The Washington Huskies Football Team is currently around the midpoint of Fall Camp right now and players are making their push to ascend the depth chart.
With the Huskies being an elite national contender program right now, there are logjams at almost every position as far as talent goes.
While some players are pushing for an actual starting position, others are just looking to get on the field in anyway that they can.
Last week, the “open to the media” portion of practices at Fall Camp was officially shut down for the remainder of August.
The media was privy to the first five practices and while the full pads were not on yet, some obvious things stood out.
There are a small group of players that are not fully on everybody’s radar yet due to redshirting, being a newcomer or because of past injuries.
At the start of every camp, it’s a fresh slate for every player to make their “push” and earn themselves a spot in the lineup.
Here is a look at some of those “don’t sleep on” players from Fall Camp…..
TREY LOWE (Wide Receiver)
One player that shined during the first part of camp was redshirt freshman wide receiver Trey Lowe. He was seen making play after play during scrimmages and he possesses a quick burst when running his routes. The youngster is not afraid to go up in traffic and make plays and was often the one coming away with the football. Lowe gives the offense variety and versatility with his athleticism and ability to catch the ball. What was impressive during camp about Lowe is his lateral quickness and jumpcut ability once he got the ball. Lowe definitely has homerun threat ability once he catches the ball and can make tacklers miss in the open field. If Lowe can keep the consistency he showed, then look for him to be an “under the radar” asset to the offense this coming season.
LAIATU LATU (Outside Linebacker)
There is no secret that the Husky defense would like to improve it’s pass rushing ability, especially off the edge. Husky fans should be excited about true freshman outside linebacker Laiatu Latu. What stood out about Latu at camp was his ability to provide constant pressure on the quarterback and flush the pocket. The defensive coaches have been looking for a “beast” to come off that edge and Latu looks every bit the part to fit that mold. During scrimmages, you would often notice #56 beating his guy off the edge and never giving up on a play while being blocked. Latu has a high motor and explosiveness to his technique that is very promising for being just a true freshman. He could make an immediate impact for a defense looking to get after opposing quarterbacks.
PUKA NACUA (Wide Receiver)
Make no mistake, when first year wide receivers coach Junior Adams was hired this past offseason, he was tasked with acquiring elite receivers on the recruiting trail. With true freshman wide receiver Puka Nacua, that is exactly what they have. An ultra-athletic receiver with tremendous big-play ability and all the physical tools to be the next star receiver for the Huskies. While competing in scrimmages, Nacua showed glimpses of his skill with making some spectacular plays down the field. Not only was he making big plays but he was also consistent with catching the ball when thrown to him. Whenever you can combine big plays and consistent hands, you have a receiver that will definitely see the field on a regular basis and add another dimension to the offense.
MYLES RICE (Outside Linebacker)
Sometimes during the course of a player’s career, their talent can be overlooked and unseen, when they have been constantly bitten by the injury bug. Throughout the start of Fall Camp, junior outside linebacker Myles Rice officially threw his hat into the ring. He was constantly seen flying off the edge and getting after quarterbacks while shedding his blocks. Rice was always find a way to swarm to the football and make plays which bodes well for the defensive coaches looking for potential impact players. It wasn’t just Rice’s ability to push the pocket, but also making his reads and playing with high confidence. You can never have a shortage of pass rushers and players that can seal the edge. If Rice can stay healthy, he could be a productive option this season.
RICHARD NEWTON (Running Back)
Running backs coach Keith Bhonapha calls it “The Stable” for a reason as you can never have too many talented running backs with the pounding they take. Redshirt freshman Richard Newton showed promise during his portion of carries during Fall Camp. Newton has a real old school running style which is very effective. He runs with high legs and bursts through the hole extremely fast. Newton’s ability to get through the first tier of the defense and get into the second level of the defense was on full display during scrimmages. Every season, injuries seem to mount up at the running backs position and Newton could see the field as another effective running back in the mix. If Newton can prove to be a solid blocker then that time could come sooner than later.
TULI LETULIGASENOA (Defensive Line)
It is clearly evident that the Huskies defensive line on the interior is massive. The big question mark is whether the younger players are ready to step up into “prime time” minutes. Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Tuli Letuligasenoa showed glimpses of his talent last season and is now ready to make his move up the depth chart. If the beginning of Fall Camp is any indication, Letuligasenoa will be viable option as a plug the middle, run-stopper in the likes of his predecessor Greg Gaines. He has a massive frame and showcases quick explosion as a down lineman. Letuligasenoa was often seen shedding multiple blockers while still making an impact on the play. With his tremendous upside, Letuligasenoa should play big minutes this year and add stoutness to the line.