Receiver Cody Bruns finds spot as Huskies' holder
Cody Bruns, a junior receiver at Washington, has taken over as the Huskies' holder on extra points and field goals. Bruns replaces backup quarterback Ronnie Fouch, who has transferred to Indiana State.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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One of the less-obvious consequences of the offseason decision of Washington Huskies backup quarterback Ronnie Fouch to transfer is that it also meant the loss of the team's holder for extra points and field goals.
It didn't take long for UW coaches to find another sure-handed willing candidate, however — Cody Bruns, a junior receiver who at Prosser High School caught more passes than anyone in state history.
Bruns said special-teams coach Johnny Nansen approached him soon after Fouch's departure to Indiana State.
Bruns had only minimal experience holding but said, "I don't mind it at all. Whatever I can do to help the team and get on the field, I like it."
Indeed, winning the holding job could give Bruns his first consistent role on the team after two frustrating seasons.
He was slated to redshirt as a freshman in 2008 until sent into action in the second half against Arizona in the fifth game of the year — a decision many fans hotly debated given that the season was already a lost cause.
Bruns saw little playing time last season as a sophomore, as receivers Jermaine Kearse, Devin Aguilar and James Johnson blossomed. In fact, Bruns has as many completions on flanker reverse plays as receptions in his UW career — three of each, including a 38-yard completion to Kearse in the final game last season against California, helping start the blowout of the Bears. All three of his receptions came in 2008.
The competition for receiving spots isn't any less stiff this year as every significant receiver from last season returns.
But Bruns says that for now, he's willing to stick it out at UW.
"I think everybody wants to play," he said after Saturday's practice. "I couldn't sit here and say I don't want to play. But I'm just going to work hard. We have a great coaching staff that will put the best people on the field. So I'm just going to do my best this spring and see what happens."
Holding, at least, would be a regular way to get on the field. Coach Steve Sarkisian said Bruns has made a quick transition to the role, working with prospective new snapper Brendan Lopez — a walk-on junior from Bellevue who is in line to replace the graduated Danny Morovick.
Morovick and Fouch were nearly flawless a year ago, when kicker Erik Folk hit 18 of 21 field goals, the third-best field-goal percentage in school history behind only Chuck Nelson's 25 of 26 in 1982 (96.2) and Jeff Jaeger's 23 of 26 in 1985 (88.5).
"The efficiency we are kicking the ball with, I like right now," Sarkisian said Saturday. "Tuesday wasn't our best day, a little low on our snaps, getting the ball down with the laces not there. But today [Saturday] was much better. They had worked at it and I think Cody is just getting his comfort zone in his stance to where he can move, if the ball is not perfect he can get back to his spot."
• The Huskies will take the field for their fourth practice of the spring at 4 p.m. Tuesday, the first time they will put on full pads. The Huskies are practicing three times a week over five weeks, a change from previous springs when the Huskies often practiced four times a week. Teams are limited to 15 practices in a 34-day period but can spread them out however they like. Sarkisian wanted to break them up a little bit to keep the team fresher.