USA Today Sports Mid-Season Awards, Part One

It's the bye week, and it's come at a perfect time for the guys to recharge the batteries and get ready for the second half of the season. But how did this first half shake out? Who excelled? We take a look at who we think were the outstanding performers on offense.

Luke Mounger - Intern Extraordinaire

OL Mid-season player of the year - Coleman Shelton. The Huskies now have the second best rushing attack in the conference, and a lot of thanks has to go to the guys up front. Coleman Shelton’s seamless transition to center and the leadership skills he brings to the table have helped the line take a big step forward. 

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TE Mid-season player of the year - Darrell Daniels. The tight end group has been a little quieter than expected this year. Regardless, Darrell Daniels has been by far the most productive, averaging 13 yards a catch. Aside from his one drop of a sure touchdown, he’s been a pretty reliable target as well.

WR Mid-season player of the year - John Ross III. 11 total touchdowns. Is any further explanation necessary?

RB Mid-season player of the year - Myles Gaskin. His start to the year was slower than expected, and he’s not averaging nine per carry like Lavon Coleman is, but Gaskin has been a shoe in for a solid 15-plus carries a game all season long. It looked like he was just a shoelace away from breaking a few big ones, and he finally did against Oregon. He’ll carry that momentum into a huge second half.

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QB Mid-season player of the year - Jake Browning. Wow. Jake Browning looks like a new man this year, making big plays and solid decisions with his arms and legs. His 26 total touchdowns are more than six teams in the PAC-12.

Mid-season offensive position coach of the year - Bush Hamdan. The receivers were a big question mark before the start of the season. That question was answered in all caps with two exclamation points. Pettis, Ross, and McClatcher have scored 19 receiving touchdowns this year. That’s good for three a game. And the versatility of the group, scoring on deep balls, screens, slants, and the like, is evidence of how well Hamdan has his guys playing.


Scott Eklund - Recruiting Editor

OL Mid-season player of the yearColeman Shelton. You have to give it up for a guy who has played all five offensive line positions, but he isn't just versatile...he's also been grading out as one of the top linemen on a game-to-game basis. Smart and a leader.

TE Mid-season player of the year - Darrell Daniels. Since the tight ends haven't contributed much in the passing game, this comes down to blocking and I think Daniels has really done a nice job in that regard. 

©M. Samek / SCOUT

WR Mid-season player of the year - Dante Pettis. Could have gone with John Ross here too, but Pettis is the one who came in with the rep of not being very tough. He's really stepped up this season and he came up big last weekend with Chico McClatcher out.

RB Mid-season player of the year - Lavon Coleman. Yeah, Myles Gaskin is leading the team in rushing, but he got off to a slow start and it could be argued that Coleman was the reason UW ended up beating Arizona a few weeks back. Tough runner who has shown more speed than we thought he possessed.

©M. Samek / SCOUT

QB Mid-season player of the yearJake Browning. Duh! Do we really need to elaborate on this one?

Mid-season offensive position coach of the yearBush Hamdan. I have been really impressed with the way the receivers have been blocking and he's got them playing well.


Chris Fetters - Editor

OL Mid-season player of the yearColeman Shelton. The quarterback of the offense has set the tone up front and they’ve gotten better every game. And to be able to lead that group into a hostile atmosphere and not have any false starts during the meaningful moments of that game takes discipline and leadership. Shelton is showing both. 

TE Mid-season player of the yearDarrell Daniels. None of the tight ends have really stood out, but that’s because they’ve been doing a ton of the dirty work on the edges and blocking the crap out of people. But Daniels is the senior leader and has played well to date. I still expect him to catch more passes in the second half of the season. 

WR Mid-season player of the yearJohn Ross III. How can it not be Ross? His three touchdown day against the Ducks was sublime: two fade routes, which are really hard to defend when executed properly, and then a brilliant tip-toe job along the back line. As good as Pettis and McClatcher are performing, Ross has been the difference between the receiving corps being very solid and having an explosive component to it that’s taken the group to the next level. 

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RB Mid-season player of the yearLavon Coleman. With all due respect to Myles Gaskin, who finally showed the breakout we all knew was coming versus Oregon, Coleman’s contributions to the run game the first half of the season cannot be overstated. He’s averaging nine yards a carry, and his day versus Arizona kept the Huskies in the thick of it when they needed a steady, strong run presence. 

QB Mid-season player of the yearJake Browning. Everyone knows all the superlatives handed out so far to the super sophomore, who is now legitimately in the Heisman talk. We’ll see if he can keep it up, but I don’t see a drop-off any time soon. He’s on pace to set some national efficiency records, which underscores just how well he has performed when it comes to the two tasks Petersen demands of all his quarterbacks: great decision-making and great accuracy. 

Mid-season offensive position coach of the year - Chris Strausser. It all starts up front, and the Washington quarterbacks have been sacked less than two times a game so far this season. UW leads the Pac-12 in scoring offense, second in rush offense, first in pass efficiency and second in third-down conversion rate. And all those things begin with the five guys along the offense line that have kept Jake Browning upright and his jersey clean. Chris Strausser has not only put players in positions to succeed, like Coleman Shelton at center and bringing along a true frosh like Nick Harris, but you can noticeably see the offensive line get better and better every week. Big kudos to Chris Strausser. 


Kim Grinolds - CEO

OL Mid-season player of the yearColeman Shelton. It all starts up front and he's been a rock in the middle. Snaps have been perfect and pulls like a guard. Playing at an All-Conference level.

TE Mid-season player of the year - Will Dissly. Many judge TE productivity of a TE by receptions. Dissly is a monster in the run game. He seals the edge and is playing like a tackle who can go in motion. 

©M. Samek / SCOUT

WR Mid-season player of the yearDante Pettis. As well as John Ross is playing and taking the top off the defense, Dante Pettis is the GoTo Guy. He can run the entire rout tree and has taken a huge step forward    Close call.

RB Mid-season player of the yearMyles Gaskin. He's just getting warmed up. Stay tuned.

QB Mid-season player of the yearJake Browning. Legitimate Heisman candidate. In total command of the offense in only his second year. Bigger more athletic version of Kellen Moore. Putting up video game stats. And he punts. Throws right, punts left. Nuff said. 

Mid-season offensive position coach of the yearBush Hamdan. Pettis and Ross have made huge strides as has Chico. May be most improved unit on the team.

©M. Samek / SCOUT
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