Saturday marked the official end to fall camp for the Washington Huskies.
Coach Steve Sarkisian rewarded his players on a beautiful late morning in Seattle by ending practice a half hour early. The team won't practice again until Monday afternoon as it prepares for the season opener against Eastern Washington on Sept. 3.
"It just shows he cares," senior linebacker Cort Dennison said. "He always emphasizes we don't condition after practice because we go so hard during practice. He just told us today, 'You guys went hard all camp.' We went hard today. Especially on a day like today where it's so hard for everybody to go because it's the end of camp. Some people might be unfocused but everybody brought it today. When you play as hard as we did during camp and bring it on that final day like we did today, coach rewarded us and that just shows how much he cares about us."
Camp ended with more concern at the tailback spot as Johri Fogerson was sidelined with a strained hip. It's questionable whether Chris Polk will be ready to go for Eastern Washington since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery less than two weeks ago.
Sarkisian told the group of media at Saturday's practice that even though the Huskies have had their injury troubles, fall camp went well. He wasn't able to give definite answers for the return of Polk and cornerback Quenton Richardson but is encouraged by their rehabilitation. Both were conditioning Saturday.
"Well, the biggest thing is we got better," Sarkisian said. "I knew Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, we had a pretty decent team and we had a pretty athletic team, but there were so many things to clean up, so many little things. And I thought as a whole, we got better as a football team. The way you get better as a team is you're getting better individually. And I thought a lot of our young guys cleaned up a lot of the nuances of the team. It was a real tribute to our vets as far as teaching and brining those young guys along. And then the other thing I think we accomplished coming out of this training camp is, although it's as physical as it was, I feel like we're a fresh team. We didn't come out of training camp with a bunch of injuries, and guys weren't tired and fatigued. We're fresh. We've got a couple guys on the mend that looked good in their rehabs. So I liked that. I think we accomplished that as well.''