Taking the next step
The Washington Huskies football program has transformed itself since the arrival of Steve Sarkisian. While he has whiffed at bringing in-state players to Washington, he has had great success building a team from outside the state.
In doing so, this team has unrivaled depth that they have not seen since perhaps the era of Husky domination in the old Pac-10.
With so much emphasis placed on the SEC and other East Coast football powerhouses, the Huskies have slowly and quietly built themselves into a sleeping giant.
This roster is full of depth and there are several players at the top of the depth charts that can easily make the jump from college to pro football.
I believe that these 5 guys could easily make the jump to the pros next year and be successful.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – TE
I have said this many times already and will continue to echo the sentiment all season long. Austin Seferian-Jenkins could easily be the top TE in the country this season. ASJ was third in receiving last year behind the departed Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar.
This sets Seferian-Jenkins up for a really good chance to be the team’s leading receiver or even close to it than last year. In the 2011 campaign, ASJ caught 41 passes for 528 yards and 6 touchdowns.
This season, him and Kasen Williams will make the Husky pass game a serious threat to everybody on the schedule. Not to mention they also have James Johnson, Kevin Smith, Cody Bruns and Michael Hartvigson who will be nothing but helpful to this potent offense.
This season is his sophomore season. If he decides to forgo the NFL, he could be ushering in a new era of Husky football and pioneer a new-age TE the Husky football program has never seen before.
Desmond Trufant – CB
Desmond Trufant, in my mind, will no doubt be following his brother’s footsteps into the NFL. Last season, Trufant was one of very few bright spots on the Husky defense that was decimated all season long. His ballhawking skills were second to none and he made several crucial stops when they counted most.
If not for Trufant, the Huskies may have lost a couple of the “easy” game at the beginning of last season.
In 2011, Trufant had 47 tackles (1 for loss), 2 interceptions, 1 sack and 1 forced fumble.
Trufant is a Junior this season and could be the veteran presence this Husky defense needs to gel in games and come up big when needed. I have a feeling it runs in the family.
Keith Price – QB
If you didn’t see the Alamo Bowl last season, you missed out on one of the greatest performances by a QB in a bowl game…ever. While the hype surrounded Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III last year, what many fail to realize is that Keith Price was the best QB that day. By far.
Price out-dueled RGIII, but as expected, did not receive the attention he should have. Price was 23/37, 438 yards, 4 TD, 0 Int in said game while Griffin III was 24/33, 295 yards, 1 TD.
Price rushed 5 times for 39 yards and 3 TD. Griffin III ran 18 times for 55 yards and 1 TD.
While I could keep bragging about Price, I really don’t need to. His pre-season accolades will do the talking and his play on the field this season will back it up. Last year, Price was stricken with bad knees due to lack of protection. This season he is 100% healthy and more dangerous than ever.
Drew Schaefer – C
This is a wild card pick, but I believe a solid one. Drew Schaefer stepped right in and contributed, taking the starting spot and not relenting.
This season, he is the only healthy lineman the Huskies have and was the stoutest blocker last season in my opinion. This is his senior season and he will look to step up even more to cap out his Husky career.
If Keith Price stays on the Heisman watch list deep into the season, Schaefer will be a big reason why.
Centers aren’t huge commodities or talked about very often, but Schaefer deserves to be in the conversation and will make a solid NFL center.
Sean Parker – S
Sophomore Sean Parker is an enigma in this Husky defense. While his numbers aren’t stellar, they also aren’t bad at all. And despite that, people still rave about his talent.
I can see why.
Parker is extremely fast to the ball and has good hands.
If he can’t intercept a pass, he will get his hands on it or jar it loose as soon as the receiver grabs it. His athleticism is second to none and he is extremely valued because of that.
While this is no measuring tool, it shows you how highly regarded Parker really is.
The newest version of NCAA Football came out and Parker was ranked a 93 overall, second best on this Husky squad.
Last season, Parker registered 49 tackles 4 interceptions and 1.5 passes defended.