|09-12-2001, 12:09 PM||#1|
CW provides purple pride
CW provides purple pride
By Danny O'Neil and Bud Withers
Seattle Times staff reporters
Coach Rick Neuheisel presided over Washington's team meeting yesterday, but
Curtis Williams had the last word.
Williams spoke to the team over the phone after the Huskies' final practice
before tomorrow's season opener against Michigan.
"The message was pride," Neuheisel said. "Hopefully, he got everybody's
attention, and I think he did."
Williams, who is quadriplegic after suffering a spinal-cord injury last
season, is training himself to breathe without a respirator, and he spoke to
the team for five minutes.
"I promise you this, you could have heard a pin drop," Neuheisel said.
Williams concluded his message by starting a chant that was one of his
favorites while playing at Washington. The entire team joined the chant,
which could be heard outside the closed-door meeting in the tunnel leading
to the stadium.
Williams hoped to attend tomorrow's game, but the chartered planes
volunteered for Williams' use did not have a doorway sufficient to
accommodate his wheelchair.
Neuheisel silent on Stevens' status
It won't be a game-time decision whether Jerramy Stevens plays tomorrow, but
Neuheisel remained mum yesterday on whether his junior tight end will play
"I have (decided), but I'm not going to announce it until game time,"
Stevens was cited for hit-and-run in the offseason and pleaded guilty to the
charge. Neuheisel said last spring that a punishment was agreed upon with
Stevens but that the punishment would not be made public.
The other question mark in the offensive starting lineup relates to an
injury. Wide receiver Justin Robbins is suffering from a hamstring injury
and wore a red jersey yesterday reserved for injured players. Neuheisel said
it will be a game-time decision whether Robbins starts at wide receiver.
Zach on track
The next Tuiasosopo is not likely to have the impact his brother did at
Washington, but Zach Tuiasosopo, a redshirt freshman outside linebacker,
made his presence felt at the last scrimmage and will see his first college
action against Michigan.
"I made a couple of mistakes here and there, but it was fun," he said.
Tuiasosopo had five tackles for losses in that rehearsal a week ago, backing
up both Kai Ellis and Anthony Kelley.
It was about then that he talked to Marques Tuiasosopo, now with the Oakland
Raiders, on the phone.
"He basically told me it's going to be one of the most exciting times in
your life," Zach said. "Especially your first game against Michigan. That's
a team you grew up cheering for. He said to just take full advantage of it
and have fun."
Copyright © 2001 The Seattle Times Company
Maksim (Max) Bily
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