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Washington Freshmen Making An Impact in 2011

Every season a coaching staff brings in a group of new recruits to their program. Signing day is like Christmas for Coaches as they get to see what new pieces they can fit into their system. For a newer coaching staff it is a matter of getting players that can run their system efficiently. After that solid base is set up, it is a matter of replenishing the depth chart.

For Washington and Sarkisian it is still the process of bringing in 'his' guys. Coming in to clean up after a program goes 0-12 it is not surprising that Sarkisian would want to play with his new toys as soon as possible.

Of the 45 players listed as redshirt or true freshman, 18 have seen playing time in the first five games for the Huskies. Three of those young men have already cracked the starting line up, and others have made significant contributions already. This group of freshmen has added solid depth on both sides of the line, has contributed in the skill positions as well. There is no doubt, however, that two of the freshmen stand out in this large group of freshmen, and already have future all pac-12 written all over them.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins: No real surprise to see him listed if you have watched any Husky games this year. Seferian-Jenkins was pretty much written in as the starter when he signed to play for Washington, and he has not disappointed so far. At 6-6 and around 250 pounds Austin is a mismatch for whoever is lining up against him.

He has already been living up to his hype, after five games he is third on the team in receiving with 12 receptions for 202 yards, and reaching the end zone three times. He is a load over the middle and shows good instincts such as waiting for his blockers to make a move.

He is a true freshmen and will make some mistakes, but the good certainly outweighs the bad and Seferian-Jenkins is a true playmaker for the Huskies offense.

Kasen Williams: While Seferian-Jenkins stepped into a thin position, Kasen found himself stepping into a deep and experienced Wide Receiving corps. It doesn't matter, however, as Williams has asserted himself as an important part of the passing attack already, even if he is not in the starting lineup. In the first five games Kasen has 10 receptions for 79 yards along with two touchdowns.

There is an element of excitement when Kasen gets the ball in his hands, as he is strong enough to break tackles, and has a knack for making the right moves. His future looks incredibly bright at Montlake, and he isn't just waiting his turn patiently behind the more experienced receivers, he is already making an impact. Both Williams and Seferian-Jenkins look to be cornerstones for the Washington offense going forward.

The impact of these young freshmen isn't limited to the offensive side of the ball. Linebackers John Timu and Jamaal Kearse have combined for 21 tackles, and defensive lineman Josh Shirely has recorded two sacks. Watching these young freshmen develop before our eyes, it is getting easier and easier to envision this group playing in a Pac-12 title game before they leave Washington.