College Football 2011: Washington Huskies Spring Game Preview

Brandon StewartContributor IIApril 28, 2011

Quarterbacks Keith Price (left) and Nick Montana (right) are trying to prove why they belong under center.
Quarterbacks Keith Price (left) and Nick Montana (right) are trying to prove why they belong under center.

Spring practice is drawing to a close for the Huskies.

Saturday marks the annual spring game which will take place at 11 AM inside Husky Stadium.

There are more than several things fans should be taking a closer look at but I have narrowed the list.

First off is the depth at wide receiver and tight end positions. Our receiving corps is incredibly deep this year and will be led by Jermaine Kearse. But do not expect Kearse to be the only star of the show. Others who can rise to the spotlight include junior James Johnson, redshirt freshman DiAndre Campbell and sophomore Kevin Smith. I also expect senior Devin Aguilar to have another strong season.

We are finally deep at tight end. After going through years of mediocre to downright terrible tight ends, we can finally say we can and will get production for our tight ends this year. It looks like true freshman Austin Seferian-Jenkins and redshirt freshman Michael Hartvigson will get the nod as starters. Expect these two to make an instant impression Saturday as they will snag catches over the middle and take a couple out of the sky. But it doesn’t stop at these two, I expect redshirt freshman Evan Hudson to make some plays. Hopefully he chooses to stick with football this year, as he also is also a pitcher for the Huskies baseball team.

Another place to rest your eyes is at the competition at quarterback. Head coach Steve Sarkisian is nowhere near naming a starter just yet. As for me, I think redshirt sophomore Keith Price is gaining ground over redshirt freshman Nick Montana. Keith has the bigger arm even though he lacks in size. Even walk-on freshman Thomas Vincent has a stronger arm than Montana which is causing worry for me. I am not counting Montana out in this competition whatsoever, but I am looking forward to what he does and doesn’t do on Saturday. I will also be looking to see which player has better chemistry with the receivers which is an underrated quality in a quarterback.

Running back Chris Polk will be playing in the spring game for the first time in three years. Polk has been out nearly every Spring due to injuries. I look forward to seeing how much he has improved as a player mainly because he will be the focal point to the offense. I don’t expect him to play every down Saturday, but I do expect him to get a healthy share of carries. After an off-field altercation, senior running back Johri Fogerson is still looking to make an impact. The running back position is very deep this year with Polk leading the pack and sophomore Jessie Callier and redshirt freshman Deontae Cooper looking to help the team’s offensive success. Fogerson still poses a threat as a back that can catch the ball. I would not be surprised to see some screen plays or see him line up as a receiver.

Speaking of Fogerson, his brother Zach is also making an impact on the team and could be a player to watch closely this year. The Huskies have not had a true fullback that can gain that extra yard on short yard situations in a while. Fogerson has bulked up this off season and should become an excellent blocker as well.

Senior left tackle Senio Kelemete who was recovering from a foot injury will also be suiting up on Saturday. After tearing his plantar fascia in his foot a few weeks ago, most expected he would miss the rest of the spring. However this injury is a special one. In order to heal correctly, the plantar fascia has to pop. He is obviously ahead of schedule and that’s a great sign.

On to the defense, there are several players to keep an eye on Saturday. First is defensive end/linebacker Josh Shirley. This guy is an animal on defense and should make his way to the quarterback a couple times. Luckily, the quarterback cannot be tackled in the pocket. Another player to look at is safety Sean Parker. Parker is proving himself as a true safety that has great speed to go along with excellent instincts. I would not be surprised if he grabs a pick Saturday.

It has been an exciting Spring and the players will leave it all on the field Saturday.