Williams wants another catch to savor

SEATTLE — Corey Williams has already started to imagine the perfect bookend to his Washington football career.

An Apple Cup hero as a freshman when he caught the game-winning pass in Washington’s 2003 victory, Williams would like nothing more than to have a similar moment in his final home game.

“I’m already visualizing it,” he said. “But it would be great if we could just blow them out. But I’m getting my mind ready just in case we’ve got to do another game-winning catch. I wouldn’t mind getting the ball again. Go out on the same note I came in. … If another play like that is in store for us, I wouldn’t mind being the one to catch it.”

It was a catch he couldn’t have imagined making prior to his first Apple Cup.

“I can’t believe I made that catch still,” Williams said. “I can’t believe they decided to throw it to me. Every time I watch it I still get chills.”

So much has happened for Williams since he dove into the end zone for the game-winner four years ago. He shattered his wrist four games into his sophomore season when he ran into an unpadded wall trying to catch a pass at Notre Dame Stadium. He had surgery and missed the rest of that season, earning a medical redshirt.

He came back in 2005, but has never been able put together the season he believes he is capable of. He’s never done enough to make Husky fans think of him as anything but the guy who caught the game winner in 2003. At first that bothered Williams, but now he has learned to embrace the role of Apple Cup hero.

As much as he wanted to make a name for himself another way, it’s safe to say that the fifth-year senior made his biggest mark in only his ninth game at Washington.

“Earlier in my career, it did [bother me], because I wanted to be known for more than just that catch,” Williams said. “But after being here for so long and really understanding over the years what the rivalry means to the school. When I was a freshman coming from Las Vegas, I didn’t know much about the Apple Cup, and I was like, ‘Man, I want to be known for more than that.’ But now that I’m fifth-year senior and I understand really what the Apple Cup and the rivalry are about, I really feel great that I made that catch. I really take pride in being able to lift everybody’s spirits like that. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Locker to start: Offensive coordinator Tim Lappano confirmed on Tuesday what had been hinted at a day earlier: that Jake Locker will start at quarterback.

“Will Jake start? Yeah,” Lappano said.

Injury update: Tailback Louis Rankin, who sat out the fourth quarter with a hip injury after rushing for 224 yards, said Tuesday that he was fine and would be ready to play. Byron Davenport, who missed the win over California with what was being called a thigh bruise, said the injury was actually a knee bruise. He said he and Curtis Shaw, who recently moved to receiver from tailback, collided in practice and banged knees.

“I tried to re-rout him,” Davenport said, joking about Shaw’s technique on the play. “You move a running back to wide receiver, he ain’t really got the whole avoiding part down yet. He’s used to just running right through people. He was good about it, he apologized.”

Davenport said he will be ready to play this week.

Safety switch: Mesphin Forrester and Darin Harris traded safety spots against Cal, with Forrester moving to free safety and Harris to strong safety. Harris moved into the starting lineup at free safety when Jason Wells went down with a knee injury against USC.

Defensive coordinator Kent Baer said the switch will stay in place for the last two games. Against Cal, Harris recorded a team-high 11 tackles from his new position.

“He’s probably our most consistent guy back there,” Baer said. “He’s playing physical, he’s playing hard. I love how hard he played, and he was a guy we didn’t expect to play for us a lot. That’s a great example of telling kids in your program to be ready. When you get your chance take advantage of it. He’s gotten his chance and he’s really taken advantage.”

Gold jerseys: Six players wore gold jerseys at Tuesday’s practice for their play in last weekend’s game: Cody Ellis, Louis Rankin, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, Jordan Reffett, Brandon Johnson and Darin Harris.

Anthony Russo was also apparently awarded. He did not wear gold at practice, but he did lead calisthenics with the other six, something that is usually only done by players in gold.

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