First, it was Jaxson Kirkland. Then, Zion Tupuola-Fetui.
Now, Cade Otton.
On Monday evening, Otton — 6-foot-5, 240-pound junior tight end — became the third first-team All-Pac-12 performer of the day to announce he’ll return to Washington in 2021.
“I’m declaring … That the Dawgs are coming for it ALL in 2021, and I can’t wait to be apart of it. GO DAWGS,” Otton tweeted.
Of course, the talented Tumwater tight end could have just as easily declared for the 2021 NFL draft. After Hunter Bryant’s departure, Otton led the Huskies in catches (18), receiving yards (258) and receiving touchdowns (3) in 2020 — while also distinguishing himself as a bruising blocker.
“Cade Otton, I say he’s one of the best in the country because I know what the NFL’s looking for,” UW coach Jimmy Lake said this month. “They’re not looking for guys to just flex out and catch passes all day. They want a guy that can line up on the outside of an offensive tackle, kick out a 9-technique, double down on a 6-technique (defensive end or outside linebacker), drive guys off the line of scrimmage, double up to a linebacker and seal him off so they have the run game going on offense, and then be able to release and go make catches.
“For the tape that I’ve seen, Cade Otton is one of the best in the country.”
And, chances are, he’ll be that again in 2021 — in an offensive scheme that extensively highlights the tight end position. In his signing day news conference this month, Lake said that “we’re going to be in two-tight end sets, one-tight end sets, three-tight end sets, four-tight end sets, three-receiver sets, four-receiver sets. It’s going to be very, very multiple, which you guys have seen. You guys have only seen the beginning of it.”
Besides Otton, UW will also feature a slew of scholarship tight ends in redshirt sophomores Devin Culp and Jack Westover, transfer sophomore Quentin Moore, true freshmen Mark Redman, Mason West and Jack Yary and incoming freshman Caden Jumper.
It’s a crowded room, but Otton is the unquestioned captain.
And, along with Kirkland and Tupuola-Fetui, they’re returning to terrorize UW’s Pac-12 opponents.
“We Signed a Few 5 Star Players Today #BowDownToWashington” Lake tweeted on Monday night.