SEATTLE — Nine days into training camp and less than three weeks before the season opener, the Washington Huskies lost Austin Seferian-Jenkins for an indefinite amount of time.
5 notable items
By PERCY ALLEN
of The Seattle Times
SEATTLE — On the day Steve Sarkisian announced Austin Seferian-Jenkins will need surgery to repair a small fracture in his right pinkie finger, Washington scrimmaged inside Husky Stadium. Tuesday’s 90-minute workout served as the first dress rehearsal for the Aug. 31 season opener. Five things that stood out:
• Fast isn’t fast enough for coach Steve Sarkisian. The Huskies are six months into the installation of their new up-tempo offense and he’s still constantly pushing the offense to speed things up.
“Our energy when we take the field from the sidelines and get ready to go needs to be better,” he said. “We have to understand – and that’s part of why we do these scrimmages with the officials – that the officials are going to stand over the ball at times, especially when there’s substitutions.
“But when he walks away, we need to be ready to go. Those are all the little nuances that we need to continue to work on.”
• Josh Perkins took Seferian-Jenkins place at tight end, but it should come as no surprise that Kasen Williams became a primary target in the passing game without the preseason All-American.
Quarterback Keith Price targeted Williams five times on his first nine throws. Williams finished with nine receptions.
It was a fairly productive outing for Price. Other than an interception that was tipped at the line of scrimmage, he was nearly flawless while completing 17 of 22 passes.
• The Huskies are still looking for a pass rusher and have turned to sophomore linebacker Corey Littleton. He worked primarily at rush end with the first unit opposite converted tight end Evan Hudson who was at the other defensive end spot.
Littleton is competing with Josh Shirley and Hau’oli Jamora for a starting spot. Shirley unofficially had two sacks Tuesday.
• Tailback Deontae Cooper, who has undergone three ACL injuries, made it through the scrimmage. He participated mostly with the second-string offense against the No. 1 defense and had seven carries for about 29 yards, including a touchdown scamper.
Bishop Sankey received the bulk of the work early with the starters and had two touchdown runs before Dwayne Washington took over.
• At least one of the three highly touted freshman receivers — John Ross, Demore’ea Stringfellow and Darrell Daniels – will make an early impact.
Ross, a speedster, is looking to secure the No. 1 punt returner spot. On Tuesday, he returned a punt nearly 50 yards while zig-zagging across the field and eluding tacklers.
Meanwhile Stringfellow snagged two touchdowns. Ross also finished with a touchdown reception.
The embattled tight end, who was suspended from spring practices and team-oriented functions following a March 9 drunken driving arrest, will need surgery to repair a broken right pinkie finger.
“Austin’s going to be out for quite awhile,” coach Steve Sarkisian said. “He actually has a small fracture in his pinkie there that’s going to require surgery, so he’s going to be out for an amount of time.”
Seferian-Jenkins appeared to suffer the injury during the second of two workouts Monday. He left the field late in the practice and did not return.
On Tuesday, he watched the Huskies scrimmage from the sideline.
“He came out with a good attitude,” Sarkisian said. “He’s doing all the conditioning work and the fundamental stuff from a footwork standpoint, but he won’t be catching balls here for a little while.”
It was unclear if Seferian-Jenkins, who pleaded guilty to a DUI, would play Aug. 31 against Boise State.
Sarkisian has declined to comment in detail on if he’ll keep Seferian-Jenkins out of the season opener.
However, the more immediate concern now is when the 6-foot-6, 276-pound preseason All-American will return to the field.
“I don’t know, quite honestly,” Sarkisian said. “I’m hopeful it’s days, but I really don’t know. … I’ll know more at the end of the week.”
Seferian-Jenkins enters his junior season holding virtually every significant record for a UW tight end. He’s the career leader in catches (110), yards (1,388) and touchdowns (13) at his position.