Spring wrap: Washington


2010 overall record: 7-6

2010 conference record: 5-4

Returning starters

Offense: 6, Defense: 8, punter/kicker: 2

Top returners

RB Chris Polk, WR Jermaine Kearse, OT Senio Kelemete, DT Alameda Ta'amu, LB Cort Dennison, CB Desmond Trufant

Key losses

QB Jake Locker, LB Mason Foster, LB Victor Aiyewa, SS Nate Williams

2010 statistical leaders (*returning starter)

Rushing: Chris Polk* (1,415)

Passing: Jake Locker (2,265)

Receiving: Jermaine Kearse (1,005)

Tackles: Mason Foster (161)

Sacks: Foster (6.5)

Interceptions: Nate Fellner* (5)

Spring answers

1. Tight end now a strength: Tight end quickly transformed into a position of strength this spring. True freshman Austin Seferian-Jenkins, an early enrollee, proved equal to his recruiting hype and showed he's ready physically to play at the Pac-12 level. When you toss in a strong spring from Michael Hartvigson, the Huskies now can line up in double-tight formations and make defenses respect the pass or run.

2. Defensive line stands out: Led by massive, disruptive defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu, it appears that for the first time since perhaps the 1990s, the Huskies will have a deep, formidable defensive front. Redshirt freshman Josh Shirley looked like an explosive edge rusher this spring who could compliment Hau'oli Jamora. There are four or five quality guys that could complement Ta'amu inside.

3. There's good depth at receiver: Whoever wins the quarterback competition, he's going to have plenty of guys who can catch the ball: Jermaine Kearse, Devin Aguilar, Kevin Smith, James Johnson, DiAndre Campbell and Cody Bruns. Prep All-American Kasen Williams arrives in the fall. Toss in the improved tight ends, and the passing attack could be solid if things work out at ...

Fall questions

1. Price is right? It appears that sophomore Keith Price surged into the lead over redshirt freshman Nick Montana in the quarterback competition, but there's still fall camp for things to shake up. It will be interesting to see how long coach Steve Sarkisian waits before making a call. Price looked in control in the spring game, showcasing skills passing and running. Montana hasn't looked bad; it's more a matter of Price, who started at Oregon last season, asserting himself.

2. What's up with the offensive line? The defensive line looked good this spring, so perhaps that's why the offensive line struggled. But it's still a concern, even with tackles Senio Kelemete and Ben Riva out with injuries, particularly when you consider the revolving door last fall that included seven different lineups of a starting five. The Huskies figure to be a run-first team in 2011 with running back Chris Polk. The line needs to be squared away for that to be an effective plan.

3. Settling on the 'backers: Cort Dennison returns in the middle, and Garret Gilliland, who played middle linebacker behind Dennison last year, has looked good at weakside linebacker, where Mason Foster starred in 2010, but the "Sam" strongside linebacker spot is still up for grabs. John Timu and Jamaal Kearse were the top guys this spring to replace Victor Aiyewa, but Princeton Fuimaono should be a factor in the fall after not being able to participate in contact work this spring. And there's the question of depth.