Apr 30, 2012

Spring Game, NFL Draft, and More

The Huskies played their annual Spring Game on Saturday, marking the closest thing to real football that we'll see until the season opener on September 1st against San Diego State (124 days away, if you're scoring at home).  Due to a lack of offensive linemen to fill two teams, the game used a modified offense vs. defense scoring system in which the defense dominated 36-10.

That score is a bit misleading though as the offense was as vanilla as it gets with no pre-snap movement, switches, audibles, etc. and the o-line was playing without starting guard Colin Tanigawa and starting center Drew Schaefer (except for the first drive).  With that said, the defense played at a much higher level than we've grown accustomed to around here with Justin Wilcox and company at the helm.

The pass coverage was much tighter than last year and there were only a handful of missed tackles throughout the entire contest (or about the same number as one drive against Baylor).  The defense also recorded seven sacks, though that stat is a bit misleading as the quarterback only needs to be touched to be considered down.  Clearly the new defensive coaching staff is getting back to the fundamentals and teaching these kids how to position themselves to make plays.  It will be a long process, but the potential for this Husky defense might be the greatest in quite a long time.

Even with a healthy Tanigawa and Shaefer, the offensive line is still a major concern.  It's looking more and more like Erik Kohler will be playing inside at guard, so UW will be breaking in two new tackles with redshirt sophomores Micah Hatchie and Ben Riva.  Unfortunately, these two guys were beaten time and time again on Saturday and will have to take major strides in fall camp to become legitimate Pac-12 tackles.

In under-the-radar news, our inside man at Husky practices, Sarkisianity, reports that Kevin "Carlos" Smith has the freshest dance moves on the squad.  Hopefully he'll bounce back from his knee injury last year so we can see his much hyped touchdown dances in action.

The battle at running back saw Bishop Sankey geting quite a bit more playing time than Jesse Callier with 34 rushing yards and 42 receiving yards compared to Callier's 4 and 0.  Ultimately, this competition will go deep into the fall and most likely these two backs will split carries much more evenly than Chris Polk did with his backups.

Speaking of Polk, he somehow failed to get drafted into the NFL.  After his name wasn't called in the third round, rumors began to spread about some sort of degenerative injury to his hip.  As day three of the draft plodded along, a major injury seemed like the only explanation for why a running back with this much talent and collegiate success would be passed over in favor of guys from Abilene Christian and Florida Atlantic.

"Take it, duck."

Chris has denied the reports of a degenerative hip condition and says that his labrum surgery on his shoulder a year ago didn't impact his play last season, which is very clear from the tape as Polk rumbled for 1488 yards and 12 touchdowns.  With two seventh round picks, I'm really annoyed that the Seahawks didn't take a chance on the former Husky stud.  Seattle also failed to bring in Polk as an undrafted rookie as Philadelphia quickly swooped in and picked him up.

I'm still miffed about how a guy with second round talent could go undrafted, but I guess there was something in Polk's medical report that scared away every single NFL team.  As Polk is one of my favorite Huskies of all time, I will be pulling for him to succeed in the NFL harder than just about anyone.  As this has to be a difficult time for him, throw Chris some love on Twitter at .

The 2012 NFL Draft wasn't all bad news for Washington as Alameda Ta'amu was picked in the fourth round (by the Steelers though, unfortunately) and looks like he could become the starter at nose tackle immediately.  Senio Kelemete was chosen by Arizona in the fifth round and the Seahawks picked up Jermaine Kearse as an undrafted rookie.

"I'm considerably larger than you!"

This past weekend was also a major success on the recruiting front with the Dawgs picking up commitments from Bellevue linebacker Sean Constantine, four-star cornerback Derek Babiash, and the #8 rated center in the land, Dane Crane.  There are also rumors that Crane's teammate, three-star safety Connor O'Brien, will be pledging to UW today.  Not a bad little Junior Day at all.  You can check out all of the Huskies commits here.

The big TDD news is that the store has been restocked with new shades and better bottle openers.  Come 'n get 'em!  If you notice any problems ordering, let me know at TheDawgDude@gmail.com.

Go Dawgs!

Spring Game photos by Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times.
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