Seferian-Jenkins upset he let team down

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.comAugust 7, 2013 

University of Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a graduate of Gig Harbor High School, tosses a football back after a catch at the Huskies’ first football practice Monday.

ELAINE THOMPSON/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SEATTLE — Almost five months have passed since Austin Seferian-Jenkins was pulled over and cited for DUI on a March night in the University District, then quickly suspended from the University of Washington football team.

Tuesday, he met with the media for the first time since multiple court appearances, a hefty fine and a night in jail were applied as part of his sentence.

Seferian-Jenkins said he knows he made a major mistake. And, of everything that followed, one thing galled him the most.

“The worst part about it was letting down my teammates,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “Those are my guys. Every day you wake up at 5 a.m. and go work out with them, it’s really tough. It’s like losing a family member. It was completely my fault and I wish I could take it back, but I can’t.

“It’s been a huge privilege to play here. Letting them down has been the worst thing about this whole entire thing.”

Seferian-Jenkins is considered by many to be America’s finest college tight end. He was second

on the Huskies last season with 69 receptions and led them with seven receiving touchdowns. He holds almost every record among UW tight ends despite having played just two seasons. Those numbers led him to being among the three finalists for the John Mackey Award last season, which goes to the nation’s best tight end. It ended up going to Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert, now with the Cincinnati Bengals.

He’s crucial to Washington’s offense and his availability for the season opener against stout Boise State is still up in the air. When asked if he would be playing, Seferian-Jenkins said, “I expect to practice tomorrow.”

He, like Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian, would not elaborate on the details of his punishment or if he’s expected to miss any time.

“I’ve done a lot of things since my incident in March,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “Extremely, extremely terrible situation I put myself, my teammates and my family in. Since then, I’ve obviously apologized to my team and I’ve apologized in many other ways.

“I’ve done a lot of different things to get their respect back and their trust back since that incident and I’m just really lucky to be out here, I feel really privileged to be out here and back with my team.”

Seferian-Jenkins, 20, also said the process of gaining his teammates’ trust back is not yet complete. He’s hoping to keep working at it throughout camp and into the season. He said losing football was a jolt.

“You take things for granted sometimes and I think I might have done that,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “Getting back out here and getting with the guys is a really special thing This has been a huge growth opportunity for me.”

EXTRA POINTS

Quarterback Keith Price was sharp Tuesday. He hooked up with speedy freshman receiver John Ross for a deep touchdown. … Running backs Jesse Callier and Deontae Cooper, each coming off anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, were incrementally more involved in practice Tuesday than Monday. Each had carries during seven-on-seven sessions. … Offensive lineman Shane Brostek had a walking boot on his left foot. ... Wide receiver Jaydon Mickens appeared to hurt his shoulder and sat out the majority of practice afterward. … Converted tight end Evan Hudson was working on the defensive line with the No. 1 group. The Huskies will make a decision next week on where he is expected to play.

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports @Todd_Dybas

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