Fall Camp Review: Freshmen

This past February, Washington signed 23 prospects and 22 of them enrolled this summer -- one delayed enrollment until January -- and one signed shortly before the start of fall camp. Here's a look at what each of the freshman did during fall camp and how we here at Dawgman.com think they can contribute to the team this fall...

Categories for playing time
Guaranteed
Very Likely
Possible
Very Unlikely
Redshirt


DT Vita Vea - Vea, who signed with Washington the weekend before the start of fall camp, is an impressive looking prospect. He's got great size, he's a heck of an athlete and he's super-strong. Since he took a year off from football, there was definitely some rust to kick off, but he appeared to be finding his way as camp wound down and there's a slight chance he plays this fall in the defensive line rotation. Playing Time in 2014: Possible


S Budda Baker - The Bellevue product seemed to be feeling his way the first week of camp, but boy has he made his presence felt over the past 10 days. Instead of thinking and being a step behind, Baker's instincts seem to be taking over and he's looked great the past few open practices. The one thing we haven't seen much of is his ball-hawking skills, but other than that, Baker appears poised to see lots of playing time, especially on special teams this fall. Many observers believe he will earn a spot with the starters by the time Pac 12 play rolls around. Don't bet against it. Playing Time in 2014: Guaranteed


WR Brayden Lenius - Lenius is a really good-looking athlete. He's long, he's got soft hands and he can really go up and get the ball. He really looks as if his route-running is getting to where it needs to be, but with the amount of receivers already available to the Huskies, Lenius appears headed for a redshirt although you have to allow for the fact that, with his size, he will become a big-time redzone target and that could put him on the field faster than normally would be expected. Playing Time in 2014: Very Unlikely


DT Kaleb McGary - McGary still looks a bit lost at times when he's out there, but you can see his immense potential when he does know what he's doing. The coaches love his size, his motor and his potential, but he's a ways away from earning playing time. He appears destined for a redshirt season so he can get stronger and work on his overall technique, but you can see the talent-level that had schools drooling over him last fall. Playing Time in 2014: Redshirt


CB Naijiel Hale - Hale looks to be entrenched at one of the cornerback spots on the second team. Hale is physical and he shows no fear when he's asked to come up and play man-to-man against a receiver. He runs really well and he loves to support the run. Playing Time in 2014: Very Likely


LB Drew Lewis - When he did manage to get on the field, Lewis did some nice things, but he's just too small to be counted on to play this year. Lewis is probably two years away from being able to handle true linebacker duties, so expect him to be locked into the weight room with Tim Socha for the next 12 to 18 months and then he can be unleashed on Washington's opponents. Playing Time in 2014: Redshirt


DL Jaylen Johnson - I was shocked when I saw how big Johnson is the moment he stepped on the field for his first workout of fall camp. Johnson seems like he has the frame to add another 20 or 30 pounds without losing anything athletically, but that will be something for the coaches to decide. Johnson has gotten reps with the first unit at times, so he appears likely to see the field, but you just never know. He's got the athleticism and size to be a real playmaker, but will he figure it out in time to be a contributor to the Huskies this fall? It's really too early to tell. Playing Time in 2014: Possible


CB Sidney Jones - We've been one of Jones' biggest fans since we found out the Huskies were after him and when he signed, many of us thought he could push for playing time this fall. So far, at least in camp, he hasn't disappointed. Jones' long arms have really caused some problems for receivers and quarterbacks alike and he's shown some solid ball skills, hauling in a one-handed interception midway through the first week of camp. With four corners ahead of him right now, it's hard to project whether he will play this fall or not, but he's a guy to keep an eye on over the next couple of weeks as we get closer to starting the season. Playing Time in 2014: Possible


DL Will Dissly - Dissly has been the surprise of camp. Not only did he show up nearly 35 pounds heavier than he was as a senior in high school, he also showed the knack for rushing the quarterback. In Saturday's scrimmage, the Montana product got a sack on Troy Williams and he also had a couple of nice stops against the run. Defensive line coach Jeff Choate has noted that at least two freshman defensive linemen will play this fall and Dissly appears to be one of those guys. Playing Time in 2014: Very Likely


OL John Turner - Turner was a very nice pickup late in the process for the Dawgs, but we haven't seen much of him (or any of the freshman offensive line) since the start of camp. Playing Time in 2014: Redshirt


RB Jomon Dotson - Dotson still has a ways to go as far as adding the size needed to play at this level, but he has good speed and showed some nice cutting abilities at Saturday's practice.Playing Time in 2014: Redshirt


QB K.J. Carta-Samuels - The way the ball comes of Carta-Samuels' hand, you can see that he has a cannon for an arm. He throws a nice deep ball, getting the right trajectory almost every time, and he has nice touch, something that is tough to teach young quarterbacks with big arms. Carta-Samuels also has good speed and the ability to make plays with his legs, but with three talented quarterbacks ahead of him, he is destined for a redshirt season unless the unthinkable happens and all of them get injured. Playing Time in 2014: Redshirt


OL Jesse Sosebee - Of the three offensive linemen that enrolled this summer, Sosebee appears to be the most ready, at least physically, to play this fall. That being said, he's still got a ways to go technique-wise and Washington has a nice group of guards ahead of him, so he'll redshirt this fall and be ready to push for playing time as a redshirt freshman in 2015. Playing Time in 2014: Redshirt


K/P Tristan Vizcaino - When Vizcaino signed, the Husky coaches let him know he would get the chance to challenge for playing time at both kicker and punter. He's definitely gotten that opportunity, but it appears that the two players ahead of him, at least as far as tenure is concerned -- Korey Durkee and Cameron Van Winkle -- have really honed in and they appear to have moved ahead of him at both spots. It's a tough call to make at this point, but let's put him down as a likely redshirt candidate with a slight chance of earning playing time if one or both of the other players fall off in productivity. Playing Time in 2014: Very Unlikely


DT Greg Gaines - Gaines showed up looking like he needed to lose a little bit of weight or at least changing his body a bit. Gaines has good quickness and a nice base, so he makes things hard on the offensive linemen trying to block him. I expect him to be a real scout team standout this fall and then start challenging Elijah Qualls and Vea for playing time in the rotation next fall. Playing Time in 2014: Redshirt


CB Brandon Lewis - Lewis hasn't done much since the start of camp, but the times he's gotten in, he's looked the part. The problem for Lewis is that he seems to be behind guys like Jones and Hale right now. I expect Lewis to redshirt this fall and then start truly challenging for playing time as a third-year sophomore in 2016. Playing Time in 2014: Redshirt


TE Drew Sample - We've been singing Sample's praises since he burst on the scene as a junior at Newport (Bellevue, Wa.) High School. Sample's usually soft hands betrayed him a bit this past weekend when he dropped two relatively easy catches, so he appears to be fighting the ball a little bit right now. With David Ajamu, Michael Hartvigson, Darrell Daniels and Josh Perkins ahead of him on the depth chart, it seems to be pretty obvious that he'll be a redshirt this fall. Playing Time in 2014: Redshirt


S Jojo McIntosh - McIntosh looked really good in extended playing time on Saturday, but there are a bunch of safeties ahead of him right now. Where he could contribute this fall is on special teams, but it appears the coaches would much rather redshirt him and let him put on some more muscle and have his four full seasons available to both him and the team. Playing Time in 2014: Redshirt


DB Darren Gardenhire - On Saturday, Gardenhire really made his presence felt on special teams making two big hits as a gunner on the punt team. He's got a nose for the ball and he really showed a willingness to lay the lumber when the opportunity arose. I expected Gardenhire to be a gunner on special teams and to work his way into the secondary rotation since he can play both corner and safety. Playing Time in 2014: Very Likely


OL Matt James - Since he committed to Washington, I have been saying I thought James would wind up being one of the first offensive linemen in the class to see playing time. Then he showed up at UW weighing just 258 pounds, so it's pretty obvious he's a ways away from really challenging for playing time. When he was on the field, you could see why the coaches were so high on him -- he's a tenacious blocker and he's got great feet -- but he needs to add about 40 pounds before he sees the field. Playing Time in 2014: Redshirt


S Lavon Washington - Washington and James were the only two holdovers from the class Steve Sarkisian was building before he left so abruptly in early December, so it was unclear how much the new staff really wanted him. Washington had a chance at an easy interception on Saturday and dropped it, but you can see that he has a knack for being around the ball. The talented prospect from Oakland appears to have worked his way into the mix at safety, but with four or five safeties ahead of him right now, I expect him to redshirt this fall. Playing Time in 2014: Very Unlikely



DL Shane Bowman - Choate loves Bowman's motor and said "when he knows what he's doing, he really shows up well", but as a freshman, Bowman is swimming a bit right now. Bowman has the body to play right away, but it seems unlikely that he'll be needed with the plethora of talented playing end right now. Playing Time in 2014: Very Unlikely


WR Dante Pettis - Like Lenius, Pettis has shown good hands and speed. He dropped a beautiful deep ball from Jeff Lindquist that hit him right in stride on Saturday, but he did have some nice catches earlier in camp. Pettis is very athletic and it'll be interesting to see how he fits into things in the future. Will he play this fall? I doubt it, but we'll put him as an possibility this fall. Playing Time in 2014: Possible


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