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August 20, 2011
Callier gets the call for Huskies
The Washington Huskies' running back situation was supposed to be a sure thing.
They were to be led by their anchor, junior tailback Chris Polk, coming off an outstanding 2010 season and who looked stronger and leaner coming into fall camp.
Behind Polk is Jesse Callier, Johri Fogerson and true freshman Bishop Sankey, each of whom have plenty of talent to succeed when called upon.
Thursday the running situation that looked like a "sure thing" took a hit as Polk had arthroscopic knee surgery to repair an injured meniscus.
According to head coach Steve Sarkisian, Polk "tweaked" his knee during practice Wednesday night.
"We went in just to clean up a little bit of a meniscus thing in there," Sarkisian said. "It's not serious but I just didn't want it to linger."
Sarkisian is optimistic about Polk returning quickly, possibly even for the start of the season at home against Eastern Washington University.
Sarkisian said that Polk could be out for "potentially a couple of weeks." Adding that "we don't know" if he will miss the first game.
"I'm going to let him get healthy," Sarkisian said. "That's something that's really important for us in the long haul."
He may not ever get the chance to start a game, but Callier explained how having a year under his belt makes him more ready to take the lead as the starting tailback.
"I feel like I'm more prepared this year because last year I just played out of adrenaline and excitement," Callier said. "This year I can sit down and pay attention to details and really learn the game."
Not only has he matured, but Callier says he also has gained 10 pounds and now weighs 205 pounds, which he expects to help him if he has to carry more of a load and run between the tackles.
During Friday's practice, the running game didn't miss a beat without Polk.
Callier was the No. 1 tailback, but it was the freshman Sankey who had the run of the day. He took a handoff 65 yards for a score during the practice.
There is no doubt that Polk's absence will be a hit to the Huskies, but seeing the young guys emerge with him on the sideline is good news for Washington.
Kyle Lewis was turned down by the NCAA and will not be attending the University of Washington. Sarkisian did not go into much detail on the situation, he did say he is still waiting to hear about Marvin Hall and Antavius Sims.
There were plenty of great catches to go around on Friday night, the longest was a 70-yard strike from Nick Montana to freshman Kasen Williams, who continues to make a case for immediate playing time. ...
Another high profile freshman, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins had an up and down day making some nice catches, but he also dropped a few passes. After practice he spent some time catching balls from the ball machine.
Senior linebacker Cort Dennison was "kicked in the shin" according to Sarkisian, which forced him to sit out part of practice, but the injury doesn't appear serious. ...
With Alameda Ta'Amu out because of his hand injury, Lawrence Lagafuaina has had a chance to be the anchor of the defensive line. Sarkisian said he likes the quickness, explosion and his run defense that Lagafuaina has shown in Ta'Amu's absence.