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More depth and athleticism in the Huskies’ 2014 secondary

Coaches Cody Halseth and Eric Duchene are going to have to make some tough decisions in determining the starting defensive secondary and those who will be on the travel roster (photo Derek Mortensen for Electric Umbrella)

Whether it be players with junior experience with the Hilltops, or Huskies who have been backups for the last year or two, the Huskies’ starting defensive secondary will take on a new look in 2014 with a few new starters. The unit is lead by coaches Cody Halseth and Eric Duchene. Halseth spoke with Huskie Outsider earlier today. “It’s interesting,” Coach Halseth stated, “we’ve got a young group. They’re very athletic and the desire is there. It’s going to be a fun training camp for us because they’re competing; they know it’s open and there’s a lot of younger players that are pushing older guys, and older guys that are pushing themselves. The depth is really good, we just lack a little experience. We have more depth, and definitely more speed and athleticism than in the past, so we have lots of parts to work with.”

It’s still early in camp and depth charts tend to evolve as camps continue, but so far the bulk of the first team reps have gone to Mark Ingram, a returning All-Canadian, at safety, Dylan Kemp at rover, Travoy Martinez (who missed most of 2013 with a shoulder injury) and former Hilltop Taylor Rehn at corner, Chris Friesen, another former Hilltop, and Eric Verity at Halfback. Verity earned positive reviews last year as a backup at rover, but the coaching staff wants to have a look at him as a halfback. “Eric is doing fine. It was important that we had him learn how to play rover because it’s such an important spot for us, but our goal is to get the best six athletes that we have on the field, and we feel that Eric gives us another good guy in the halfback spot. He has progressed and he’s a little older now, so he’s in the mix for a starting spot but there’s a big battle inside there.”

Eric Verity

The Huskies always welcome the experience that comes with having played junior football, and this season is no different with Rehn and Friesen coming over from the outstanding Hilltops’ program. “The game speed for them is slowed down a lot compared to the young guys,” Halselth noted. “Taylor picks it up really fast. Chris is still grasping the technique that we teach because it’s a little different system than he’s used to, but he’s progressing and coming along well.”

Huskie Outsider also spoke with Halseth about freshman Gabe Simons; we will share those comments in an article about the promising young DB tomorrow.

Camp continues on Sunday, again with practices at 9:00 and approximately 3:45. If you have the chance, come out to watch practice and keep an eye on the defensive backfield because there are about 10 players who are fighting for a starting spot and a place on the roster.

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