(9) TB Myles Gaskin and (17) LB Tevis Bartlett (©M.Samek / SCOUT)

Dawgman.com Post-Spring Awards

Spring Football is over at Washington, so it's time to hand out some hardware. Who improved the most at each position? Who had the best overall spring on offense and defense? And did any season projections change based on what took place during spring? Here are the guys from Dawgman.com with their post-spring awards.

Kim Grinolds - CEO 

Best Spring Performance - Offense

Myles Gaskin. He just looks so smooth, patient, and he's added swagger to his game. He's an elite player

Best Spring Performance - Defense 

Byron Murphy. Once he get the playbook down, he's a star.

(6) DB Byron Murphy (©M. Samek / SCOUT)

Spring Most Improved Player - Quarterbacks

K.J. Carta-Samuels. Still not comfortable with him starting if Jake goes down.

Spring Most Improved Player - Running Backs

Myles Gaskin. Without a doubt, he's taken his game to another level.

Spring Most Improved Player - Receivers

Brayden Lenius. He's no longer the tall, skinny receiver. Still has a lot of work to do but he's got all the tools. Also, a shout out to Max Richmond. he may be a walk on, but he's going to play.

Spring Most Improved Player - Tight Ends

David Ajamu. Had a great Spring and Fall last year until he got hurt. Don't base his productivity on catches. It's a small part of what he does.

Spring Most Improved Player - Offensive Line

Kaleb McGary.  He looks so much more comfortable. remember, he spent his first year here on the DL

(58) DL Kaleb McGary (©M. Samek / SCOUT)

Spring Most Improved Player - Defensive Line

Vita Vea. He's transformed his body and looks great. He not only looks like The man, but he's acting like it as well.

Spring Most Improved Player - Linebackers

Tevis Bartlett. Smart player who always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

Spring Most Improved Player - Defensive Backs

Byron Murphy.  Ball Hawk. He'll lead the team in interceptions this year. 

Spring Most Improved Player - Special Teams

Brandon Wellington. He's going to be a terror.

(13) LB Brandon Wellington (©M.Samek / SCOUT)

Which freshman - true or redshirt - has the best chance of playing in the fall based on their spring performance?

Byron Murphy. No brainer 

Breakout Star

Byron Murphy.  I'm sounding like a broken record

Who Might Take A Step Back?

Tristan Vizcaino. Placekicking could be an issue this year

2017 record prediction based on spring performance

12-0. I don't see a game on the schedule where they'll be an underdog except possibly Stanford.

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Chris Fetters - Editor

Best Spring Performance - Offense

Myles Gaskin. With Jake Browning limited, Gaskin's steady-Eddie approach and consistent effort in practice gave him the edge. 

Best Spring Performance - Defense 

Vita Vea. To me this is an easy call. Everything starts up front, and with Greg Gaines sidelined that allowed Vea to shine even more. 

(50) DL Vita Vea (©B.L. Dickson / SCOUT)

Spring Most Improved Player - Quarterbacks

K.J. Carta-Samuels. Still has some to go to provide a reliable backup to Browning, but Chris Petersen's positive post-spring report on the junior was encouraging. 

Spring Most Improved Player - Running Backs

Sean McGrew. Added weight, but clearly didn't lose any of the shiftiness or straight-ahead speed that brought him to Montlake. Scored the only touchdown at the Spring Preview.

Spring Most Improved Player - Receivers

Aaron Fuller. Of the three second-year receivers, Fuller was the one that seemed to have the most consistent spring from beginning to end. Should be a reliable option for Browning down the field. 

Spring Most Improved Player - Tight Ends

David Ajamu. Drew Sample had a strong spring, but Ajamu's ascension had as much to do with staying healthy as much as anything else. Any receiving production the Huskies get from Ajamu this fall will be a nice bonus. 

Spring Most Improved Player - Offensive Line

Jared Hilbers. Andrew Kirkland's full-time move to left guard is as much a testament to his ability as it is new offensive line coach Scott Huff's trust that Hilbers can provide plenty of cover at left tackle when asked.  

Spring Most Improved Player - Defensive Line

Levi Onwuzurike. His quickness off the snap was apparent from day one, and UW fans need to be watching for 95 a lot this fall based on his play during spring. 

(95) DL Levi Onwuzurike (©M. Samek / SCOUT)

Spring Most Improved Player - Linebackers

Tevis Bartlett. Of all the outside linebackers looking for starting spots, Bartlett was the one consistent presence that seemed to get stronger and stronger as spring unfolded. Will play a lot. 

Spring Most Improved Player - Defensive Backs

Myles Bryant. Lot of candidates here but Bryant did damage at a number of positions and is going to make it very tough for Jimmy Lake to pick his two-deeps week-in and week-out, especially as a walk-on. Consistently impressed. 

Spring Most Improved Player - Special Teams

Race Porter. Not sure anyone outside of the program or Porter's family realized he was on the team last year, but after what he did this spring they will come to know him. Has a cannon for a leg, so just a matter of harnessing that power. 

Which freshman - true or redshirt - has the best chance of playing in the fall based on their spring performance?

Byron Murphy. Redshirting must have been very difficult for him, but it was clear from that first Monday workout that he had put that time to good use. Fans got a nice glimpse of his ability to break on the ball and make plays during the Spring Preview. 

Breakout Star

Byron Murphy. Hard not to see Murphy getting his this fall, and possibly as a return man too. He's that talented. 

Who Might Take A Step Back?

Kyler Manu. The inside linebacker spot, now that both Azeem Victor and Sean Constantine are back and fully participating, is loaded with athletes and playmakers. Who is going to draw the short straw between Victor, Constantine, Ben Burr-Kirven, Keishawn Bierria, DJ Beavers, Camilo Eifler, Brandon Wellington and Manu? My early guess is Manu. 

2017 record prediction based on spring performance

11-1. I think they'll probably get tripped up by ASU or Stanford on the road, or UCLA at home. But just once. That should still get them to the Pac-12 Championship game, especially if they beat Stanford. 

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Scott Eklund - Recruiting Editor 

Best Spring Performance - Offense

Drew Sample. He consistently got open and he is one of the keys in the running game. If he's getting it done on the edge, the running backs have lots of options when they run wide.

(88) TE Drew Sample (@M. Samek / SCOUT)

Best Spring Performance - Defense 

Jordan Miller. He consistently locked things down during the spring and he appears to be the next great Husky cornerback.

Spring Most Improved Player - Quarterbacks

Daniel Bridge-Gadd. While it was nice to see Jake Browning back and throwing the rock around as early as he did, Bridge-Gadd made some nice strides this spring. He looked to be in command of the offense and he made plays with his legs as well as his arm.

Spring Most Improved Player - Running Backs

Sean McGrew. I have been one of the more critical people of McGrew since he arrived, but he's definitely taken some steps forward after a slow start this spring. Do I see him supplanting Lavon Coleman as Myles Gaskin's main backup? No, but I do see him getting more carries than I would have previously said before the start of spring.

Spring Most Improved Player - Receivers

Brayden Lenius. Toward the end of the spring, Lenius began to take things over. He was a big presence in the redzone and he made several tough catches. Will that translate to the field this fall? That's the biggest question of all.

Spring Most Improved Player - Tight Ends

David Ajamu. With his blend of size and athleticism, Ajamu could be a real weapon in the offense, but up until now he's been a bit player. Hopefully his play this spring -- he looked very good as a medium and short-range target -- portends a big senior season for him.

Spring Most Improved Player - Offensive Line

Andrew Kirkland. He didn't look as out of place at left guard as he had in previous stints inside this spring and he appears to have solidified things on the left side next to Trey Adams. Still a long way to go, but the Huskies may have found their replacement for Jake Eldrenkamp.

(73) OL Andrew Kirkland (©M. Samek / SCOUT)

Spring Most Improved Player - Defensive Line

Levi Onwuzurike. Sure...there are bigger names along the defensive line, but the redshirt freshman looks ready to hit the field in a backup role this fall. He's quick, he's added size and strength and he appeared to gain confidence as the spring went along.

Spring Most Improved Player - Linebackers

Tevis Bartlett. The junior took steps to solidify himself as the starting SAM linebacker with his play this spring. The battle with rising redshirt freshman Amandre Williams is far from over for the starting gig, but with his size, speed and quickness and a confidence that comes from seeing lots of reps as a sophomore, Bartlett really seemed to assert himself in the latter half of spring.

Spring Most Improved Player - Defensive Backs

Myles Bryant. He sure looks like the third corner for the Huskies right now. The former walk-on locked things up as the nickel corner when he was called upon and his ball skills are outstanding for a guy his size. 

(31) DB Myles Bryant (©M. Samek / SCOUT)

Spring Most Improved Player - Special Teams

Race Porter. He came out of nowhere to seemingly become a big part of UW's punting battle this fall. 

Which freshman - true or redshirt - has the best chance of playing in the fall based on their spring performance?

Byron Murphy. The kid just oozes potential and I can see him earning some All-Pac 12 consideration this coming season.

Breakout Star 

Byron Murphy. I already felt Murphy was going to be a star the moment he arrived and after watching him this spring, I have no reason to change my way of thinking.

Who Might Take A Step Back? 

Ricky McCoy. Maybe he looked great in the closed practices, but I have to say that I am a bit disappointed that McCoy hasn't asserted himself more up to this point. If he doesn't watch out, he's going to get passed up on the depth chart by younger, hungrier players.

2017 record prediction based on spring performance 

10-2. Nothing has changed for me in what I felt would already be a very good season for the Huskies with a likely return to the conference championship game.

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Luke Mounger - Intern

Best Spring Performance - Offense

Myles Gaskin. With Lavon Coleman missing all of spring ball, Myles Gaskin was the unquestioned leader in the running back room over the past handful of weeks. He looked like the Myles Gaskin we’ve all come to know at the University of Washington, showcasing natural patience and quickness. I was also impressed by the work he put in pass protection drills. I thought he was the perfect lead by example veteran for guys like Sean McGrew and Kamari Pleasant to follow.

Best Spring Performance - Defense 

Tevis Bartlett. It’s hard to remember a spring snap when Tevis Bartlett wasn’t in the backfield. The junior-to-be entered camp slotted to replace Psalm Wooching at the SAM position and took ownership of his role from the outset. He showed a knack for picking up sacks and making plays behind the line of scrimmage.

(17) LB Tevis Bartlett (©M.Samek / SCOUT)

Spring Most Improved Player - Quarterbacks

K.J. Carta-Samuels. The redshirt junior benefited greatly from Jake Browning being limited for the early part of spring. Carta-Samuels enjoyed first team reps during live periods for the majority of spring, and looked increasingly more comfortable as camp progressed, while also flashing a nice deep ball.

Spring Most Improved Player - Running Backs

Sean McGrew. Lavon Coleman was absent for all of spring ball, and Myles Gaskin had a light workload - as you might expect a seasoned veteran in spring. This gave Sean McGrew and Kamari Pleasant plenty of opportunities to show their skills during camp. McGrew flaunted the quick feet that earned him Gatorade State Player of the Year in California, making a compelling case for more touches in the fall.

Spring Most Improved Player - Receivers

Brayden Lenius. This camp was so important for Lenius. He was coming off a season in which suspension and injury kept him from playing a single down. He needed to come out and prove he was an important part of the receiving corps. He did that and more this spring. He is so physically imposing and showed an ability to make plays in the air towards the end of camp. It will be exciting to see what he brings to the table this fall.

Spring Most Improved Player - Tight Ends

David Ajamu. David Ajamu looks determined to make the most of his final season in purple and gold. He looked good catching passes and as a blocker, showing the versatility that coach Jordan Paopao loves in his tight end room. Expect him to make an impact in the fall.

Spring Most Improved Player - Offensive Line

Henry Roberts. Henry Roberts looked great this spring. First off, he looks the part. Additionally, he showed some meanness this spring, moving bodies at the point of attack during different drills and live periods. He put himself in a good position to battle for playing time in fall camp.

Spring Most Improved Player - Defensive Line

Levi Onwuzurike. The massive redshirt freshman from Texas made his presence felt this spring. His combination of size and athleticism are hard to miss on the football field. His four tackle spring game was the perfect cap to a solid camp.

Spring Most Improved Player - Linebackers

Myles Rice. With Connor O’Brien and Benning Potoa’e both missing some time in camp, Myles Rice saw plenty of reps with the first unit defense. His battles on the edge with Trey Adams and Kaleb McGary allowed him to gain experience with top-notch PAC-12 tackles. By the end of camp, he looked comfortable and capable at the BUCK position.

(41) OLB Myles Rice (©B.L. Dickson / SCOUT)

Spring Most Improved Player - Defensive Backs

Byron Murphy. If anyone was worried about major drop off in the secondary after last season, Byron Murphy has mitigated their fear. The talented redshirt freshman looked like a fifth-year senior with his fantastic coverage and ball skills. He will continue Washington’s excellent defensive back legacy.

Spring Most Improved Player - Special Teams

Joel Whitford. I was very impressed by Joel Whitford all spring long. He could punt with distance, hang time, and directional control. Sign me up.

Which freshman - true or redshirt - has the best chance of playing in the fall based on their spring performance?

This is an obvious choice, but Byron Murphy has solidified himself as a key part of the defensive backfield. Levi Onwuzurike also stood out on the defensive line. He’s big and athletic, and looks capable of making an impact as a pass rusher and run stopper.

Breakout Star

Byron Murphy. He has big shoes to fill, which maybe made his spring performance that much more impressive. It’s hard to bounce back from losing corners like Sidney Jones and Kevin King. With Byron Murphy, Washington may hardly skip a beat.

Who might take a step back? 

Aaron Fuller. This has nothing to do with how Aaron Fuller played. I thought he looked great this camp. This has more to do with what happened around him. Ty Jones looked phenomenal in camp. Brayden Lenius was incredible towards the end. The tight ends looked reliable in the pass game, and Hunter Bryant will join in the fall. Not to mention, Terrell Bynum and Alex Cook arrive in the summer. The Huskies are jammed full of playmakers in the pass game, which could result in less targets for some of last year’s key contributors.

2017 record prediction based on spring performance

11-1.


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