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30 Day Countdown - Day 24: Which Redshirt Freshman Will Make the Biggest Impact?

Which young Huskies will break through for Washington?

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Ohio State vs Washington Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The redshirt is a thing of beauty. We get to learn about a player, read his scouting reports, and obsess over grainy video clips from high school games during the recruiting process. When the player signs his letter of intent, we can start to dream about how the future roster will fit together and project depth charts that might never come to fruition. A handful of players make an impact as true freshmen, but most need a year to acclimate to the system and build their bodies up to Pac-12 standards. With that year under their belt, they come to fall camp as young veterans and we can start to dream about their potential all over again. The big difference is that there’s much less time to wait for them to make an impact. Which of this year’s redshirt freshmen will make the biggest difference on the field? Let’s take a look at some of the candidates.

UW Redshirt Freshmen

Kyler Gordon DB 6' 190 Mukilteo, Wash. / Archbishop Murphy R-Fr. 19
Dominique Hampton DB 6'2 208 Glendale, Ariz. / Centenniel R-Fr. 21
Julius Irvin DB 6'1 191 Anaheim, Calif. / Servite R-Fr. 29
Draco Bynum DL 6'4 268 Wilsonville, Ore. / Wilsonville R-Fr. 59
Tuli Letuligasenoa DL 6'2 318 Concord, Calif. / De La Salle R-Fr. 91
Sam Taimani DL 6'2 321 Salt Lake City, Utah / East R-Fr. 94
Jackson Sirmon LB 6'3 238 Brentwood, Tenn. / Brentwood Academy R-Fr. 43
Edefuan Ulofoshio LB 6' 231 / Anchorage, Alaska R-Fr. 48
MJ Tafisi LB 6' 235 West Jordan, Utah / Alta R-Fr. 53
M.J. Ale OL 6'6 352 Tacoma, Wash. / Fife R-Fr. 68
Matteo Mele OL 6'5 305 Tucson, Ariz. / Salpointe Catholic R-Fr. 78
Victor Curne OL 6'3 266 Houston, Texas / Second Baptist R-Fr. 79
Zion Tupuola-Fetui OLB 6'3 266 Pearl City, Hawai'i / Pearl City R-Fr. 58
Jacob Sirmon QB 6'5 234 Bothell, Wash. / Bothell R-Fr. 11
Richard Newton TB 6' 210 Lancaster, Calif. / Palmdale R-Fr. 28
Devin Culp TE 6'3 262 Spokane, Wash. / Gonzaga Prep R-Fr. 83
Trey Lowe WR 5'8 182 Portland, Ore. / Jesuit R-Fr. 7
Marquis Spiker WR 6'3 193 Wildomar, Calif. / Murrieta Valley R-Fr. 8
Austin Osborne WR 6'2 199 Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. / Mission Viejo R-Fr. 18

Kyler Gordon - DB

With numerous departures in the secondary, Gordon could have an opportunity to see lots of time on the field early in his career. Although he redshirted and played only four games, Gordon made an impact in his first year by tearing apart the drills at the Husky Combine. He showed the kind of athleticism that made him a coveted recruit that ultimately chose to stay home over Notre Dame. The coaching staff took notice and Gordon has lined up opposite Keith Taylor at CB for most of fall camp. Jimmy Lake commented that he appreciates Myles Bryant’s versatility because it allows the Huskies to get their best playmakers on the field. Reading between the lines, he’s saying that Bryant’s ability to play safety lets the Huskies get Gordon on the field.

Marquis Spiker and/or Austin Osborne – WR

Two big-time WR recruits out of California were tabbed as potential impact true freshmen last year. Instead, both redshirted while the position group continued to post uneven results. Spiker has prototypical #1 WR size and broke the California HS record for receiving touchdowns. Osborne was another highly-productive HS player who earned rave reviews for his route running from the day he set foot on campus. They are part of a packed position group, but they might be the two most physically talented receivers on the roster.

Jackson Sirmon and/or MJ Tafisi – ILB

With Ben Burr-Kirven, Tevis Bartlett, and DJ Beavers out of the picture, the ILB slot next to Brandon Wellington is wide open. Kyler Manu has seen first-team reps in fall camp, but either Sirmon or Tafisi could overtake him by the time the season starts. Tafisi was a slightly higher-rated recruit. Sirmon has a size advantage and comes from a family with plenty of UW history. The coaches have talked up Sirmon’s instincts from the day he set foot on campus, which might give him the inside track between the two.

Tuli Letuligasenoa and/or Sam Taimani – NT

From Danny Shelton to Vita Vea to Greg Gaines, the Dawgs have gone from strength to strength at defensive tackle for most of the last decade. Now that each of those three plays on Sundays, some playing time has opened up for younger players. Both John Clark and Josiah Bronson have seen more snaps with the first team in fall camp after earning scholarships for their senior years. In fact, both Tuli and Taimani have spent most of their time running with the third team so far. Even so, these are two tough, physical players who figure to carve out spots in the DL rotation if they can develop their technique to match their raw physicality.


There are plenty of great options outside this group. Dom Hampton and Julius Irvin could very easily overtake Gordon in total snaps in the secondary. Edefuan Ulofoshio made an impact on special teams in limited action last year and plays with great aggressiveness. Richard Newton and Devin Culp will likely see the field at RB and TE due to shallower depth charts at those positions. Trey Lowe could be the second coming of Chico McClatcher, but will he get a chance to play with the original still on the team?


Who do you think will be the redshirt freshman who makes the biggest impact?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    Kyler Gordon
    (475 votes)
  • 12%
    Marquis Spiker
    (106 votes)
  • 3%
    Austin Osborne
    (34 votes)
  • 6%
    Jackson Sirmon
    (53 votes)
  • 1%
    MJ Tafisi
    (15 votes)
  • 8%
    Tuli Letuligasenoa
    (76 votes)
  • 9%
    Sam Taimani
    (81 votes)
  • 2%
    (23 votes)
863 votes total Vote Now