Tuesday practice notes: Defense ready


SEATTLE -- While Justin Wilcox would like another month to prepare his defense before Washington takes the field for its season opener, the Huskies’ defensive coordinator doesn’t have that luxury.

After spring practice and three weeks of fall camp to install his defense, Washington is down to a final few practices before Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. PT season opener against San Diego State at CenturyLink Field.

After a little fine-tuning this week it will be time for the Huskies to “put our cards out there on the table,” as Wilcox put it.

“I think they’re excited for it," he said. "I know we are, too. We just need a couple more days of good work to make sure we can get as ready as we can possibly be.”

With a new system, injuries and players switching positions, it has taken time to develop the defense, but Washington’s players are ready to line up against some fresh faces.

“I think it’s definitely time,” Wilcox said. “They’re tired of beating up on each other. It’s time for them to go play somebody else. It’s important for us to make sure we’re getting the screws tightened this week and getting our alignments, all the things we’ve worked on all fall and now gearing toward another opponent.”

Tight end ready to make plays

Michael Hartvigson still remembers staying up late every night during his freshman season, memorizing the playbook.

The 6-foot-6, 255-pound tight end would sit down with receiver Kevin Smith, and they would quiz each other on routes and formations.

It took time, but now a redshirt sophomore, Hartvigson has settled into the system.

“Now I would say I have most of the playbook almost in the back of my head,” Hartvigson said. “From my freshman year until now, I would say I’ve definitely come a long way.”

While sophomore Austin Seferian-Jenkins receives the bulk of the headlines, Hartvigson will see plenty of playing time this season. He isn’t worried about attention or accolades. He simply wants to find ways to contribute.

“Whether it’s in the run game, in the pass game, whether it’s blocking, receiving, I’m just going to do whatever coach Sark (Steve Sarkisian) wants me to do, whatever’s best for the team,” he said.

Walk-on cornerback earns starting spot

In a perfect world, Washington’s cornerbacks would all be 6-1 -- and fast.

With that in mind, how did 5-9, 183-pound walk-on Tre Watson earn a starting job opposite senior Desmond Trufant?

“Tre makes up for it by playing a little bigger than he is, his instincts, finishing -- he never gives up on plays,” Wilcox said. “He’s earned it.”

Watson edged Greg Ducre and Marcus Peters in a three-player, fall-camp battle for the starting spot.

“All three of those guys will play,” Wilcox said. “Tre was a little more consistent throughout fall camp. The work he did in spring, we thought really started it and then he validated it this fall camp.”


• Washington receiver DiAndre Campbell was in a yellow, non-contact jersey during Tuesday’s practice.