MVP No. 9 - A true two-way threat

It’s countdown time! A new feature at, we’re going to ascend daily toward who we perceive to be the most important player to Washington’s success, revealing a new name every day. Today we dig into the top-10 and feature a player who has been a vital piece of Washington's offense and special teams the past two years.

Dante Pettis didn't waste a moment once inside Husky Stadium in 2014. He caught 17 passes for 259 yards, third in receptions for receivers and second in yards per catch - behind John Ross. 

With Ross hurt in 2015, it was up to Pettis and Jaydon Mickens to provide stability for the receivers. He came up with 30 catches for 414 yards, a 13.8 yards per catch average - best of all the receivers on the roster. 

Now with Mickens gone through graduation, it's up to Pettis and the returning Ross to once again provide some sense of steadiness in a younger receiving corps. 

Only two years into the program, and Pettis is now one of the hardened vets, entrusted with being one of Jake Browning's go-to receivers. 

Up until now, Ross has been underutilized - scoring nearly 20 percent of the time he touched the ball on offense - so there's no real way of knowing how the junior will react to being a consistent fixture. The hope is he'll still score at a 20 percent clip, but his touches double at a minimum. 

That leaves Pettis, as well as Brayden Lenius to a lesser extent, as the main possession receiver, the player Browning to look to on first down as well as on key third and fourth-down conversions. 

His value to the team is amplified when you also look at his punt return numbers. He's the only player in college football to be in the top-13 for punt return yards the past two seasons. And his three career punt return touchdowns already puts Pettis eighth all-time in the Pac-12 in that category. 

And he still has two more years to improve on those numbers. Top Stories