Ty Willingham dropped what at first glance sounded like something of a bombshell — the possibility that freshman quarterback Jake Locker could see time at another position. In response to a question, the Washington coach said Locker could conceivably play anywhere on the field other than the offensive or defensive lines.
But he also admitted that the risk of injury might make such a development unrealistic.
"I like Jake Locker as a quarterback," Willingham said. "I think he will grow and develop into an outstanding quarterback. But here's what I know of him: I know he's a team player who never stepped off the field [at Ferndale High School]. He played safety, punt returner, quarterback. He did everything. He's a talented young man and if the need arose, in the best interests of the team, I wouldn't be surprised if he came knocking on our door and said, 'Coach, I think I can help us win [playing another position].' But I see him as a quarterback."
Locker wore No. 10 during Tuesday's practice and worked as the No. 4 quarterback behind Stanback, Carl Bonnell and Johnny DuRocher. When the team finished practice with an 11-on-11 drill, he completed the first pass he threw to Quintin Daniels.
"I thought he stepped into the huddle fairly well," Willingham said.
• Willingham said four players were not academically eligible for the start of practice: DE Anthony Atkins, a junior-college transfer who participated in spring drills; safety Ashlee Palmer and OT Aaron Mason, two incoming JC transfers; and RB Leilyon Myers, an incoming freshman. Willingham would not speculate on whether they will play this year.
Myers' problem is with the NCAA Clearinghouse while the other three simply have to finish up some work. Palmer is expected to compete for a starting job at safety and Mason is expected to compete at left tackle.
• Willingham said he expects RB J.R. Hasty, academically ineligible this year, to be back with the team in the future. He confirmed that Hasty is in school now.
Washington could have up to eight ineligible players, and Willingham was asked who should take the blame.
"It all belongs to me," he said. "It's my program. If there is a player that departs our program, I am upset and disturbed by that, so it doesn't matter for what reason."
• Willingham said CB Dashon Goldson (sprained ankle) will be limited in practice.
• RB Kenny James practiced with a splint to protect his broken right wrist. James said he injured it when he fell awkwardly during a seven-on-seven drill. He will wear a splint the first week or so of practice.
• One of the team's new walk-ons is Fred Wiggs, an O'Dea High grad who is the younger brother of former UW defensive lineman Sekou Wiggs, who played from 1993-97.