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2009 UW Preview: Wide Receivers

Talent abounds in a young receiving corp at Washington.  With "thanks" to Tyrone WIllingham for throwing a group of freshman into the fire last season, the Huskies are deep and game tested...if not shell shocked.  Lacking in maturity, conditioning, and coaching, Steve Sarkisian's staff is providing the final two in spades; maturity arrives from competing with opponents three-to-five years older in 2008.

The unmistakable leader of the receivers is junior D'Andre Goodwin; "Flea" was one of Washington's few bright spots in 2008, hauling in 60 catches for 692 yds, but only one touchdown. The lack of end zone production was the result of missing QB Jake Locker and an under-achieving offensive line who couldn't take the pressure off backup QB Ronnie Fouch. Goodwin needs to get reaquainted with the end zone in 2009 if Washington is going to go anywhere.

Goodwin will be flanked by sophomores Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar.  In time, Kearse will be a very good player; with 20 receptions for 301 yards and two TD's in 2008, he was likely the most prepared freshman on offense. An outstanding athlete who also excels on the basketball court, Aguilar will only improve in the new system. Both of these fine young receivers should benefit greatly by the return of Jake Locker, a year of experience, a better coaching staff, and a more stable offense plan in 2009.

Redshirt freshman Anthony Boyles will see his first action this fall after falling behind in the playbook early last season. By the end of the season he may well have been the best receiver on the squad. In hindsight, his RS year should prove to be very valuable to to his growth as a player.  Needing that break--but not getting it--was sophomore Cody Bruns, who had his redshirt season foolishly wasted by Coach Willingham at mid-season.  Bruns was soon banged up and played only sparingly.  Cody is a very smooth receiver in the mold of Husky great Paul Skansi, running very precise routes and possesing great hands.

Sophomore Jordan Polk is an exciting player who just makes things happen. Expect to see him helping out on the return teams, in addition to making incredible circus catches.  Redshirt freshmen Vince Taylor and  Luther Leonard fortunately sat out last season. Taylor arrived late to campus, guaranteeing him an extra year, though he failed to move up the depth chart during the 2009 spring season.  Recruited as a quarterback, the coaching staff believes Leonard has a bright future at receiver. He impressed the coaches by making a smooth transition this spring, and will see much time on special teams in 2009.

The new receiver for 2009 is talented freshman James Johnson.  The San Diego-native was quite possibly the UW's top recruit in the 2009. Johnson has been on campus for all summer and is now working out with the team, with very encouraging early reviews. Most recruiting experts believe he will immediately move up the depth charts and earn his way into the regular receiving rotation and kick return team.

On the 2010 recruiting front, Coach Sarkisian is going after physically larger receivers, in the mold of the highly successful USC model. The Huskies have three WR commits, possibly looking for one more candidate. Jamal Kearse from Lakes HS is the best WR in the state of Washington and is going to follow his older brother to Washington.  Keanon Lowe from Jesuit HS in Portland could play on either side of the ball, as well as seeing the field as a return specialist.  DiAndre Campbell from Oakland Tech verbaled last week to apparently take the place to Tevin Carter, who changed his mind and is going to Cal.  Reports from Bay Area high school coaches on Campbell's game and work ethic are very encouraging.