A week ago, the 2024 Husky depth chart looked about 90% certain. There were a few lingering draft decisions. Some depth pieces would likely transfer for more playing time. Some incoming transfers would bolster thinner positions. Altogether, though, we had a pretty good idea where to focus attention going into the spring transfer portal.
Of course, the best-laid plans of dawgs and men often go awry. Kalen DeBoer’s departure resolved virtually every 50/50 roster bet in the less favorable direction for the Huskies. Incoming transfers bailed, presumptive starters entered the portal, and the Huskies’ ’24 plans were left in tatters.
New coach Jedd Fisch will certainly bring some players from his Arizona roster and will scour the transfer portal this spring to fill in other holes. Here, I will lay out what the current two-deep may well look like for ’24 to highlight the strengths and weaknesses, and also to reassure fans that there are probably enough players to field a team in the fall (probably). The list is not meant to be exhaustive, but to highlight areas of relative depth or shallowness. Comment below to add your thoughts on the roster.
Dermaricus Davis - Teddy Purcell
The QB position has been obliterated by the graduation of Michael Penix Jr., Austin Mack’s entrance to the transfer portal, and Will Rogers’s understandable reconsideration on his own transfer in. Davis is a true freshman who has just enrolled at UW. Purcell is a walk-on. Max covered the possibilities at QB yesterday in depth, so check out that post for more detail.
Cameron Davis - Will Nixon/Daniyel Ngata
Even with Dillon Johnson’s draft declaration, the Dawgs are in relatively good shape at running back. They likely need to add another back for depth after Tybo Rogers entered the transfer portal. Star Arizona RB Jonah Coleman certainly earned some attention when he entered the portal shortly after Jedd Fisch came to UW. A 1-2 punch of Coleman and Davis would be a strength for the Dawgs in the Big 10.
Jeremiah Hunter – Rashid Williams
Giles Jackson – Keith Reynolds
Denzel Boston – Jason Robinson
The receiver position was going to take a hit no matter what with Rome Odunze and Ja’Lynn Polk headed out. There was some hope that Jalen McMillan would return after an injury-plagued season, but he also quickly declared for the draft. Germie Bernard and Taeshaun Lyons both entered the portal, further eviscerating the position. Fisch would love to bring Tetairoa McMillan from Tucson, but that may be an uphill battle. Whether the reinforcements come from Arizona or elsewhere, the Dawgs need to add multiple receivers before the fall. With that said, the top three options are viable as a starting unit.
Quentin Moore – Josh Cuevas
The Huskies were set to bring Tre Watson from Fresno, but he opted for Texas A&M after DeBoer’s departure. Watson looked like more of a depth piece behind a solid two-deep of Moore and Cuevas. With Ryan Otton and freshman Decker DeGraaf filling out the depth chart, the only need would be for an experienced body to replace the depth that Watson would have provided.
LT: Jalen Klemm – Samuel Peacock
LG: Geirean Hatchett – Gaard Memmelaar
C: Landen Hatchett – Zachary Henning
RG: Julius Buelow – Soane Faasolo
RT: Drew Azzopardi -Elishah Jackett
I am roughly as confident in this alignment as I am that Dermaricus Davis will be the Week 1 starting QB, which is to say, not confident. Unless Fisch is able to lure Parker Brailsford and/or Nate Kalepo back, the Huskies will replace four starting linemen. The interior linemen in this forecast have at least seen solid playing time. Azzopardi transferred from San Diego St with the presumption that he would get a starting tackle spot, though we hoped it would be opposite a returning Roger Rosengarten. I put Klemm at LT due to a bit more experience. The coaching staff will likely try to find at least one more experienced tackle in the transfer portal. Depending on what they see in spring practices from the red-shirt freshmen Faasolo, Henning, Jackett, and Kahlee Tafai, the interior depth might not be in such bad shape.
Jacob Bandes – Jayvon Parker
Sabastian Valdez – Armon Parker
We don’t have a defensive coordinator yet, so I’m penciling in the same alignment and scheme until we know otherwise. Bandes has yet to live up to his recruiting ranking, but at least he brings competent experience. Valdez stood out at Montana State last year and will likely earn playing time if he sticks around, whether as a starter or a rotational player. The Huskies probably have the right number if iDL on the roster after the departures of Tuli Letuligasenoa and Faatui Tuitele, but those numbers need to prove that they can produce as Power 2 starters or this will be a problem area all year. If Fisch can find a starting-caliber DT in the portal, there will be room, but that’s easier said than done.
BJ Green – Voi Tunuufi
Jacob Lane – Zach Durfee/Lance Holtzclaw
I am roughly estimating that we will see one bigger edge to hold up against the run and one pass-rush oriented edge to complement. Green and Tunuufi would likely see snaps on the interior on passing downs, as well. Green committed to DeBoer but did not enroll and has not updated his status. This is another position where a clear starter would be welcome given the uncertainty around Lane and Durfee, but the status quo is not a disaster.
Carson Bruener – Deven Bryant
Alphonzo Tuputala – Jordan Whitney
Like TE, the LB position returns viable starters. I am high on both Bryant and Whitney, though both are young enough that that it would be preferrable to not have to force them into the rotation. Ethan Barr was meant to be the veteran stopgap to provide depth after Bruener and Tuputala. Fisch will likely need to find another player to slot into that role. As it stands, a true freshman, Khmori House, would immediately join the two-deep with any injury.
Kamren Fabiculanan – Dyson McCutcheon
Makell Esteen – Diesel Gordon
Tristan Dunn - Vincent Holmes
These positions looked to be in good shape until both Asa Turner and Mish Powell entered the portal. Now, the Dawgs will be in search of a starting-caliber DB. Josh Lair and Paul Mencke are true frosh signees, but both have the profile of guys who could contribute in a read-and-react role early on, so the depth might not be as dire as it first seems.
Elijah Jackson – Thaddeus Dixon
Davon Banks – Caleb Presley
Jabbar Muhammad was on my personal shortlist of potential departures I most wanted to stay (with Rosengarten and McMillan; I was hoping for 2/3 and got 0.00). Banks was promising early in the season before a severe injury. Jackson struggled for most of the year but notably came up very big against Texas. Dixon played more snaps than most other “backups” on this list, so it’s possible that they find a way for Jackson, Banks, and Dixon to all start in a different alignment. Last year’s CB recruiting class was very strong, featuring Presley, Curley Reed, and Leroy Bryant. If one or two of those recruits hit as soon as next year, this position could bounce back quickly.
Which position, other than QB, does UW need to address most urgently in the transfer portal?
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