SEATTLE — Predictably, optimism reigned Monday.
The Washington Huskies spent their first fall football practice inside revamped Husky Stadium engulfed by sunlight after spending the morning talking about large expectations.
Afterward, the first mea culpa of training camp was provided by Kasen Williams.
The 20-year-old wide receiver was pulled over May 26 near Lake Chelan for speeding and was investigated for driving under the influence. Williams had been drinking, but not enough to warrant a DUI citation because he blew 0.059 and 0.056 in two Breathalyzer tests. The state’s legal limit for adult drivers is 0.08 percent. He was cited for being under 21 and operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol or marijuana, and was fined and received two years’ probation.
“I made a mistake, and I’m definitely learning from it,” Williams said. “Now, I’m just focusing on the season. We have a beautiful stadium and a chance to do
some big things this year. I just want to focus on that. If anything, that’s helping me go harder in the offseason.”
Twice during the summer, Williams, Washington’s leading receiver last season, apologized to teammates because the Huskies were separated into two lifting groups.
Standing in front of his teammates and apologizing was a jolt for the typically quiet Williams.
“It was terrible,” Williams said. “Just because I never wanted to be in that situation and never want to be in that situation again.”
Williams reiterated that he feels as if the incident has given him “an edge to work even harder.”
“It gave me more tunnel vision on the season,” he said.
At his opening news conference, coach Steve Sarkisian addressed the situation with Williams, and, more notably, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
Seferian-Jenkins was cited for DUI in March and had to spend a night in jail as part of his sentence after driving off the road in the University District. He’s expected to speak with the media Tuesday.
Sarkisian said he knows what disciplinary actions he will pursue with Seferian-Jenkins, but will keep them internal. Asked if keeping the decisions internal was a byproduct of gamesmanship, Sarkisian vociferously said it was not.
“This has nothing to do with gamesmanship,” Sarkisian said. “This is how we deal with all of our disciplinary actions on our football team.”
SHAQ ATTACK EXPANDS
Hybrid linebacker Shaq Thompson might have his role expanded from just defense this season. He could see time returning kicks and possibly on offense.
“He’s one of our best players,” Sarkisian said. “I think he’ll be even better in his second year. We want to use him. We’ll just have to monitor him closely.”
BACK FROM ACL INJURIES
Several Huskies coming off anterior cruciate ligament injuries were back on the field Monday, including running backs Jesse Callier, Deontae Cooper and Ryan McDaniel.
McDaniel was the only one to consistently participate in team drills. Cooper, who has had three ACL tears in three seasons, worked without a brace.
Callier, who was hurt in the opener last year, was just glad to be back on the field.
“At the beginning of camp, we talked with the trainers and coaches how limited I’m going to be,” Callier said. “Progress every day, not try to get in there too fast. I feel like I got a lot of good reps in.”
Defensive tackle Lawrence Lagafuaina and defensive end Hau’oli Jamora, also back from ACL injuries, went through drills.
UW moved Micah Hatchie to right tackle and Ben Riva to left tackle. They practiced with Dexter Charles at left guard, Mike Criste at center and James Atoe at right guard. … The Huskies officially added offensive lineman Coleman Shelton and former Colorado kicker Zach Grossnickle to the roster. … Defensive linemen Jaimie Bryant of Tumwater and Andrew Basham will firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports @Todd_Dybas