Of all the groups, based on expectations, the wide receivers may have been the most disappointing for the Huskies last season.
All week here at Sportspress Northwest, we’ll breakdown the different units that comprise the Washington football team. A look back and a look forward for the (gasp!) 7-6 Huskies of 2010. On to the wide receivers:
What was thought prior to the season: One of the strongest parts of the team. The return of Devin Aguilar, James Johnson and Jermaine Kearse for year two in Steve Sarkisian’s system was thought to be a boon for Jake Locker and the Washington offense. With backups D’Andre Goodwin and Cody Bruns, Washington also had depth at the position.
What we saw during the season: A mixed bag. Kearse had big moments, Aguilar had few, Johnson had none. Aguilar caught 14 fewer passes, and also had a drop in yardage and touchdowns. That was a banner season compared to Johnson. The sophomore finished the season with one catch. That’s 38 less than last season. Johnson was hurt, then stuck in the doghouse. Kearse finished with more than 1,000 receiving yards and had receiving increases in all categories. Goodwin finished his senior year with a career-high four touchdowns and 530 yards receiving. We also saw several drops and the Washington receivers often roughed up by opposing defensive backs.
What’s next for this group: Only Goodwin is gone, and Johnson is waiting to replace him. Johnson looked much better at the end of the year and practiced with the first-teamers toward the latter part of the season. Kearse, if he doesn’t make the mistake of entering the NFL draft this year, Johnson and Aguilar should return as starters. Washington likes Kevin Smith to be part of the rotation. Bruns should contribute, as could Jordan Polk. Incoming freshman Kasen Williams is expected to have an impact. Of the starters, two will be seniors (Kearse and Aguilar), and Johnson will be a junior. Projected, super-duper early depth chart:
Like the offensive line, this bunch is a veteran group bolstered by an incoming hotshot.