Offensive Newcomers to Watch: No. 5

Today on, we start a new series where Chris Fetters and Scott Eklund will take a look at some of top returning underclassmen that are currently in line to see a lot of playing time this fall. First up on the offensive side of the ball, coming in at number five, is OL Dexter Charles, a player who the coaches have raved about and one that likes to get after it in the trenches...

Scouting Report - When we saw him as a junior at one of the Husky linemen camps, we saw an impressive athlete with the feet of a tight end, but then, when the competition got underway, we saw the nasty side come out.

It isn't a big secret that Charles likes to get after people. The coaches knew this when he arrived and was further confirmed when they had to separate him from several minor scuffles with teammates during fall camp last year.

Charles has the ability to play almost anywhere along the line. His only drawback is that he doesn't have the ideal legth in his arms that you'd like in a tackle, but with his feet and athleticism, that isn't as big of a deal as some like to make it.

Where he fits - Because of the presence of Micah Hatchie, Charles slid inside this spring to take the place of the injured Colin Tanigawa at the left guard spot and held his own against the best that Washington's defensive line had to offer in Danny Shelton. Charles will likely see his earliest playing time at guard, rotating with Tanigawa, Erik Kohler, James Atoe and quite possibly incoming freshmen Shane Brostek and Jake Eldrenkamp.

One of the the biggest things that offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto wants in his linemen is the ability to play multiple positions and Charles can do just that, so look for them to move him around quite a bit during fall camp and to also get him in games at different positions as well.

Charles is smart enough to play center, athletic enought to play tackle and nasty enough to play guard, so ultimately he could end up being a utility man for the Dawgs, but early on, expect him to be lining up inside at one of the guard positions.

Why this is his year to make his mark - From all we have been able to gather, Tanigawa has made great progress from the ACL injury he suffered last season and projections are he will be ready to go this season (we won't know for sure until head coach Steve Sarkisian updates us next week). If that is the case, then Charles will either slide over to right guard to battle Atoe or Kohler for a starting spot or he could move out to tackle to back up either Hatchie or Ben Riva who has the inside track at the right tackle spot.

In the end, the Husky coaches might decide to just keep him at left guard and work behind Tanigawa as he tries to learn one position and get as many reps as possible so, if called upon, he's ready to go and doesn't miss a step.

The sense of urgency for a guy like Charles should definitely be there with players like Brostek and Eldrenkamp both licking their chops at early playing time. It would be silly to think someone like myself needs to remind him (or any player for that matter) of that fact, but we have to throw the suggestion out there. Top Stories