university of washington blog

Washington Huskies rookies expected to start/play in Week 1

Step right up!

The Washington Huskies hauled in quite a recruiting class this off-season. Needless to say, Husky Nation is excited to see these new guys during fall camp this year.

While many true freshman don’t get to see the field during the regular season, there is always a crop of a few standout players who get to make an immediate impact. There’s lots to choose from in this year’s recruiting class, too.

Look back at last year when Austin Seferian-Jenkins broke onto the scene teaming with Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar to form a scary receiving crops.

He has already established himself as a top TE in the Nation. Not just the Pac-12, but the NATION.

Steve Sarkisian, Washington Huskies

WOOF WOOF Sark! Nice job recruiting!!

After a stellar true freshman performance, ASJ is back with a vengeance and could be the top TE in the country.

Not many can argue otherwise.

Kasen Williams, fresh off a standout career at Skyline High School, came out last year swinging, too. The then-true freshman WR lit up opposing defenses most of the season.

His most memorable highlight from the season coming in the storied Apple Cup rivalry with Washington State where he hurdled a Coug defender en route to a touchdown.

Bishop Sankey saw some time at RB and returned kicks. John Timu saw time at LB and Jamaal Kearse came in and took Timu’s place when he went down with injury.

Danny Shelton, Andrew Hudson and Josh Shirley all contributed on the defensive line in one way or another.

Last year’s squad showed some serious versatility when these young players were able to step up. Let’s take a look at who could play the same role this season for the Huskies, starting week 1 against the San Diego State Aztecs.

Shaq Thompson – S – 6’2″, 215 lbs

Shaq Thompson is the most heralded recruit in the Steve Sarkisian recruiting era. A 5-star player out of Sacramento, California, Thompson’s versatility and talent level make him an automatic consideration for immediate play time.

In high school he passed, rushed, tackled and punted his way into record books and tops of lists.

Coach Sark will find a way to work this guy into the starting lineup, I can almost guarantee that.

From the sounds of it, he may possibly get some opportunities on offense. You can’t let talent like his go to waste and Sark is well aware of that. With his huge production from both sides of the ball in high school, he is the ultimate weapon.

Shaq Thompson, Washington Huskies

Shaq Thompson will make an immediate impact on the 2012 Huskies

Last year, he rushed the ball for 1,134 yards and 15 touchdowns. He threw 8 touchdowns among his 893 passing yards. He made 57 tackles on defense.

The guy can do it all. And to top it all off…after getting the ok, Thompson was drafted last month in the 2012 MLB Draft and is currently playing for the Red Sox rookie league affiliate.

Shane Brostek – O-Line – 6’3″, 283 lbs

Shane Brostek probably has the next best chance of an incoming player besides Shaq Thompson to start or play week 1. The Husky offensive line is decimated with injury and are going to be looking to their depth to get the job done. Brostek is an immovable object.

He would be an easy fix for this offensive line if it needs a replacement by week 1.

And with the way things are shaping up injury wise, he may be a hot commodity come week 1.

He can also play fullback, which just doesn’t seem fair if you’ve seen the guy play before. Yikes.

James Sample – S – 6’2″, 202 lbs

James Sample played 2 games last year before going down with injury. He came to UW highly talked about and was looking to make an immediate impact. He was named first-team everything his senior season at Grant High School in Sacramento, California.

He was teammates and is best friends with incoming freshman Shaq Thompson.

This could be  a lethal combination bringing 2 formidable safeties from the same school into a college program that is hurting for production at the position.

Sample is still highly touted and is known widely as an extremely fast, ballhawking, hard hitting player who will make his presence felt immediately.

The team also has Justin Glenn, Will Shamburger and Sean Parker, so it will be hard to crack the lineup, but with Nate Fellner being moved to LB, it leaves a possible opening for someone to step right up.

Safety may not be a position of need for this Huskies defense right now, but Sample is the breath of fresh air they have been waiting for to possibly save the defense.

James Sample, Washington Huskies

Sample played 2 games as a true freshman in 2011.

Jaydon Mickens – WR – 5’11″, 175 lbs

While the Huskies are deep at WR, if there was a receiver who was going to get a look, it would be Jaydon Mickens. Mickens is a big threat when he steps onto the field because of his insane athletic ability. He can do it all on offense if needed, but excels at WR. He helped lead his team into the playoffs every season.

Like I said, though, the team is deep at WR.

The team lost Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar to the NFL. And with James Johnson, Cody Bruns, Kevin Smith and Kasen Williams firmly implanted, it might take quite a bit to hit the field, especially right away.

If there’s any incoming WR who can do it, it would be Jaydon Mickens.

Offensive Linemen

I have to generalize this, because the offensive line is already in trouble and camp hasn’t even started. The Huskies hit the recruiting path hard this offseason to bring depth to the position as they have several red shirt freshmen who sat last year.

With the current line situation, that so-called depth may come into play this season, especially week 1.

The Huskies have Dexter Charles (6’4″, 187 lbs), Ross Dolbec (6’6″, 296 lbs), Ben Teichman (5’11″, 274 lbs), and Siosifa Tufunga (6’2″, 313 lbs) sitting in wait right now. My best guess is that Tufunga would be the first guy they go to out of this corps of guys.

Between those guys and the incoming linemen they recruited, the Huskies offensive line can make or break Keith Price‘s season.

If they fail to protect him like they did for much of last season, it will spell trouble no matter what. If they can hold it together, get healthy, stay healthy, this line can really be the boost these Huskies need to beat the likes of rivals Oregon and USC.

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About Brandon Choate

Guest reporter on "Real Rob Report." Raised on Eastside of Seattle, a super fan of every sports team in Seattle. Bleeds Blue, Green, Teal, Purple and Gold. Likes video games, food, and poor attempts at comedy. Connect with Brandon today!
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