university of washington blog

Washington Huskies football: Five new players to know in 2012

Fresh Faces at UW this season

Who will come out of nowhere to make a splash for the UW Huskies football team?

In college football teams who are successful have mostly upperclassman who have been in the program for a while who have paid their dues to step up and succeed.

While some programs even the super successful ones always have a freshman or two come in and step up. Whether that freshman was a true freshman straight out of high school or a redshirt.

This year the Washington Huskies due to the recruiting job of Steve Sarkisian will once again have some freshman make a major impact.

Here are the five freshman who will be making that impact (Recruiting stars and class they are a part of aslo included)

Honorable Mention

Derrick Brown QB (3*, class of 2011), Jeff Lindquist QB (4*, class of 2012) and Cyler Miles QB ( 4*, class of 2012, Army All-American Game MVP)

The reason I list all three together is because one of them will be backing up Keith Price this upcoming season.

UW Freshman

Mickens will see the field in 2012

Since 2006 the Huskies starting quarterback has started every game one season which was Jake Locker as a junior in 2009. Since 2006 when the Huskies have to turn to their backup QB they have a horrific record which stands at 2-14.

UW have lost 10 straight games in which their backup quarterback has to make a spot start.

Whoever is backing up Price will be a guy who will be taking his very first college snap this season which is a scary thought.

5. Jaydon Mickens- WR ( 4* recruit class of 2012)

Mickens is a wonderful talent who I just don’t know how big of an impact he’ll make at Washington due to Kasen Williams (sophomore, 5* recruit), James Johnson (senior, 3* recruit), Cody Bruns (senior, 4* recruit), and Kevin Smith (junior, 4* recruit) all being back.

Mickens will see the field as he is a jack of all trades player.

During his senior year in high school he was an all around athlete as he caught 32 passes for 558 yards (17.4 YPC) with seven touchdowns, he also ran the ball 82 times for 378 yards (4.61 YPC) with 13 touchdowns.

He even attempted 32 passes on the year for 238 yards passing.

I’m sure Sarkisian will find a way to include Mickens into some special packages and he’ll make some plays for the Huskies this year as Price does like to spread the ball around.

4. Brandon Beaver- CB (3* recruit on scout, 4* recruit on rivals class of 2012, Army All-American Game)

The Huskies defense was flat out awful last year. They scored 56 points in a bowl game and still lost by double figures that is how bad the they were.

Coach Sark Recruiting

Who will come out of nowhere to make a splash for UW?

Beaver won’t start at corner but he’ll provide depth for the Huskies this first year and eventually will be a household name as Desmond Trufant graduates after this season.

3. Taniela Tupou- DE ( 4* recruit, class of 2011)

Tupou was redshirted last season despite being a four star recruit showing that times are changing at Washington as the Huskies are starting to build depth.

The defense struggled last year and with a new defensive coaching staff and with Hau’oli Jamora returning from injury the defense should improve.

With Andrew Hudson and Josh Shirley entering their redshirt sophomore season and threw in Tupou the defensive line could have some rush ends this year.

2. James Sample- Safety (4* recruit, Army All-American game, class of 2011)

Sample was a big recruit by Sarkisian who picked the Huskies at the Army All-American game, the year prior Sean Parker chose the Huskies on signing day which was a shocker.

The Huskies three years in a row have landed a top notch safety. Sample last year was supposed to  make an impact but was hurt early on and thankfully got a medical redshirt.

Sample will play quite a bit this year in Nickel situations and might even play every down at the end of the season, he is that talented.

1. Shaq Thompson- Safety (5* recruit, #1 safety in the nation, #3 player overall in the nation, class of 2012)

Sarkisian has landed three five star recruits the last two years and we saw how big of an impact Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Kasen Williams had this last season combining for 12 touchdowns (six a piece).

Shaq Thompson UW

True freshman Thompson will probably start at Safety.

Thompson who announced he was going to UW on twitter and happens to be cousins with Sample was a huge addition.

Thompson a true freshman will probably start at Safety.

Nate Fellner who was a two year starter for the Huskies was moved to linebacker while other spot starters Justin Glenn and Will Shamburger won’t play much due to the Huskies adding both Thompson and Sample.

Sark also said Thompson is the best running back on the team which includes two talented guys in Jesse Callier and Bishop Sankey.

Thompson will start on defense and will be used on offense as well. Sark has been quoted as saying they’ll run some offensive plays for him in 2012.

He could make the biggest freshman impact a Husky has had since Reggie Williams back in 2001.

As you can see with my five impact freshman four of which are on the defensive side of the ball.

Think Sarkisian realizes what needed to be fixed?

These five guys will make a huge impact this season and there are other talented kids in these recruiting classes that I’m excited about but for this year these are the five to keep an eye on.


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