Two Huskies defensive linemen out for season

Updated: August 6, 2003, 2:48 AM ET

SEATTLE -- Keith Gilbertson has Rick Neuheisel's old job, but he also has inherited Neuheisel's injury problems, and the Washington Huskies have a lot of them.

The Huskies announced Monday that defensive linemen Josh Miller and Junior Coffin are out for the season even before fall practices get under way.

Miller, a junior who was a starter in 13 games at defensive tackle last season, is sidelined because of a back injury. It's the same disk injury that sidelined him during spring practices.

Coffin, also a junior who was on the Huskies' starting defensive unit last spring, won't play because of a chronic pinched nerve in his neck and shoulder. Coffin played well during spring practices, but missed the spring game with the injury.

In addition, the Huskies said wide receiver Justin Robbins might miss his third consecutive season because of a persistent knee injury. He won't be part of the Huskies' 105-man roster at the start of fall practices.

Miller, from Covina, Calif., and Coffin, from Bremerton's Olympic High School, have used their redshirt seasons, but could apply for a medical waiver from the NCAA.

Miller had 33 tackles last season, second among Washington linemen. He had seven tackles for a loss in 2002.

Huskies coaches hope that Robbins, from Lacey's River Ridge High School, could return at some point this season. As a freshman in 2000, he caught 22 passes.

If Robbins can't play, Gilbertson, who replaced the fired Neuheisel last week, will have only two experienced receivers on his roster in Reggie Williams and Charles Frederick, although they are one of the top tandems in the Pac-10.

Washington's program also has lost walk-on receiver Matt Griffith, who has transferred to Pacific Lutheran.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Isaiah Stanback could be moved to receiver this fall. Stanback was in a dead heat with sophomore Casey Paus to become Cody Pickett's backup. The Huskies quarterback position will be bolstered by the arrival of Carl Bonnell.

Washington's freshmen were to practice for the first time Wednesday at Husky Stadium. The Huskies head for Olympia for workouts at Evergreen State College from Aug. 9-16.

Washington, which is coming off a 7-6 record and a Sun Bowl loss to Purdue last season, will resume workouts at Husky Stadium on Aug. 17 in preparation for its opener Aug. 30 at defending national champion Ohio State in Columbus.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index