The Dawgs practices are now in full swing and full speed. Fans, sportswriters, and bloggers are enjoying the open practices and the energy of getting back to football! Every couple of days there are more new nuggets coming out about how the Huskies will look this year. These are a few areas that are worth watching in practice.
With the departure of Donald Butler, Mason Foster and Victor Aiyewa have stepped up. However, the interesting thing to watch with the linebackers is the play of Cort Dennison and true freshman Cooper Pelluer. They've both shown very well at practice, and despite his youth, Cooper is adjusting well to the college game.
All three quarterbacks had a great practice Friday in the 11 on 11 drills. With the starting position settled, it is fun to watch the tete-a-tete between Price and Montana. Montana has a great pedigree, but Price has one more year in the system.
Based on what has been shown so far, they are very tight in fighting for that backup role. My expectation is that Sarkisian may give a slight edge to Price, as the possibility of redshirting Montana and securing his QB role for a few years more could be a worthwhile investment for the future.
Chris Polk had a good practice, and is looking to build on a breakout year in 2009. The interesting part of practice is the battle behind him - Johri Fogerson and Demetrius Bronson as the returning players, and Deontae Cooper and Jesse Callier as the up and comers.
All of them are getting plenty of work in practice, and five options at tailback is a great problem for Head Coach Steve Sarkisan to have.
With a couple dozen freshmen and redshirts coming in, on any given Saturday, there will be quite a number of youngsters playing key roles for the Huskies this year. Watching practices this week, it's clear that Sarkisian wants to see what they can do.
Any of the youngsters, whether Cooper Pelluer, Deontate Cooper, or transfer DE Josh Shirley can earn playing time. They key for them will be to show dedication both off the field in learning the playbook, and on the field in showing their understanding of it - at full speed.
Each of these areas will become more clear in the coming days and weeks as the Huskies build their depth chart for 2010. It will be very fun to watch the boys battle for a spot in the starting 22 in Provo.