Defensive backs Austin Joyner and Myles Bryant continue to push the competition in UW’s rebuilding secondary.
Here are six players — three on offense, three on defense — who caught my eye during the first eight days of the Huskies’ fall camp:
SALVON AHMED, freshman, running back/wide receiver
Coming off a Pac-12 championship and a College Football Playoff berth, the Huskies are very much in win-now mode. Of course they are. Who knows what will happen after this season with the likes of Jake Browning, Trey Adams, Myles Gaskin, Chico McClatcher and Kaleb McGary — all juniors with NFL potential. (That’s saying nothing about the defensive front, which will look almost entirely different a year from now. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.)
Point is this: The window to win is right now. This is it. If you’re the UW coaches, you can’t entertain the notion of “saving” a guy like Ahmed for 2018 and beyond, when there will be more opportunities for him in the offense. As things stand, there’s no obvious need, no clearly defined role for Ahmed to step into right now. This offense would be just fine — better than fine — without him this season. But it’s also becoming more apparent after each practice that Ahmed can help this offense, even in a limited role, and if coaches feel the same there’s no doubt they will design a package or two around him. Same can be said for two other true freshmen — tight end Hunter Bryant and wide receiver Ty Jones. Bet here is all three play this season.
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Myles Gaskin and Lavon Coleman might be the best backfield combo in the country. Redshirt freshmen Kamari Pleasant and Sean McGrew look capable of helping, too. With such a crowded backfield, Ahmed, the former Juanita High star, has been getting reps at wide receiver, too, showing good burst out of the slot. He’s not a natural out there — he’s had a few drops in the first week — but he also made some spectacular plays, like his diving, over-the-shoulder grab Tuesday.
“Great attitude, a lot of energy, tremendous speed, a tremendous burst,” UW receivers coach Matt Lubick said of Ahmed, “and for a freshman playing with a lot of confidence and toughness, which is pretty exciting.”
ANDRE BACCELLIA, sophomore, wide receiver
Browning is looking more and more in Baccellia’s direction, and it is looking more and more likely that…