By Anthony Dion
WHAT: The Huskies went through their first full squad practice of camp lasting from 10 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. The team was also in shoulder pads for the first time, lending a little more physicality to the 11-on-11, 6-on-8 and 1-on-1 sessions that took place throughout the practice. The coaching staff continued to put the team through a host of positional drills with an eye on fine-tuning the fundamentals of tackling, blocking, route-running and ball control.
STARRING QUARTERBACK: Each one of the four had their highlights and lowlights throughout the day, but redshirt sophomore Cyler Miles had the most consistent day. For Miles, Wednesday’s practice was just his third of the offseason with his teammates and new coaching staff. He’s considerably behind in both reps and knowledge of the system, and yet, he remains the most accurate and timely quarterback on the Husky roster.
Miles fared well in both 6-on-8 and 11-on-11 scrimmages. In the 6-on-8 portion, he completed 3-of-5 passes for perhaps 20 yards (there was no tackling for the third consecutive day so all yardages are estimates on what may have happened) while also showing his mobility over two scrambles, including one for likely 30 yards. His best pass came in a 1-on-1 drill when he connected with wide receiver John Ross on a go-route down the sideline. Ross first looked over his left shoulder as he ran down the right sideline only to realize the ball was placed over his right, then quickly turned back and caught the ball as it fell right into his hands.
Of the other three, redshirt freshman Troy Williams had the most impressive day. With all four quarterbacks running through throwing drills together, the release and arm strength of Williams stood out. While he is the lightest of the group, Williams has as strong an arm as Jeff Lindquist (if not moreso) and possibly the quickest release. While inconsistent with his accuracy, Williams had several highlights including a touchdown pass to Kasen Williams down the left sideline at the end of his 6-on-8 scrimmage.
OFFENSIVE STANDOUT: A number of receivers had good days — Williams, Ross and Jaydon Mickens who looks faster than ever — but tight end Darrell Daniels shined Wednesday. At 6-4 and 235 pounds, Daniels is the physical specimen the Huskies are looking for at the position. Both Lindquist and Miles found Daniels during the 6-on-8 and 11-on-11 scrimmage sessions, and the big tight end continued to do a good job blocking.
DEFENSIVE STANDOUT: For the third straight day the defense dominated. Wednesday the unit forced five turnovers including a fine interception by freshman corner Sidney Jones near the goal line as he broke up a connection between Williams and Ross. However, John Timu had the most productive day with two interceptions including one for a touchdown in a 6-on-8 drill against Lindquist.
QUOTE: A unquestionably nervous Miles spoke publicly for the first time since being suspended in early February for his involvement in an off-field altercation after the Super Bowl.
“I just wanted to take this time to apologize for my behavior and my actions earlier this winter. A lot of people that represent me are affected by my actions . . . It was an embarrassment to all those people,” Miles said. “At the same time, I realize that I did mess up. I highly regret it and I’m just very excited to get back and put this past me, and work with my guys again.
“Things happen and I take full responsibility for my actions. I messed up big time and I’m willing to face the consequences and do everything in my power to gain the respect back of the Husky fans, my teammates and coach Pete.”
OF NOTE: Freshmen defensive backs Aaron Chapman and Brandon Lewis did not participate in practice Wednesday. Both stood on the sideline in shorts and jerseys . . . LB Scott Lawyer was in a yellow non-contact jersey s he has been all week . . . While no official depth chart or announcement has been made, safeties Trevor Walker and Brandon Beaver were apart of a secondary unit that included Marcus Peters and Jermaine Kelly. The linebackers in that group were Shaq Thompson, John Timu and Travis Feeney. The defensive line featured Hau’oli Kikaha, Evan Hudson, Danny Shelton and Andrew Hudson . . . Secondary coach Jimmy Lake said four or five of the seven freshman defensive backs will play this season . . . The team will practice off site on Friday for its first closed practice of camp.
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