Redshirt freshman Cade Otton is one to watch at tight end this fall.
The Washington Huskies, entering a season in which they are the heavy favorite to win the Pac-12 championship, open fall camp on Friday as they begin in earnest preparations for their much-anticipated season opener against Auburn. Today, we resume our fall-camp position preview series with a look at tight ends.
Drew Sample, sr., 6-5, 251
Jacob Kizer, so., 6-4, 264
Cade Otton, rs.-fr., 6-5, 249
DeShon Williams, sr., 6-2, 230*
Jusstis Warren, jr., 6-2, 249
Michael Neal, jr., 6-4, 245
Jack Westover, fr., 6-2, 229*
x-Hunter Bryant, so., 6-2, 224
Devin Culp, fr., 6-3, 232
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x-injured; to miss most of 2018 season
OUTLOOK: Sophomore Hunter Bryant, the 2017 ESPN Freshman All-American, is out for most, if not all, of 2018. Hunter’s absence puts more focus on senior Drew Sample, who over the past three seasons has been a dependable block-first tight end in UW’s various tight-end formations. Sample dropped 10 pounds over the summer — he’s at 251 pounds on the new UW roster posted Thursday — which would seem to be a sign he’ll be asked to help more in the passing game this fall. Though he had just seven receptions last season, he is a capable receiver. Three of those seven catches in 2017 came in the opener at Rutgers; the following week, Sample sustained an ankle injury that hobbled him for much of the season.
STAR WATCH: Chris Petersen said last week that it’s possible Bryant could be back at some point late in the season, and wouldn’t it be something if UW’s No. 1 — Bryant’s new jersey number — ran out of the Husky Stadium tunnel Nov. 3 before the showdown against Stanford?
BREAKOUT CANDIDATES: Redshirt freshman Cade Otton had a strong spring, finishing with a team-high-tying five catches in UW’s spring catches. At 6-5 and 249 pounds, he certainly looks the part, and no one might benefit more from Bryant’s absence than Otton. Sophomore Jacob Kizer was a pleasant surprise as a true freshman last season, playing in 12 games and starting the final three as the second or third tight end. DeShon Williams also had a productive spring and could be a factor this fall, and freshman Devin Culp will push for playing time too.