same treatment. … Though he didn’t practice due to his injury, Ulofoshio addressed the team following Wednesday’s work. … Associate head coach and wide receivers coach JaMarcus Shephard’s energy cannot be overstated. Shephard’s voice is a constant and piercing presence at practice.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Mountlake Terrace players react to a run during a baseball game between Mountlake Terrace and Bishop Blanchet at Edmonds-Woodway High School in Edmonds, Washington on Saturday, May 18, 2024. Mountlake Terrace won, 12-7.(Annie Barker / The Herald)
Mountlake Terrace baseball’s season ends in state quarters

The Hawks beat Bishop Blanchet 12-7 in the morning, but fall 10-9 to West Seattle in the afternoon.

X
Prep roundup for Saturday, May 18

Prep roundup for Saturday, May 18: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Jackson players react to beating Kamiak to win the 4A district championship on Friday, May 17, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Jackson softball rallies past Kamiak for district title

Yanina Sherwood dominates in the circle, striking out 10 in the 4-3 come-from-behind victory.

Wolfpack carrying on, despite AFL turmoil

The rebooted league contracts, changes commissioner in the wake of unpaid obligations.

X
Prep roundup for Friday, May 17

Prep roundup for Friday, May 17: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Why being mad on the mound is good for Andrés Muñoz, M’s

The Mariners’ closer is dominating, and a lot of that is because of his attitude.

Everett players celebrate during a Class 3A District 1 softball championship game between Snohomish and Everett at Phil Johnson Fields in Everett, Washington on Thursday, May 16, 2024. Everett won, 10-0. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Everett softball upsets Snohomish for district championship

Freshman Mia Hoekendorf leads the way as the Seagulls defeat the top-seeded Panthers 10-0.

The members of the Snohomish High School boys golf team (from left to right): Cade Strickland, Tyson Olds, Palmer Mutcheson, Hudson Capelli, Drew Hanson and Jackson Dammann. (Photo courtesy of Mark Myers Photography)
Senior-led Snohomish takes aim at state boys golf

Five of the six Panthers who will play at state are seniors who attended elementary school together.

X
Prep roundup for Thursday, May 16

Prep roundup for Thursday, May 16: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Snohomish's Hannah Wells, right, celebrates during a Class 3A District 1 girls tennis tournament at Snohomish High School in Snohomish, Washington on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Shorewood girls tennis claims third straight district trophy

Rylie Gettmann leads the way for the Stormrays, winning her third district singles championship.

Everett Community College’s women’s soccer team won the 2014 Northwest Athletic Conference championship. (Photo courtesy of Everett Community College)
EvCC announces its 2024 Hall of Fame induction class

Men’s gymnastics, 2014 women’s soccer team headline this year’s class.

Everett AquaSox pitcher Tyler Cleveland is presented with his 2023 Rawlings Gold Glove Award prior to Everett’s game against the Eugene Emeralds on Wednesday at Funko Field. (Photo courtesy of the Everett AquaSox)
AquaSox pitcher Tyler Cleveland presented with Gold Glove

Cleveland was honored for his defensive prowess with Modesto during the 2023 season.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.