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Originally published October 29, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified October 29, 2007 at 10:31 PM

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Hasty will return to Huskies

Washington running back J.R. Hasty said Monday he is returning to the Huskies.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Washington running back J.R. Hasty said Monday he is returning to the Huskies.

Hasty left the team last week, saying he didn't see any opportunity in the future. But he said he reconsidered after meeting with UW coaches over the weekend.

"We all just sat down and talked about some things,'' he said, a group that included coach Tyrone Willingham, offensive coordinator Tim Lappano and Hasty's parents. "I just took some time to think about it and I decided to come back.''

Hasty said he will be back at practice on Tuesday.

Willingham referred to Hasty's return during his radio show Monday night, saying in response to a question on Hasty, "There's probably a good chance we won't be talking about a departure.''

Hasty said he was assured he would have an opportunity to play, if he practices well.

"I just have to make them confident in practice so they can rely on me and trust me,'' Hasty said, adding that he ultimately decided, "I just have to take advantage of what I have now in this system.''

Hasty was the state player of the year at Bellevue High in 2004 and was the marquee player in UW's first recruiting class in 2005. He redshirted the 2005 season and was academically ineligible in 2006.

Hasty said the talks were the result of what he said was interest from both sides in having him return to the team.

"It was kind of a mutual agreement,'' Hasty said, adding that Willingham told him, "They really wanted me back and they didn't want me to leave. Right now I'm back on the team and we'll take it from there.''

Hasty has six carries for 18 yards this season, getting 12 yards on five carries in a game at Arizona State on Oct. 13. He didn't play the next week against Oregon after true freshman Brandon Johnson was named as the backup to Louis Rankin.

"I've just got to keep working hard and eliminate the mental mistakes and mental errors in protection and running the ball,'' he said.

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Hasty said he had already told some of his teammates he was returning and said he thinks he will be accepted warmly. He said he hadn't been told there would be any conditions to his return and he will be back in full standing this week.

He said he watched Saturday's loss to Arizona on TV and said it was "kind of odd.'' But he said he also found himself rooting hard for the Huskies.

"I've just got to stay here and stick it out,'' he said. "I'm back for good. Rain, hail or snow, I'm going to be here.''

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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