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Originally published Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Freshman receiver Cody Bruns produces in brief cameo at QB

Before he became the most prolific receiver in state high-school history, Washington receiver Cody Bruns dabbled at quarterback. "I still have a...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Before he became the most prolific receiver in state high-school history, Washington receiver Cody Bruns dabbled at quarterback.

"I still have a pretty good arm," he said. "I can throw it a little bit."

During Saturday's 39-19 defeat to Arizona State at Husky Stadium, Washington unveiled a "Wildcat" formation and Bruns showed everyone that he still has a little quarterback inside of him.

Bruns lined up in the shotgun for direct snaps twice times, and both times Arizona State snuffed out the trick play, resulting in a short gain and a 12-yard loss.

Offensive coordinator Tim Lappano, however, invented ways to get the ball in Bruns' hands.

"Cody throws the ball extremely well," Lappano said. "He's a really good athlete. He made those plays in practice for the last three weeks, so I didn't have any reservations about calling them when I did because he was so good the last couple of weeks. I promised those guys we were going to empty it out and have a little fun and some things happen. He did a good job with it."

Early in the second quarter, quarterback Ronnie Fouch tossed a lateral to Bruns on the right side before circling out of the backfield and retrieving a 6-yard touchdown pass from Bruns.

"We kind of had a joke," said Bruns. "He told me not to lay it out too high. Ronnie is a great athlete, and I knew he would make a play."

Midway in the first quarter, Bruns took a reverse around the right end and tossed a 29-yard pass to D'Andre Goodwin for the game's first big play.

Bruns might have been a quarterback if Kellen Moore, now a Boise State freshman, hadn't dominated at Prosser High School. Bruns moved to receiver in ninth grade and finished his Mustangs career with more receptions (310), receiving yards (5,178) and touchdowns (72) than anyone else in school history. His reception and yardage totals ranked second in the nation all-time for 11-man football.

Despite the gaudy résumé, the 5-foot-11, 168-pound freshman has been an afterthought most of the season.

Coach Tyrone Willingham sparked a little controversy when he burned Bruns' redshirt and played him against Arizona five weeks into the season. Before Saturday's game, Bruns had just one catch for 21 yards and had been limited by a slight hamstring injury.


Against the Sun Devils, he finished with two receptions for 19 yards.

"It's definitely worth it," Bruns said. "I've gained as a player. I have no regrets."

Bruns, who was 2-for-2 passing, hinted the Huskies have more variations with the Wildcat formation. He also said Saturday's game was bittersweet because the Huskies (0-9) lost.

"I can never feel good after a loss," Bruns said. "Personal achievements are great, but as a player, you want to win, and that kind of eats away at you."

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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