Husky Trails: The Washington Husky Power Players
With the first game of the season in exactly one week, and excitement building in all corners of the Washington team, I felt it would be great to put together a recap of who will be the big players for UW this season.
This will be an interesting season for the Huskies as they break in a new coach and get over the 0-12 season last year.
So with no further ado here are some of the bigger players for the Washington Huskies.
The list has to start with quarterback Jake Locker. The redshirt junior is back from injury and ready to make a name for himself on the college football landscape.
A lot of critics look down their nose at his accuracy statistics, and there is some fair complaint, but I would also point out he improved last season and also didn't throw an interception in any of the games he played in.
The highlight of his talents are his running ability, with good speed and good escapability. Many opposing defensive coordinators find him to be a nightmare to try and defend.
Daniel Te'o-nesheim is the brightest spot on a rather bad defensive unit. A second team all-Pac-10 candidate last season, his motor makes him on of the best defensive ends in the conference.
Te'o-nesheim led the team in sacks last year and it is a given that with Nick Holt coaching him up he can only get better.
The defensive line needs to get better at pressuring the quarterback, and Te'o-nesheim will be leading the charge.
D'Andre Goodwin, surprisingly to some, is the conference's leading returning receiver. His 60 catches last season were one of the few bright spots on a very lackluster offense.
There has been strong competition during spring at the receiver spot, with underclassmen James Johnson and Jordan Polk sitting right behind the top players.
It most likely will come to a lot of players rotating through the positions, but Goodwin's experience and prior record will mean he will see a lot of play time.
Nate Williams was an honorable mention all-Pac-10 selection, which is saying something for a secondary as atrocious as Washington was last season.
Williams finds the ball well and hits hard, he has good instincts on the field. Along with Quinton Richardson, he is the only sure thing on the secondary going into this season.
I'm a big fan of Williams (my roommate went to Kennedy, where Williams went), and I think he may have a good future at the next level, especially knowing that he has this season and next to mature.
Chris Polk was named the starter as a true freshman last year, before he tore his shoulder in the second game and got a medical redshirt.
He apparently was so low that he contemplated quitting the team, but the addition of the new staff has revitalized him, and he's had a really strong spring and fall.
The running game needs to get on its feet, and to do so Polk and the rest of the running backs need to find their groove early on.
The teams leading tackler from two years ago, he was kicked off the team by Tyrone Willingham. His rehabilitation by the Sarkisian staff adds a lot of strength to an already strong unit.
He loves to hit, and has a lot of energy on the field. His presence will help strengthen the Huskies' poor run defense of the last year.
This is his last season of eligibility too, so to go on to the next level he has to show up in a big way. Seeing the body of his work so far, that shouldn't be hard at all.