A Look Ahead - Impact Newcomers

We're just nine days from the start of the 2016 football season, so we thought it would be a good time to look at which newcomers and redshirt freshmen will make an impact for the Huskies this season...


Rapp will make an impact because... Husky head coach Chris Petersen said Rapp had really impressed during the three weeks of fall camp and that he would be "tough to keep off the field". The talented safety from Bellingham enrolled in the spring and you can see how much that has helped him. He flies around and makes plays against the run and the pass. With the safety depth the way it is, it will be interesting to see how he fits into the secondary rotation, but you can definitely expect him to be a special teams standout this fall.


Fuller will make an impact because... Considering he's just a freshman, Fuller is a very polished route-runner. He's quick out of his breaks and he has gotten open on a regular basis in camp. The Huskies still have a lot of question marks at receiver, even with the return of John Ross, so the playing time is there for the taking. We believe Fuller will find his way into the rotation and could wind up with 20 to 30 catches this season depending on how he meshes with Jake Browning.


Wellington will make an impact because... You always can use young athletic players on special teams and Wellington has made a huge impression so far this month, showing outstanding quickness and a high Football I.Q. He might not see a ton of time in the regular defense, especially when you consider who is ahead of him, but the freshman from Eastside Catholic has shown the ability to make plays on the ball in coverage and he's also been pretty physical at the point-of-attack.


Young will make an impact because... Young might not be a freshman, but he's definitely a newcomer, having enrolled just before the start of fall camp. Like Fuller, Young has a chance to work his way into the Husky receiver rotation given the depth chart and he looked very smooth throughout camp showing soft hands and the ability to get open out of the slot.


Murphy will make an impact because... This one's a tough call because the cornerback depth is so good, but Murphy is so gifted athletically, we think he'll make it on the field in one way or the other. That could be on special teams as a gunner or maybe even on offense as he has incredible ball skills, however, he was running with the second unit most of camp and we think he'll stay there and see the field.


McGrew will make an impact because... You can't teach speed and McGrew has plenty of that. It's almost comical how small he is, but his elite quickness and change of direction make him an ideal fit in Washington's offense. We expect to see McGrew as a punt or kick returner and also in certain situations on offense. He can catch the ball too, so we're not ruling him out as a slot receiver as well.


Joyner will make an impact because... He hasn't shown any ill effects from the knee injury he suffered last season. Joyner is still a bit raw as a corner, but he's got great athleticism and the coaches are trying to figure out ways to get him on the field, especially as a return man, until he gets more comfortable playing defensive back.


Potoa'e will make an impact because... At 6'3" and 270 pounds, Potoa'e looks funny dropping back into coverage, but he's shown the athleticism to do it, evidenced by his two diving interceptions during camp. We still think Potoa'e will wind up putting his hand in the ground eventually, but right now he's slated to play the 'BUCK' linebacker spot, running with the second unit at times during camp. Expect him to be a factor on special teams until he can work his way onto the field with the defense.


Beavers will make an impact because... Sean Constantine went down with a broken ankle in camp and is expected to miss the entire season, so the Huskies will need someone on special teams as well as in the depth. Beavers has outstanding speed and instincts and he flashed a ton of potential both in the spring and during fall camp. He's the primary backup for Keishawn Bierria at the WIL spot, but he could play all three of the true linebacker spots.


Pounds will make an impact because... Like we've said with the other receivers on this list, with the uncertainty at receiver, Pounds could easily find his way into the depth. Pounds actually had a couple of very good weeks during camp and the coaches said they were impressed with his consistency and hands. Ironically, Pounds needs to put on weight and get stronger, but at this point, he has a very good chance of seeing the field on a pretty regular basis this fall.


Baccellia will make an impact because... There's spots available. Baccellia will need to battle Fuller, Pounds and Young for playing time, but from what we saw during the spring and early in fall camp, he looks like a solid slot receiver.


Burleson will make an impact because... Burleson looks the most ready of the group of young offensive linemen that redshirted last season. He's been manning the right tackle spot with the second team offensive line and, depending on the health of the starting offensive line, knock on wood, he could be pressed into service earlier than we expect.

**NOTE: This is not to say that others can't or won't have an impact, but these are the players we think are the most likely to do so this season.


Dawgman.com Top Stories