Newcomers Thrown Into Husky Football Fires

Aug. 9, 2006

SEATTLE - The Washington football team's fall camp continued Wednesday with the team's second day of practices under sunny skies at Husky Stadium. Since college football teams are limited to one-a-day practices for the first few days of the fall, the team was split into two squads, allowing for more detailed instruction with smaller groups.

As always, freshmen and newscomers probably have the longest way to go when it comes to the beginning of a camp. Not only are they younger and less experienced in football, but they're thrown into the fire of new surroundings, new places, new terminology, a new group of friend a whole lot of responsibility.

Anyone witnessing the first day of fall practice Tuesday would certainly have noticed that there wasn't much holding back. Players young and old were expected to be ready and keep up with everyone else, despite their lack of experience at the major-college level.After all, with just 24 days until the season opener vs. San Jose State, there's not time to waste.

'The only timeline you have is yesterday,' Coach Tyrone Willingham said Wednesday, asked about his plan for getting his players on the same page in terms of their mentality and commitment. 'That's the only way to live. You want it now. I want everything to be in place now. The truth of the matter is that's not always going to happen, but that's the only way to work at it.'

The newcomers are fully aware of what's expected of them, and most have spent time during the summer trying to make sure they were as close to up-to-speed as possible.

'I've been here in Seattle for a while now, so I probably have an advantage over some of the guys,' said Marcel Reece, a receiver to transferred to the UW from El Camino College in California. 'Guys like Isaiah [Stanback] and Sonny [Shackelford] have been helping me out with a lot of the little things.'

'I feel like I came in prepared,' said freshman Cameron Elisara, a defensive lineman from Spokane. 'There's obviously a lot to learn, but we're off to a good start.'

'I feel like I'm in pretty good shape in terms of knowing what I'm doing,' Reece said, 'but you're never really ready until you start actually doing everything.'

Additionally, both Reece and Elisara have found it all the more easy to settle in, thanks to the wide array of support and facilities afforded the UW program.

'Everybody in the program is really taking care of us,' said Reece. 'The dorms, the food, the locker room -- everything's great. And just being here, gelling with the guys is great.'

'It's fun. I'm having a lot of fun,' Elisara said. 'Everything's so much bigger and better than in high school football. Everything's really exciting. The food's better, the locker room's better and the competition is better.'

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