Husky Football Concludes Final Week of Practice

Aug. 11, 2007

SEATTLE - The Washington Husky football team went through an organized full-pads scrimmage Saturday morning before enjoying lunch with their families and serving as the featured guests at the program's annual public Picture Day event at Husky Stadium.

A few thousand Husky fans turned out to the annual Picture Day on the stadium turf and were able to get autographs and photos taken with UW players, coaches and cheerleaders, as well as members of the men's soccer, women's soccer and volleyball teams.

'Our players and coaches all enjoy interacting with Husky fans at Picture Day,' said head football coach Tyrone Willingham. 'This gives our players a great sense of how they are perceived in the community. It is easy, at this time of year, to get totally focused on preparing for the season ahead. But, this event gets our team energized and reminds us all of the great support we have here at Washington.'

During his noon press briefing, Willingham announced the return of each player's last name on the back of his game jersey.

'If you are sitting in the stadium and there are double numbers, I don't know how you can tell who is who,' said Willingham. 'That is a legitimate concern. We wanted to do something that would be good for our fans. We've heard from them over the years that the names would be helpful in identifying with our players. At the same time, our program is maturing. So, we decided to put the names back on.

'For some reason, we've had a lot of double numbers over the years here at Washington. Guys like certain numbers. I'm not superstitious, but I'm aware of those guys that are. I always like to tell the story of when I played baseball. When I was at the plate and the pitcher threw the ball 95 miles-per-hour, it didn't matter which sock I put on first.

'The player are all pretty excited to have our names on the back of our jerseys this season,' said quarterback Carl Bonnell. 'It gives us all a little bit of a more personal identity and it makes us feel that more strongly, at least individually, about our place at this great university. I know the fans are going to appreciate it. There are so many double numbers, it will certainly be a lot easier for them to identify and relate more closely with the players.'

'We love it,' added cornerback Roy Lewis. 'We all grew up watching the great Huskies with their names on their jerseys and now we feel that, as players, we need to live up to the standards set by those guys before us. We all recognize that people identify us as University of Washington football players. Now, it will be easier for the fans to connect with us more personally.'

Willingham noted that backup center and deep snapper Robert Lukevich suffered a minor knee sprain. Defensive back Byron Davenport continues to heal from a hamstring injury and his 'movement is better.'

Receiver Anthony Russo underwent surgery Friday on a finger that was broken during practice last week. 'Everything we hear about the surgery is positive,' said Willingham.

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