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Originally published September 11, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified September 11, 2008 at 12:09 AM

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UW Football Notes | DB recovering from concussion, won't play this week

Darin Harris suffered a concussion early in the fourth quarter of UW's 28-27 loss to the Cougars when he fell facedown on the turf while chasing BYU tight end Dennis Pitta. He lay motionless for a few minutes, then was transported to Harborview Medical Center, where he spent the night. Tests for spine and neck injuries proved negative, leaving the concussion and some nasty cuts on his face and in his mouth as reminders. Harris said he had a few stitches in his gums to repair the damage.

Seattle Times staff reporter

One minute, the third quarter of Saturday's Washington-BYU game was ending. The next, Huskies safety Darin Harris was in a hospital bed with a tube in his throat.

The scary incident in the fourth quarter that left Husky Stadium hushed has been scratched from his memory.

"I don't remember the hit or anything," Harris said Wednesday.

Harris suffered a concussion early in the fourth quarter of UW's 28-27 loss when he fell facedown on the turf while chasing BYU tight end Dennis Pitta. Harris lay motionless for a few minutes, then was transported to Harborview Medical Center, where he spent the night. Tests for spine and neck injuries proved negative, leaving the concussion and some nasty cuts on his face and in his mouth as reminders. Harris said he had a few stitches in his gums.

"I don't have any headaches or anything," he said. "It's just my mouth that hurts, that's it."

Harris has been ruled out for Saturday's game against Oklahoma but might be able to return Sept. 27 against Stanford at home.

Harris said he wants to return to the field as quickly as he can, calling the injury "part of the game."

"Everything's OK," he said. "I'm just happy to be here, able to talk, stand. Just thank God for keeping me alive, being able to talk and walk and still function. But I probably won't be able to play for a while, they said, so that's the bad part."

Savannah redux

UW coach Tyrone Willingham on Wednesday offered this assessment of the departure of junior linebacker E.J. Savannah, who on Tuesday was granted his release to transfer after battling academic ineligibility and other issues related to team rules:

"Honestly, to me it's very disappointing any time anyone leaves your program for any reason, any circumstances," Willingham said. "But we've spent as a staff, as a community, a lot of time, a lot of energy trying to assist and trying to help, so that is disappointing when you invest that kind of investment and you don't get any kind of return. But the goal and the hope is for all the young men to be successful, and if this is the best route for him to be successful, then we want to help him do that."

Willingham said it was "more [Savannah's] desire at this point" for him to leave the program. Savannah led the Huskies with 111 tackles last season.

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Notes

• Willingham said freshman RB Chris Polk has a torn labrum in his shoulder and will probably require surgery. If so, he would miss the rest of the season. Because he played in just two games, he would almost certainly be able to redshirt and retain his freshman year of eligibility.

• Former Huskies quarterback Johnny DuRocher is working with the football program as an office assistant while finishing up his degree. He needs one class to graduate after the fall quarter. DuRocher had been pitching in the Mariners' minor-league system but said Wednesday he is retiring after being told he would need Tommy John surgery to repair an elbow injury. DuRocher said he decided he'd rather begin a coaching career instead of surgery and a yearlong rehab.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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