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Fogerson helps Huskies break losing streak

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By Rich Myhre
Herald Writer
  • The Huskies’ Johri Fogerson (23) scores one of his two touchdown on a 24-yard TD pass in the second quarter of Saturday’s game against Ida...

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    The Huskies’ Johri Fogerson (23) scores one of his two touchdown on a 24-yard TD pass in the second quarter of Saturday’s game against Idaho.

SEATTLE — A year ago, the coaching staff of then-University of Washington head coach Tyrone Willingham wanted Johri Fogerson to move from offense to defense. They let him know by hanging a white defensive jersey in his locker.
This fall, new UW coach Steve Sarkisian wanted Fogerson to move back to offense. So Sarkisian took the player aside and talked to him, making sure he’d welcome the switch.
Guess which coaching staff gets the higher marks from Fogerson.
“Everything this year feels a lot better,” Fogerson said. “It feels more comfortable. Everybody is just following what (Sarkisian) believes and it’s becoming a part of us. It’s what we believe now, too.”
Fogerson had a big hand in helping Washington end its 15-game losing streak on Saturday, scoring two touchdowns in a 42-23 victory over Idaho at Husky Stadium. The 6-foot-1, 191-pound sophomore backup tailback finished with 6 yards on two carries, 35 yards on two receptions and had a 14-yard punt return.
“I personally feel like I’m contributing a lot to the offensive side of the ball,” Fogerson said. “Not to take away from anything I did on defense. I really believe I was a great safety and (an improving) safety. But coming to the offensive side of the ball, it’s a different feeling over there.”
Fogerson scored Washington’s second touchdown against Idaho early in the second quarter, taking a screen pass from quarterback Jake Locker in the left flat and dashing untouched for 24 yards, aided by a nice block from offensive tackle Ben Ossai.
His second touchdown was in the fourth quarter and came on a 2-yard run through the middle of the line.
They were Fogerson’s first two touchdowns at Washington, though he shrugged off their significance.
“I’ve been there before,” he said. “College or high school, it’s still the same. It feels like a touchdown.”
Later, he said, “Getting the win is more important to me.”
Fogerson made an immediate splash in his offensive debut a week ago, taking another screen pass from Locker for 51 yards against 11th-ranked Louisiana State. The Huskies lost that game 31-23, but were praised for playing so well against a highly ranked opponent.
“We got pats on the back for losing a game, and I’ve never received that in my life,” Fogerson said. “That was a big shock to me. And now we came out this week and got a win. But that just goes to prove what coaches do for you.
“Coach Sark expects nothing but greatness out of each and every one of us, from the guy at the top of the depth chart all the way down to the last man. He’s come in and demanded a lot of himself, and in return he’s demanded a lot of us.
“So the scheme of how they want this program to be is on the right track. And obviously everybody can see that we’re a better team.”
A year from now, a second Fogerson will be part of the UW program. Younger brother Zach Fogerson is a 6-foot-11/2, 240-pound fullback at Seattle’s O’Dea High School. One of the top fullback prospects in the country, he committed to the Huskies in May.
What kind of college player will he be?
“Hopefully a beast,” his brother said.
In 2007, Johri Fogerson’s senior high school season, the two brothers started together in the same O’Dea backfield. On many running plays, it was the younger Fogerson leading the way for his brother.
It could happen again at Washington.
“As long as he has a fullback mindset, we’ll be all good,” Johri Fogerson said with a smile. “It’ll be like old times.”
Story tags » Huskies Football

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