UW Football | Bonnell closes QB gap with Locker
Jake Locker, the heralded quarterback who arrived at Washington with high expectations, surely didn't expect that in his debut appearance...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Jake Locker, the heralded quarterback who arrived at Washington with high expectations, surely didn't expect that in his debut appearance at Husky Stadium, he'd throw for fewer yards than his tailback.
But the freshman did just that on a day when it was sometimes hard to know what to make of the numbers as Washington concluded spring practice with its annual intra-squad game.
Instead of splitting up the roster, UW coach Tyrone Willingham decided to keep the starting and backup units working together. So that put all of the starters with the Purple team and all of the backups with the Gold team and the result was an inevitable 44-7 win for the No. 1 unit.
"It was the ones versus the twos, so we expected it," said starting linebacker E.J. Savannah, who returned an interception 59 yards for a touchdown. "We were just trying to have fun out there."
The good times began on the second play when Louis Rankin threw a halfback pass 39 yards to Corey Williams to set up the first touchdown of the day for the Purple team. On a 2-yard pass on fourth down from Locker, Marcel Reece made a nifty one-handed grab in the corner of the end zone, the first of three touchdowns for the senior receiver.
But that was about the lone highlight for Locker, who finished 4 for 8 for 38 yards, one touchdown and one interception, numbers that paled in comparison to those of backup Carl Bonnell, who was 8 for 15 for 127 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. The two quarterbacks split time playing with the No. 1 offense against the No. 2 defense.
"There are still some things I need to work on," said Locker, whose interception came on a deep pass into the end zone that was intended for Anthony Russo and was instead corralled by walk-on safety Jay Angotti. "Not by any means am I ready to be an All-American quarterback or anything like that."
But in the eyes of Willingham, he's still more than ready to be UW's starting quarterback as the coach reaffirmed afterward that Locker will be Washington's No. 1 signal caller heading into fall camp.
"Right now, I'm very comfortable with Jake as number one and Carl as number two," Willingham said.
Washington offensive coordinator Tim Lappano, however, said "the gap has closed. I think everybody can see that. How much is between us [UW's coaches]. But Carl has kept this thing very competitive."
That's all Bonnell said he was hoping to do.
"I feel like I've had a pretty good spring," said Bonnell, who showed no ill effects in spring practice from offseason surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder. "And I had a good day today. So hopefully that will stick in the back of their minds come next August."
Locker, however, was at a bit of a disadvantage Saturday. The Huskies opened little of their playbook — Willingham estimated UW used just one-twelfth of its available offense — and almost none of its plays that call for the quarterbacks to run, a particular strength of Locker's.
No one could doubt the emergence of Reece, the 6-foot-3, 240-pounder for whom big things have been expected since he arrived on campus last August as a junior-college transfer. But he struggled after showing up weighing 269 pounds, and made just nine catches. But three came in the season-finale win at Washington State, and Saturday Reece appeared to pick up where he left off.
He also scored on a 32-
yarder after catching a short pass from Bonnell and then breaking a tackle and scampering down the sideline, giving one last move past Angotti and into the end zone, and on a 10-yard TD pass from Bonnell. All three came in the first half as the Purple team opened a 28-0 halftime lead.
"He's done that all spring and that's what we thought would happen — that he would continue on from that big game he had against Washington State," said Lappano.
Savannah had the other first-half TD when he picked off a Ronnie Fouch pass and raced down the sideline.
Rankin, a fifth-year senior, scored on a 42-yard run in the third quarter that put the Purple up 37-0. He led all rushers with 99 yards on 16 carries, concluding a spring in which he solidified his status as the team's No. 1 tailback.
"He's been a little bit more consistent runner this spring than he was last fall," said Lappano.
Backup J.R. Hasty had 35 yards on 10 carries, but was running behind the No. 2 offensive line against the No. 1 defense.
• Starting LB Dan Howell didn't play because of an illness. Willingham didn't elaborate but said more details could come later this week.
• Walk-on WR Charles Hawkins (shoulder) and backup DT Derek Kosub (finger) were the only players listed as suffering injuries.
• The Huskies have reportedly picked up two more commitments from offensive linemen — Terence Thomas, a 6-8, 295-pounder from Caldwell, Idaho; and Craig Noble, a 6-5, 295-pounder from Woodland Hills, Calif. Washington now has six commitments for the Class of 2008. At a similar date in 2006, UW had one.
• While the score might have seemed rather predictable, Lappano didn't think it completely meaningless.
"I told the quarterbacks after the game I was in this stadium a couple of years ago and scored three points," Lappano said, a reference to a 3-0 spring game in 2005. "That shows growth right there. A couple years ago, we couldn't complete anything against air."
• Attendance was estimated at 10,000.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|A statistical comparison of No. 1 Jake Locker and No. 2 Carl Bonnell from UW's spring football game:|
PURPLE 44, GOLD 7
|Purple||7 21 9 7 44|
|Gold||0 0 0 7 7|
Purple — Reece 10 pass from Carl Bonnell (Ballman kick)
Purple — E.J. Savannah 59 interception return (Ballman kick)
Purple — Reece 32 pass from Bonnell (Ballman kick)
Purple — Jordan Reffett safety
Purple — Louis Rankin 42 run (Ballman kick)
Purple — Luke Kravitz 8 pass from Bonnell (Ballman kick)
Gold — Walt Winter 3 pass from Chandler Clemons (Zach Gerasin kick)
Rushing — Purple: Rankin 16-99, Kravitz 4-33, Locker 3-9. Gold: J.R. Hasty 10-35, Johnie Kirton 5-12.
Passing — Purple: Carl Bonnell 8-15-0, 127, 3; Jake Locker 4-8-1, 38, 1; Louis Rankin 1-1-0, 39. Gold: Ronnie Fouch 8-16-1, 81, 0; Chandler Clemons 3-10-0, 15, 1.
Receiving — Purple: Corey Williams 3-73, Anthony Russo 3-65, Marcel Reece 3-44, Louis Rankin 2-17. Gold: Cody Ellis 4-39, Charles Hawkins 3-37, D'Andre Goodwin 2-10, Walt Winter 2-10.
Tackles — Purple: Donald Butler 8, Roy Lewis 5, Jordan Reffett 5, Savannah 4, Greyson Gunheim 4, Jordan Murchison 4, Mesphin Forrester 4. Gold: Jay Angotti 8, Darrion Jones 6, Kyle Trew 5, Darin Harris 4.
Sacks — Purple: Jordan Reffett 2-5, Matt Houston 1-10. Gold: Erick Lobos 1-7.
Interceptions — Purple: Savannah 1-59. Gold — Angotti 1-0.
Punting — Ballman 6-159, 26.5.
Field goals — Ballman 37 no good (wide right).
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.