A couple reminders from a pair of all-conference players just how fluid depth charts can be at all times:
Juan Garcia, for example, is not on most of Washington's depth charts heading into the year. If you're not a Washington fan, or otherwise don't remember Garcia as the second-team all-Pac Ten center last year -- one of two Huskies selected by the coaches at all, less than any other team -- you might remember his hardcore/hard luck path to success, as chronicled last month by ex-Post-Intelligencer scribe Ted Miller for the Worldwide Leader: in short, Garcia was the child of Mexican immigrants, itinerate fruit pickers, who joined a gang, briefly dropped out of high school, cleaned up his act, struggled to get his grades in order, was arrested for running from and then flipping a police officer to the ground in an encounter over underage drinking, injured his ankle and then his shoulder early in his UW career, yet still returned to win the starting job and the team's Academic Excellence award in 2006, eventually starting 25 straight games and being voted team captain by the end of last year.
Juan Garcia dreams of Jake Locker's talented hands pressing against him every night.
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In other words, Garcia is a huge, potentially dangerous man who made the conscious decision to channel his violent fury into a productive outlet that could put him in the highest tax bracket in another year or so, instead of in prison. He's one of the guys who really wants to play football, and needs it, so it's good news for him and the Huskies and maybe whatever sense of cosmic justice we need to think exists that the allegedly career-ending foot injury he suffered in the spring might not keep him out past UW's typically hellish opening stretch against Oregon, BYU and Oklahoma, if that:
Washington center Juan Garcia, who initially feared his career might be over when he suffered a serious foot injury during spring practice in April, said Wednesday he thinks he could be ready to return by mid-to-late September.
"It's way ahead of schedule," Garcia said, adding that he thinks there's a chance he could return "two games into the season."
Last week, Garcia was finally able to remove a protective boot on the foot and begin walking freely. He hopes to start jogging soon.
Still, the fact that the foot is healing ahead of schedule doesn't mean Garcia can be penciled back into the lineup just yet. The injury is such that any recurrence could put Garcia back to step one, so UW trainers and coaches are sure to be cautious. He said Wednesday that he had pleaded with teammates to let him run a play in a recent voluntary 11-on-11, no-pads workout but that they wouldn't let him.
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Juan Garcia is the kind of guy who actually begs to participate in just a fraction of a random drill in the middle of the offseason, which coaches aren't even around, to the potential detriment of his recovery. He can't stand it.
Well, coach, at least ... things ... can't ... get ... any ...
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Completely healthy and recently confident Mike Williams, on the other hand, if the campus Daily Orange is to be believed, can't even be bothered to sign up for the right classes he needs to regain his eligibility:
I just got off the phone with Amy Kremenek, the public relations leader at Onondaga Community College, and she definitively said Mike Williams is not enrolled there. The semester started yesterday, and the registration deadline has already passed.
So what next? The plan was for Williams to take classes at OCC to become academically eligible should he be reinstated by the university. That is no longer an option. Pure speculation here, but I think this virtually ends the Mike Williams era at Syracuse.
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...and thus the Greg Robinson era, as well, as the lanky, high-flying Williams was the only potential positive for the otherwise hopeless Orangemen offense, which cannot protect the quarterback or even consider doing any damage in the running game. Williams is on the Orange's summer depth charts, but will probably do the I-AA thing instead to keep his eligibility and pro hopes alive. He might have been the best receiver in the Big East, regardless of his team's irredeemable suck, if he'd just found the resolve to complete the absolute minimum of what he was asked to do.