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Originally published December 1, 2009 at 10:01 PM | Page modified December 2, 2009 at 2:07 PM

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Deep-snapper Morovick set to take his final hikes as a Husky

Senior is one of 15 to close out his Washington football career Saturday against California.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Senior salute

The Huskies have 15 seniors playing their final game Saturday:

LB Donald Butler: Three-year starter has saved his best for last, leading the Huskies with 88 tackles.

P Paul Dickey: Walk-on who also plays baseball at UW has not seen action.

LB Josh Gage: Former walk-on earned scholarship past three seasons. Valuable reserve has four starts.

FB Paul Homer: Three-year starter and special-teams standout. "Tough Husky" winner past two years.

S Tripper Johnson: 2000 Newport grad walked on last season after eight-year minor-league baseball career.

DE Darrion Jones: Originally a linebacker, moved to DE and has been a starter past two seasons.

LS Danny Morovick: Has handled all of UW's long snaps the past four seasons.

OL Ben Ossai: A four-year starter, mostly at left tackle, though recently moved to guard.

LB T.J. Poe: Walk-on earned a scholarship this season and has been a regular on special teams.

G Morgan Rosborough: Has been a regular on special teams and started this year at UCLA.

LB E.J. Savannah: Bellevue grad out last four games with broken hand; trying to get a sixth year.

OT Nick Scott: Transfer from Drake has seen action in five games the past two years as a reserve.

DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim: Standout defender has started all 48 games in his UW career at end.

LB Trenton Tuiasosopo: Only remaining Husky who played for Keith Gilbertson. Reserve this season, has made 15 starts.

S Jason Wells: Has battled injuries, back in the starting lineup. He has made 13 career starts.

Bob Condotta

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The statistics say Danny Morovick has handled 260 punt snaps in four years at the University of Washington, 125 more for point-after attempts, and 69 for field goals.

And how many have hit the ground?

"Probably not more than two," Morovick says, with no hint of braggadocio, just answering a question.

Indeed, he has been one of the more steady, if unsung, members of Washington's senior class of 2009, which plays its final game Saturday at Husky Stadium at 3:30 p.m. against California.

The group includes just 10 who originally came to the school as scholarship players (five others are either walk-ons or walk-ons who since earned scholarships).

One is a member of the Class of 2004, Trenton Tuiasosopo, who earned a sixth season of eligibility. Five others are members of the Class of 2005, and four, including Morovick, arrived in 2006, as part of Tyrone Willingham's first full recruiting class.

None came with so specific an assignment as did Morovick, recruited to handle deep snapping and nothing else after the school had for years turned to every-down players to take on the task, with sometimes mixed results.

Morovick came to UW from Saddleback (Calif.) CC, where he spent one year going to classes but not playing football, waiting for a Division I offer after receiving none after his senior year of high school.

UW was among several schools that had told him he could walk on. But after having some issues finding a snapper during his first season in 2005, Willingham ultimately decided it was worth it to spend a scholarship on a player who would do nothing but snap, making Morovick apparently the first such specialist to get a full ride in UW history.

That pretty much meant the job was his, making him and defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim the only seniors in this class to start at their position for every game.

But after a few rocky moments early in his career — he recalls a bad punt snap against UCLA that gave the ball to the Bruins deep in UW territory in 2006, and a few that went off-target at USC — there hasn't been much reason for reporters to huddle around Morovick. And anonymity, as it also is for an official or umpire, is pretty much the goal for a long snapper.

"He's had a nice season," says UW coach Steve Sarkisian. "It's kind of one of those you don't notice them until they screw up."

Like the rest of the seniors, Morovick wishes there had been a few more wins, maybe even just one bowl game. Instead, there was a lot of close games his first two years, the 0-12 bottoming-out and coaching change of 2008, and a senior year spent rebuilding. But there have been highlights — notably, the snap on the field goal that beat USC.

"If you had to pick one, that would be the one," Morovick says.

And he echoes many of his classmates in saying that while he wishes there'd been a few more wins, he'll leave with no regrets.

"It's about creating friendships and being around a great university like this and being able to say I got my degree [he'll finish his degree in American Ethnic Studies this month]," he said. "It's more than all just about the winning."

It's also all just about over, a realization Morovick says hasn't hit him yet.

"It's been more than I could have ever imagined," he said. "I wasn't even sure that it was going to ever happen, and now I'm pretty sure that for the rest of my life I will say that this four years will be the most enjoyable part of my entire life."

Notes

• Cal coach Jeff Tedford said Tuesday that running back Jahvid Best, out since a harrowing fall against Oregon State Nov. 7, won't play Saturday. He will be replaced again by Shane Vereen, who is seventh in the Pac-10 in rushing with 738 yards.

• C Ryan Tolar (sick) missed practice Tuesday.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com

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