Triston Brown doesn't look like a punter. Oh, there's nothing at all wrong with his right foot.
It's those shoulders, forearms and calves that show some serious weight-room definition, all so uncharacteristic of the usual soft-body punter. With that physique, he might as well be a strong safety or inside linebacker.
Guess that what happens when you have way too much college football time on your hands, waiting for the University of Washington to resume a full game schedule coming out of a pandemic and, equally painstaking, for the incumbent player at his position to move on.
Brown is the Huskies' punter in waiting. And waiting and waiting and waiting.
This 6-foot-1, 195-pound sophomore from Brea, California, which is southeast of Los Angeles, is someone so well-preserved as a football player, it's like he's the second coming of Brendan Fraser, the thawed-out caveman character in the film Encino Man and a former Seattle resident in real life.
Brown graduated from Brea Olinda High School way back in 2015. He last punted in an actual regulation football game in 2018, for Mt. San Antonio College, in Walnut, California, in Orange County, north of Brea. He sat out 2019, seemingly to preserve college eligibility, and came to the Huskies rated as the No. 1 junior-college punter in the nation.
The odometer on his right leg really hasn't turned over at all in three years.
For 18 months, Brown has been part of the Husky football program, nearly as long as Jimmy Lake has been its coach, ready to be handed the punting reins. He's waiting for forever student-athlete Race Porter, now in his sixth UW season, to move on to the real world.
"Triston Brown, last Saturday he banged about a 60-yarder," Lake pointed out midway through spring practice. "It's all about competition, and I'm all about competition, and those guys are going back and forth."
Thumbing through the roster in numerical order, this is another of our post-spring assessments of all of the Husky talent at hand, gleaned from a month of observations, as a way to keep everyone engaged during the offseason.
Brown wears No. 32, same as walk-on wide receiver Nick Juran, and the Huskies are doing their best to keep the punter preoccupied. In the recent spring game, they let him kick for both the purple and the gold teams.
On the gold unit, he averaged 42.7 yards per punt on three attempts. Later, he switched over to the purple and replaced Porter, who had boomed three kicks for a 46.3-yard average.
Brown stepped it up for the dark-shirted team and put everyone to shame, averaging a whopping 49 yards per kick, with a spring game long of 56 yards.
He looks like he's ready when needed.
Earlier in the spring, as Lake mentioned, Brown drew attention to himself near the end of the Saturday scrimmage when he launched a towering 60-yard punt that came down just short of the goal line and, with some sort of weird English on it, skipped hard right and out of bounds on the 5.
Brown drew an appreciative roar from teammates and spring spectators who saw it all unfold.
Soon enough he should be hearing from Husky Stadium game-day fans as he puts his foot on display.
Brown's 2021 Outlook: Backup punter
UW Service Time: None
Individual Honors: None
Pro Prospects: NFL free-agent signee
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