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Day 14: Breakout Offensive Player

Which Dawg Will Break Out On Offense?

NCAA Football: Alamo Bowl-Texas at Washington Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Day 14 of our 30 day countdown. We’re getting down to it, in just a few Saturdays, the Huskies will hit the field to take on the Boise State Broncos in the season opener! As with every season, there are a few players that are perhaps buried on the depth chart to start the season but end up contributing in major ways to team success throughout the year. My task here today is to list the players that I think could be that next major contributor so let’s get to it!

Richard Newton, RB

2022 Stats: 45 Attempts, 211 yards, 1 TD, 3 catches, 45 yards, 1 TD

I’ve been high on Richard Newton ever since his first game against Eastern Washington in 2019. He has enough power as a runner to get tough yards, and good luck to anybody trying to take him down on the first hit. However, he’s been hobbled by injuries for the past few seasons, after a Freshman season which saw him post 498 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns. After playing in 10 games, including the Alamo Bowl, which saw him rotate with Wayne Taulapapa, it remains to be seen whether he could build on the solid season he had last year, given his usage. He needs to stay healthy, and show that he has improved hands, and blocking ability. If he can do that, he’s a real weapon for the Dawgs.

Germie Bernard, WR

2022 Stats (Michigan State): 7 Receptions, 128 yards, 2 TDs

Similarly to Newton, I was on the Bernard hype train for about a year before we got him in the portal, after his decommitment in 2021. I thought he would turn into something similar to Ohio State’s Emeka Egbuka, a great Big Ten receiver who spurned the Huskies. But, now back with the Huskies, he figures to compete for playing time in a loaded receiver room. As we saw with Ja’Lynn Polk last year, there is room in UW’s offense for 3, 4, or even 5 great receivers. If he can have similar performances as Polk did last year, then he’ll possibly soar to greater heights next season. But, thinking realistically, his best chance to see the field, be productive and potentially break out is in returning kicks, an underrated part of the game of football. The Huskies haven’t had anything better than a solid returner for a while. If he can make the most of his opportunities, he might surprise you.

Dillon Johnson, RB

2022 Stats (Mississippi State): 88 Attempts, 488 Yards, 3 TDs, 48 Receptions, 285 yards

Johnson figures to be an interesting fit in the Husky running back room, and the coaching staff seems to think so as well; reports out of fall camp have him slotted behind Cam Davis. He has the size and speed burst, as well as the power to be the feature back. The key thing to remember with him however is his experience in an Air Raid offense. As I have discussed before, Deboer and Grubb like to go after those versatile backs, to use in pass protection (which Wayne Taulapapa was awesome at last year) or as a pass catcher. That experience should prove to be vital as Johnson competes for playing time throughout fall camp. If he can provide another option for Penix in the pass game, or be the “second half running back” as we saw with Davis last year, then he’ll definitely take that next step.

Denzel Boston, WR

2022 Stats: 2 Receptions, 15 yards, 1 rush attempt, 2 yards, 1 TD

Boston’s has been exploding through fall camp this summer. It seems like he’s on the receiving end of every long touchdown thrown by Michael Penix and Dylan Morris. At 6’4” and 207 pounds, he’s the tallest receiver of the bunch, and, perhaps more importantly, he’s coming off a year in this system, which, coupled with his skills on display in fall camp could translate to more opportunities for him to get the ball in his hands. Whether this year, or next, Boston looks to be the next man up in a line of great UW wide receivers!

Verdict: Of these 4, I’m going with Richard Newton. His experience combined with his skillset could be scary for opposing defenses, that’s assuming if he can stay healthy. That experience especially serves him well considering he’s a fifth year senior essentially, giving him an edge over younger guys on this list, like Bernard and Boston. Familiarity with the system is also a factor, which gives Newton an edge over somebody like Johnson. Newton has the experience, the ability and the toughness to have a breakout year, it all comes down to him getting the opportunity to get the ball.

Do you have another breakout offensive player I may have missed? Leave your pick in the comments!


Who will be the breakout player for the Huskies on offense?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Richard Newton, RB
    (59 votes)
  • 14%
    Germie Bernard, WR
    (70 votes)
  • 43%
    Dillon Johnson, RB
    (212 votes)
  • 26%
    Denzel Boston, WR
    (130 votes)
  • 3%
    Other (Answer in comments)
    (18 votes)
489 votes total Vote Now