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Day 15: True Freshman Impact Player

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We’re thinking a shiny new toy for Jake Browning and the offense

Wide Receiver Ty Jones was the only member of the incoming 2017 class to participate in spring practice.
@tyjones206

Casey Paus couldn’t do much, but he can let us know how many days until Husky football:

Oregon State v Washington Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Last week, Lucas Shannon broke down the redshirt freshman class and previewed its possible breakout candidates. Byron Murphy was chosen both by Lucas and overwhelmingly by readers.

Today we shine the light on the true freshman class, particularly focusing on three potential offensive weapons.

#19 Hunter Bryant TE/H-Back, 6-3 241

There hasn’t been a ton of buzz about Bryant in camp, but he certainly fills a needed role for this team. Darrell Daniels never reached the expectations as a “matchup nightmare” during his time on the team. Pretty simple reason why: Daniels can neither high-point a football nor use his hands and body to provide a large catch radius for his QB the way that a 6’4” tight end should.

Bryant can make catches in traffic and use his size to help out his QB.

Of course, that was high school. Will Bryant have the strength to win against college talent? If he is to have an impact this season, it won’t just be “Go deep and I’ll toss it up there.” He will have to find a place to sit down against a zone and make contested 7-yard catches on 3rd and 5 with guys hanging all over him. Remember Kavario Middleton? Despite his rather lethargic work ethic (and other issues), that guy could make those plays.

#20 Ty Jones WR, 6-4 206

Did someone say “High point a football?” Jake Browning hasn’t had a guy like this yet. It’s not just the size, its his ability to be open even when he is covered. The size is nice too.

Ty Jones at Army All-American bowl - West Skills 1-on-1

Yep, that’s fellow frosh camp sensation Salvon Ahmed on the coverage. He does a nice job sticking with Jones. You can watch them going at it for a few plays at the Army Bowl workouts. But Jones was too much for him. Watch him locate the ball, then measure the defender with his hands (but not push), then effortlessly create separation by planting and rotating away from him. It’s what great receivers do on Sundays.

Below, Jones wins against 5-star corner Darnay Holmes (UCLA ) utilizing the same basic instincts.

Watching everything we’ve seen of Jones from high school to these workouts to our limited looks from camp, he consistently is the first guy to find the ball and know where it’s coming down.

Browning has a knack for under-throwing long passes (twice at Cal, Pettis in the Apple Cup, etc) and having them become huge plays. That’s not just luck. He throws the ball early. So early that the defender has no clue the ball is coming. Under-throwing late? That’s an INT from the safety drifting over. But getting that ball out early to a guy who is 1-on-1 when you feel like your guy is going to find that ball first... Ty Jones could be very strong as that type of player.

#26 Salvon Ahmed, RB/WR 5’11” 189

Athlete. That’s what Ahmed is. The fact that cornerback isn’t even his strongest position, yet he provided good coverage against Jones shows just what kind of raw talent this young man has. Of course we have all heard how much he has impressed the media at camp. Speed will do that.

He might have the most speed on the entire roster, and Chris Petersen may have found his new favorite reverse runner. The Huskies run the reverse as much as any team I’ve seen; it’s not really a trick play but just one of their plays. When Ross was out in 2015, it was Chico McClatcher that ran the bulk of the reverses and fly sweeps, but Chico is quicker than he is blazing fast. Look for Ahmed to make some big plays in that capacity this fall.

This strong class also features the following freshman skill players, all of whom are likely to redshirt. But you never know, both young wideouts have made plays in camp.

#15 Alex Cook, WR 6'1" 185

#28 Terrell Bynum, WR 6'1" 184

#83 Cade Otton, TE 6'4" 230

#86 Jacob Kizer, TE 6'4" 244

Don’t sleep on these defensive backs. No one really saw Taylor Rapp having such an massive impact as a true frosh a season ago. Each has had run with the 2nd team defense at times in camp and are likely to contribute on special teams at a minimum.

#3 Elijah Molden, DB 5’11” 181

#11 Brandon McKinney, DB 6’1” 193

#27 Keith Taylor, DB 6’3” 196

Can an offensive lineman be an impact player? Hell yes he can. Especially with injuries that inevitably occur along the offensive front. #66 Henry Bainivalu has been very good in camp, and the 6’6” 302-pounder from Skyline High School is said to currently be the #2 left tackle behind Trey Adams.

Pretty exciting freshman class. Who do you like to make the biggest impact in 2017?

Poll

True Frosh impact player?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Hunter Bryant
    (44 votes)
  • 37%
    Ty Jones
    (368 votes)
  • 50%
    Salvon Ahmed
    (496 votes)
  • 1%
    Other Offensive Player
    (13 votes)
  • 4%
    Elijah Molden
    (49 votes)
  • 1%
    Other Defensive Player
    (13 votes)
983 votes total Vote Now