One of the more interesting one-on-one battles that took place on Saturday at Husky Stadium featured back-up offensive tackle Julius Buelow going up against reserve outside linebacker Bralen Trice.
They weren’t in some resident blocking or tackling drill.
They tried to destroy each other near the end of the two-hour practice, continually reaching for each other until teammates finally separated them, during the controlled scrimmage.
This was the biggest dust-up among several. Involving a very big person.
Buelow is the same good-natured big kid, who upon leaving the Hawaiian Islands a few years back to join the UW football program, was told he had to become far more aggressive as a football player to complement his size.
Apparently mission accomplished. He was pushing and shoving with serious intent in Saturday’s sunshine and it took more than one teammate to pull him out of the squabble.
Buelow certainly has become an extra-large man, with the sophomore now carrying around a 6-foot-8, 330-pound physique. He’s appeared in one game last season.
Then there’s Trice.
Another sophomore, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound sophomore from Phoenix hasn’t played in a UW game yet in two seasons, but he will, promises outside linebacker coach Ikaika Malloe. Trice will do more than just take the field, too.
The Huskies have high hopes for him. Consider the following heady assessment of Trice.
“Bralen probably will be better than Joe Tryon,” Malloe said this week, referring to the former UW player now preparing for the NFL draft. “He’s very long, he’s athletic and he can drop into space. He can do all those intangibles and he’s physical enough. He does want to put his hat and eyes on you. As he progresses, he will take about the same path Joe Tryon did.”
No pressure, though.
NO NEWTON: For the second time in three UW spring practices, junior running back Richard Newton did not participate, which is what coach Jim Lake earlier said might happen with him without elaborating.
DAVIS’ DAY: While it is mindful to know that things remain fluid during spring practice, with players given every opportunity to show what they have, sophomore running back Cameron Davis was on the field with the first unit more than anyone else. He also scored the first touchdown of the two-hour session. Last season, he was the fourth tailback early on, behind Sean McGrew, Kamari Pleasant and Newton.
RHYTHM SECTION: The always ebullient Zion Tupuola-Fetui, wearing screaming orange hair this spring after turning up with blond tips last season, did a few nifty turns on the field while listening to the classic Rick James song “Give It To Me Baby,” while fellow outside linebacker Sav’ell Smalls could be seen mouthing the words to the same ditty.
POLK SALAD: While getting acclimated with his new team, former Texas Tech wide receiver Ja’Lynn Polk, who arrived this spring, has shown exceptional hands while running through different drills. He caught 28 balls for the Big 12 team as a true freshman and started seven games.
PORTAL PROGRESS: Of the four new transfers on the roster, former Texas A&M outside linebacker Jeremiah Martin has gotten on the field the fastest for meaningful snaps. Martin, who didn’t start in three seasons for the Aggies, already has learned both weak-side and strong-side positions as he makes a bid for playing time, according to Malloe.
BURNING DESIRE: With his UW and NFL football dreams ended by a neck injury, former outside linebacker Laiatu Latu already had another career under consideration had football not worked out. He wants to work as a firefighter and he’ll be introduced to the Seattle Fire Department through his classwork and a possible internship, Malloe said.
ATTENDANCE: Asked to sit in a socially distanced manner, UW fans probably numbered between 100 to 200 on a perfect day to lean back inside Husky Stadium and watch football. The facility had not held spectators for 17 months since the 2019 Apple Cup against Washington State.
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