Most days, Danny Morovick lives to wait.
Sometimes, it’s by standing on the sideline, alone – watching the action with his University of Washington football teammates, or thinking about his own role on the team.
If he gets the chance to wander around midfield, he can chat with other players, maybe an assistant coach or even the equipment manager to kill the time.
Welcome to college football’s special-teams unit, the less heralded and sometimes forgotten final phase of the sport.
It may be promoted as “one-third” of football along with offense and defense, but it takes up only one-sixteenth the practice time.
“You kind of get used to it,” Morovick said.
Morovick, a senior from Mission Viejo, Calif., is one of 85 players on scholarship. He is a long snapper whose chief responsibility is hiking the ball to the holder on field-goal and extra-point attempts, or to the punter on change of possession.
“You have to get into a rhythm, a routine and know when to warm up and be ready to do your job,” Morovick said. “Other than that, I’m just out here watching, and waiting.”
Take the fifth day of the Huskies’ fall camp Friday. Right before the special-teams “period” came up, Morovick and the group of punters and placekickers filed to the west end zone to warm up.
Then it was on – Morovick, who likely will be a fourth-year starter, was on the field for roughly five punt attempts by Will Mahan and Kiel Rasp, and five field-goal attempts by Erik Folk.
Fifteen minutes down, an hour more to observe.
“I’ve been doing this so long … I’m at the point now where I know when to take a couple of warm-up snaps to get ready,” he said.
But this is what Morovick chose to do to stay in football.
For his first two seasons at Mission Viejo High, he was a quarterback – that is, until Mark Sanchez, last year’s No. 5 selection in the NFL Draft by the New York Jets out of USC, transferred in.
“That was the end of that,” Morovick said.
Even though his father, Dan, was a standout safety at USC in the 1970s, it was his stepfather who taught him how to long snap.
Terry Giblin was once a long snapper at Wake Forest, and gave his stepson initial pointers. Then Morovick got together with Chris Rubio, a personal long-snapping coach. It ended up earning Morovick a scholarship in 2005 to the UW.
Same down time and waiting around goes for Folk, who does try to get in a little extra work after practice. He prefers that over standing around and thinking about his mechanics.
“If you do start to think about it, you’re going to start missing kicks,” he said.
He also has a resource that few do – his brother is Nick Folk, the kicker for the Dallas Cowboys.
“We don’t get lonely,” the younger Folk said. “The specialists all share a bond. We hang out with each other and talk.”
Speaking of special teams, UW coach Steve Sarkisian noted after practice he’s been impressed with Folk and Mahan, who came in this summer from Bakersfield, Calif. “I like Will. Not only is he punting the ball obviously with good hang time and getting it off quick, he’s doing the thing we like directionally, which is key in coverage,” Sarkisian said. ... Cornerback Justin Glenn (hip flexor) and fullback Paul Homer (hamstring) did not practice Friday during the first day of full pads. ... Today’s debut of two-a-days will be light in the morning (9 a.m.), just in helmets, followed by a physical night (7 p.m.) practice in full pads.
Todd Milles: 253-597-8442