UW Football Notebook | Huskies' Savannah, Hasty lose spots on depth chart
When the Washington Huskies begin spring practice Thursday, linebacker E. J. Savannah and running back J. R. Hasty apparently won't be there...
Seattle Times staff reporter
When the Washington Huskies begin spring practice Thursday, linebacker E.J. Savannah and running back J.R. Hasty apparently won't be there.
Each is serving a punishment for what coach Tyrone Willingham says is a failure to "live up to all the responsibilities of the football team" and were not listed on the two-deep depth chart released Tuesday.
Willingham said both are still on the team and eligible and could return to full activity "at any time." Willingham said neither is in legal trouble, and sources indicated the two were being punished for missing classes and offseason workouts.
Both are juniors and members of the Class of 2005, signing with UW after standout careers at Bellevue High School.
Each has been in similar positions previously.
Savannah, the team's leading tackler last season with 111 and scheduled to start again at strongside linebacker, missed a few weeks of fall practice last August while dealing with academic issues.
Hasty, a backup running back who was expected to compete for the starting job vacated by the graduation of Louis Rankin, missed the 2006 season due to academic difficulties, then quit the team briefly last year, saying he was upset over his playing time, before returning.
Asked if Hasty was running out of chances, Willingham said "the window is still open" for Hasty to make a significant contribution to the team.
"We will always try to keep our windows open for our young men as long as possible," Willingham said. "To me, that's what it's all about."
Savannah will be replaced on the No. 1 unit by junior Joshua Gage.
Sophomore Brandon Johnson is listed as the No. 1 running back.
Kirton moves to defensive tackle
In the only significant position change of the offseason, senior Johnie Kirton is moving from tight end to defensive tackle. Willingham said the move is being made in part to bolster a defensive line that lost three starters and five of its top six players to graduation.
Kirton, who played at Jackson High, was recruited with the thought that he could play on the defensive line. But Kirton wanted to stay on offense, first playing running back before moving to tight end before the 2005 season. He caught just two passes for 21 yards last season, and the Huskies have some talented young tight ends, including redshirt freshman Chris Izbicki and 2008 signee Kavario Middleton.
• Starting guard Ryan Tolar will be limited through spring, likely avoiding all contact drills, while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. But Willingham said he should be fully recovered for the season.
• Kirton was one of three players who spent the winter quarter studying in South Africa. Others were backup fullback Luke Kravitz and walk-on cornerback Desmond Davis. All were listed at the bottom of their positions on the depth chart released Tuesday. Willingham said, "I love the opportunity for our young men to have these kinds of experiences" but "when you do something of that nature, you start at the bottom of the depth chart when you come back" because "they missed everything else that took place [such as offseason conditioning drills]."
• Former Newport High star Tripper Johnson, who spent eight years playing minor-league baseball, has enrolled in school and is listed as a walk-on defensive back. He is a junior in terms of eligibility.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 10:18 PM
Washington State's Klay Thompson will play Thursday against Huskies
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