Chico McClatcher’s season-ending ankle injury opens the door for UW’s young receivers.
Chico McClatcher is in good spirits. His teammates are, too.
“He’s a special person,” UW wide receivers coach Matt Lubick said Wednesday, four days after McClatcher was lost to a season-ending ankle injury.
“Just a tremendously positive attitude. Everyone loves being around him. His courage motivates me and gives me strength. The way he handled that walking off the field with the smile on his face and how positive he was, I wish I had that type of inner strength. He’s motivating not just me, but the rest of our players by the way he’s handled this.”
The No. 6 Huskies (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) say they have no time to dwell McClatcher’s injury as they prepare for Saturday’s game at Oregon State (1-3, 0-1), and Lubick is confident other receivers will emerge in McClatcher’s place.
“I think we have a couple guys,” Lubick said. “I think the way we call plays and use our offense, all our running backs can play receiver and vice versa. I think we have a couple of guys, and we’ve repped a lot of guys in those same spots. I’m very confident. I think there’s multiple guys that can do what he did.
“Chico is a very good player, but I feel really good about our backups.”
Junior Brayden Lenius and sophomores Andre Baccellia, Quinten Pounds, Aaron Fuller are expected to see more snaps going forward. Redshirt freshman Jordan Chin and true freshman Ty Jones also figure to be regulars in the rotation.
Jones, at 6-feet-4, is an intriguing athlete on the perimeter. He didn’t play in the first two games of the season before making his debut in the second half of UW’s blowout of Fresno State. He then played a few snaps against Colorado, Lubick said, and is still looking for the first pass to come his way.
“His attitude’s been really good, and that’s why he is playing,” Lubick said.
After the first two games, UW coaches were on the fence about whether to redshirt Jones, so they asked him if he had a preference.
“We presented it to him: ‘Hey, we can’t guarantee anything, but you’re playing really well (in practice) and a lot of things can happen this season, and we’re going to try get you in,’” Lubick said. “He goes, ‘Coach, I want to play.’ … He’s got to prove it in practice, so we can trust him — which he has…