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Husky Portal Transfers And How They Fared Elsewhere

Jake Haener has prolific passing numbers at Fresno State, while Austin Osborne led Bowling Green in receiving.

They were bemoaned or shunned when they left the University of Washington football program after last season or before that, while entering the transfer portal and looking for another place to play. 

Considering what happened in Montlake, they certainly found more peace of mind.

Puka Nacua and Austin Osborne were two of five receivers who exited the Huskies once the pandemic-restricted 2020 season concluded. Together, they came up with 100-plus receptions elsewhere.

Nacua joined his hometown BYU as a sophomore, shared in a 10-2 season that will bring him a bowl game and ranks second among all Cougars receivers with 42 catches for 796 yards and 6 scores. That includes a 28-yard touchdown catch in Saturday night's 35-31 victory over USC, a team that once had his commitment before he flipped to the Huskies and left for BYU.

Osborne finished his first season at Bowling Green with 64 catches for 546 yards and 2 TDs, ranking him first among all pass-catchers at his new school. His Falcons quarterback was Matt McDonald, his high school teammate from California and the son of former USC QB great Paul McDonald. As a junior, Osborne closed out a difficult 4-8 season with a 14-yard scoring catch in a 21-10 victory over Ohio. 

Austin Osborne finished with 64 catches at Bowling Green.

Austin Osborne led Bowling Green with 64 catches. 

Of the other UW receivers who left, Ty Jones caught just 19 passes for 211 yards and a score for 9-3 Fresno State, ranking the senior seventh on a team led by prolific ex-Husky quarterback Jake Haener; Marquis Spiker totaled 9 catches for 112 yards for 5-6 Portland State; and Jordan Chin didn't resurface at Sacramento State as planned.  Spiker also returned kickoffs for his Big Sky team, returning 23 for 458 yards.

Haener, in his first uninterrupted pandemic season at Fresno State, was sensational for coach Kalen DeBoer, who a lot of people would like to see hired by the currently coach-less UW.

With a bowl game to go, Haener has been sensational, completing 303 of 449 passes (67.4 percent) for 3,810 yards and 32 touchdowns, with just 9 interceptions. He's also run for 3 scores. With or without DeBoer, the junior has another season of eligibility remaining with the Bulldogs.

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Ex-Husky QB Jake Haener has led Fresno State to a 9-3 record.

Jake Haener has had a prolific passing season for Fresno State.

At Utah, coach Kyle Whittingham saw something in strong safety Brandon McKinney that the Huskies didn't. He started McKinney 10 times for his 9-3 team, whereas the veteran defensive back drew just one opening assignment for the UW in four seasons, which was the 2019 Rose Bowl against Ohio State. Awaiting the Pac-12 championship game, the graduate transfer has recorded 57 tackles, including 4 for lost yards, and had two pass break-ups, a sack, a forced fumble and a quarterback hit.

Former Husky inside linebacker Josh Calvert, a sophomore, likewise transferred to Utah, but didn't appear in a game. 

At Sacramento State, former UW linebacker Ariel Ngata, a junior, came off the bench in six games and supplied 12 tackles and an interception for a 9-2 team. 

Brandon McKinney (28) started most of the season at strong safety for Utah.

Ex-Husky safety Brandon McKinney (28) has been a 10-game starter at Utah.

Relocating to UCLA, freshman quarterback Ethan Garbers played in all 12 games as a kick holder for the 8-4 Bruins, and even started behind center against Utah in place of injured senior Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Awaiting a bowl game, Garbers has passing stats of 31 for 51 for 305 yards and 2 scores, with 2 interceptions, with most of those numbers compiled in his start against the Utes. 

Quarterback Jacob Sirmon transferred to Central Michigan, won the starting job, appeared in five games and was replaced after the Chippewas opened 2-3. The sophomore compiled season passing stats of 73 for 119 for 734 yards and 6 TDs, with 4 interceptions. Awaiting a bowl game, Central Michigan stands 8-4.

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