Husky Camp Day 18: Fouch Q&A
Aug. 21, 2008
SEATTLE - The countdown to the end of fall camp and the beginning of the 2008 college football season becomes more and more apparent with each passing day. Thursday, day 18 of the Husky football team's fall season, featured a light morning for the players, followed by an afternoon practice.
Of interest Thursday was the news that sixth-year senior Juan Garcia, on the verge of making a near-miraculous comeback from a major foot injury last spring, is one of 43 players on the Rimington Trophy preseason watch list. The Rimington award is given to the nation's top center.
Garcia is one of seven centers from the Pac-10 Conference, which was the best-represented league on the list.
In his daily meeting with the press, Coach Tyrone Willingham noted that there will be officials at this afternoon's practice, giving the team a chance to work with referees on the variety of rules changes this year. Among those are new rules for the play clock, as well as new regulations on face-mask penalties and 'horse-collar' tackles.
Willingham was also asked to identify some of the players or units that have stood out during the camp thus far, and he listed several.
'I think I'm really excited about Juan Garcia's recovery. That's exciting,' Willingham said. 'I'm really pleased with the leadership that Casey Bulyca has added up front. I think that's been special for me that he's given the team so much of himself.'
'I think our freshman running backs have done a great job of asserting themselves in the mix,' he added. 'I think the freshmen wide receivers, I wouldn't call them a surprise, but they've shown that it won't be long before they have some real impact.'
He also commended the numerous freshmen defensive linemen have performed very well, calling them 'exciting.'
Earlier this week, GoHuskies.com sat down with redshirt-freshman quarterback Ronnie Fouch, who had a long spell working with the first-team offense last week when starter Jake Locker took some time off due to injury. Here's what Fouch had to say.
With starting QB Jake Locker out with an injury last week, how did it feel running with the first string offense?
'It felt good. I'm getting a lot of confidence. As things start rolling with the offense I'm just getting more comfortable than I was last year.'
You and Jake are different style quarterbacks. He's more of a scrambler and you're more of a pocket passer. How does that work within the offense? Are there things you can learn from each other?
'Well, like you said, we're two different kind of quarterbacks, but we're also really close friends, so we learn from each other. We talk about things. When he's in there I go in and let him know what I saw on the play, and he helps me out and stuff like that. We help each other out.'
What are the main differences running with the first team as opposed to running with the second team?
'Well, just being on the first team or the second team. You know, there's really not that big of a difference. We're running the same plays and everything so there's not really much of a difference.'
You played well in the spring game (16-for-33, 153 yds.). Have you built off that over the summer and coming into the fall?
'Like I said, I'm just getting more comfortable in the offense - getting more reps so it helps me get more comfortable and gain more confidence.'
Incoming freshman Chris Polk (a high school teammate of Fouch) is a guy that brings a lot of speed and excitement to the offense. What's it been like playing with him?
'It's really nice playing with him. I've been playing with him since high school. He's just really explosive and he knows how to score, but we have a lot of good running backs so they'll all be in the mix making plays.'