Six Huskies make list of Sports Illustrated’s top 100 players in college football

Washington State’s Cody O’Connell and Luke Falk also make SI’s list.

It is the peak of offseason for college football, which means … lists. Yay, lists.

This one from Sports Illustrated is ambitious … and includes six Huskies in its top 100 players in college football. (Oregon, if you’re counting at home, has only one player included … and the Cougars have two.)

There are a couple of surprises for UW, with Jake Browning (at No. 45) probably ranked too low … and Taylor Rapp (at No. 39) probably too high. But, in general, the talent coming back for the Pac-12 champs speaks to the national perception about what the program can and should do in 2017.

Here’s where the Huskies stack up:

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No. 70: Dante Pettis, senior, WR
2016 stats: 53 catches, 822 yards (15.5 yards per catch), 15 touchdowns
2017 outlook: With the departure of John Ross III, Pettis takes over as the Huskies’ No. 1 receiver following his 2016 breakthrough. He also holds the UW record with five punt-return touchdowns.

No. 45: Jake Browning, junior, QB
2016 stats: Set school records with 43 touchdown passes and a passing efficiency rating of 167.52, finishing sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting and winning Pac-12 offensive player of the year honors.
2017 outlook: UW coach Chris Petersen said Browning is 100 percent healthy after having an operation on his throwing shoulder in January. Browning, who will represent UW (along with LB Keishawn Bierria) during Pac-12 media days July 26-27, enters his third season as the starting QB, and with a veteran offensive line returning expectations for the offense are as high as they’ve ever been.

No. 39: Taylor Rapp, sophomore, S
2016 review: By the end of September, the true freshman from Bellingham emerged as a surprise starter — and by the end of the season he was as valuable as anyone in the Huskies’ loaded secondary. The Pac-12’s defensive freshman of the year finished fifth on the team with 53 total tackles and had four interceptions, including a pick six in the Pac-12 title game against Colorado.
2017 outlook: With Budda Baker off to the NFL, Rapp takes over as the secondary’s versatile playmaker. He could start at either safety spot or in the nickel, and on a defense teeming with NFL talent Rapp looks to be the next breakout star.

No. 36: Myles Gaskin, junior, RB
2016 stats: Rushed for 1,373 yards and 10 touchdowns, earning…

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