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Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Battered Bonnell wants to play

Seattle Times staff reporter

In four games as Washington's starting quarterback, Carl Bonnell has suffered a concussion, a thigh bruise and a sprained left shoulder on which he will have surgery next week.

And after Saturday's loss to Stanford, offensive coordinator Tim Lappano surmised that it might be time to let Bonnell heal and not send him out on the field again this season.

But Monday, as he has done on every other Monday following a battering ram of a Saturday, Bonnell showed up at Washington's weekly news luncheon and pronounced himself ready to play.

"Right now I'm feeling pretty good, so I'm sure he'll [Lappano] let me play," said Bonnell, who suffered a thigh bruise against Stanford and came out of the game for a quarter before returning when Johnny DuRocher suffered a concussion.

And if Bonnell can go, coach Tyrone Willingham said he will be the starter for Saturday's Apple Cup. DuRocher remains questionable to play, Willingham said, and the only other alternative is fifth-year walk-on Felix Sweetman. If UW has to dip any further into its QB reserves, Willingham said he'd have to "get creative," possibly meaning turning to receiver Sonny Shackelford, a quarterback in high school.

But Bonnell insisted he would be able to play. And if there is one game Bonnell figures to not want to miss, it's the Apple Cup, which gives him a chance to return to the school where he began his college career in 2002. Bonnell, a graduate of Kentwood High School, signed with Washington State in 2002 and spent that fall in Pullman as a grayshirt, meaning he didn't practice with the team or enroll as a full-time student in an effort to save a year of eligibility.

But when coach Mike Price announced he was leaving for Alabama that December, Bonnell decided to transfer to Washington — in large part because UW was the school he grew up following and it brought him closer to home.

And while the move has been well-chronicled through the years, Saturday marks the first time Bonnell could step foot on the field at Martin Stadium for a play. He was a reserve who didn't see action with the Huskies in 2004.

"I watched quite a few games in that stadium a few years ago," he said. "But it's about us and the opportunity we have to end the season on the right foot and kick off next season on the right foot."

Bonnell's family will watch from the stands, a contingent that will include older brother Raymond, who played at WSU from 2001-2003 as a walk-on defensive lineman.

"He'll be wearing his old [Cougars] jersey, probably, but he'll take my tickets," said Carl Bonnell, laughing.

Actually, Bonnell said there was never any family tension over his decision to leave WSU. The brothers were roommates at WSU at the time, and Bonnell jokes that the biggest problem when he left "was filling my space in the apartment. He's supported me in every step through it."

Bonnell's departure did ruffle a few feathers at WSU initially, as athletic department officials asked the Pac-10 to look into the matter, and Bonnell wasn't allowed to enroll at UW until the fall of 2003.

But the Cougars eventually let it go, using the open scholarship to sign Alex Brink, now their starting quarterback.

"I'll take that [trade] any day," said WSU defensive end Mkristo Bruce, adding that Bonnell's return isn't really a big deal to Cougars players.

"We don't really care, to tell you the truth," Bruce said. "He never was really on the team for us to get to know."

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com. Read his blogs on Washington football and basketball at www.seattletimes.com/huskies. Times staff reporter Craig Smith contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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Football schedule

DateOpponentTimeTV
Sept. 2San Jose StateW, 35-29
Sept. 9at OklahomaL, 37-20
Sept. 16Fresno StateW, 21-20
Sept. 23UCLAW, 29-19
Sept. 30at ArizonaW, 21-10
Oct. 7at USCL, 26-20
Oct. 14Oregon StateL, 27-17
Oct. 21at CaliforniaL, 31-24, OT
Oct. 28Arizona StateL, 26-23, OT
Nov. 4at OregonL, 34-14
Nov. 11StanfordL, 20-3
Nov. 18at Washington StateW, 35-32

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