To be a third-teamer in the University of Washington football program is no cause for shame. It's like a waiting room, where you check in, flip through magazines and sit until your name is called. Maybe lift a few weights, too.
For the Huskies, it marks the cut-off line between most scholarship athletes and the walk-ons.
As we assemble what we feel is a well-represented third unit of Jimmy Lake footballers, we highlight three players who have been college football starters, including one at Michigan and another at Colorado State.
We shift from the normal three wide receivers to just two to allow for an extra tight end, because the latter players are so talented and the wideout depth is still a little on the light side.
We have just two walk-ons in the mix of the top 72 players for the Huskies, both on this third unit. Note we've omitted a few players such as sixty-year running backs Sean McGrew and Kamari Pleasant, who will fill in here and there in highly competitive position group but who will find minutes at a premium.
The UW third-team players:
Quarterback — Patrick O'Brien. Same as Kevin Thomson a year ago, the Colorado State transfer is an insurance policy. His problem is Dylan Morris is going to start and freshman Sam Huard is going to play sporadically.
Running back — Jay'Veon Sunday. The Huskies gave this entertaining guy more rushing reps than anyone all spring, including in last Saturday's game, as shown in the photo. It won't be long, maybe against Montana, before he brings the fans out of their seats with one of his high-stepping runs.
Tight end — Quentin Moore. He might be the top receiver of all of the tight ends, but he still has to get in line and become an all-around player.
Tight end — Devin Culp. He made big strides this spring, but the TE room is so good, he's still no better than the third or fourth guy.
Left tackle — Samuel Peacock. He continues to impress, putting on considerable weight in 2020 and moving to the preferred line position a lineman with NFL aspirations.
Left guard — Myles Murao. He came in with one of the biggest reputations in his class, but missed much of spring ball with some sort of undisclosed injury. He's still a year away from challenging for a starting job.
Center — Gerian Hatchett. With two seniors ahead of him, Hatchett is the center of the near future and he'll be ready when the time comes.
Right guard — Gaard Memmelaar. Another physical specimen, he opened up a bunch of holes for the aforementioned Sunday this spring.
Right tackle — Julius Buelow. At 6-foot-8, he's the tallest Husky. He got into a practice skirmish that showed some backbone.
Wide receiver — Giles Jackson. Look for the Michigan transfer to return kicks and have special receiving routes or fly sweeps called for him.
Wide receiver — Jabez Tinae. He arrives this summer as one of the nation's top receivers in his class, but could be redshirted.
Defensive tackle — Kuao Peihopa. This true freshman came into spring ball physically (320 pounds) and mentally (one practice fight) ready to go.
Defensive tackle — Von Tunuufi. Thirty to 40 pounds lighter than the others he goes up against, he handled himself well in practice.
Outside linebacker — Cooper McDonald. This guy could end up anywhere from the first to the third unit. We start him low to motivate him.
Outside linebacker — Jordan Lolohea. He hasn't appeared in an organized game for a long time after going on a mission and redshirting. He's just getting his sea legs.
Inside linebacker — Miki Ah You. He looked really smooth in his movements, had a 34-yard fumble return in the spring game and will play at some point.
Inside linebacker — Josh Calvert. He had the hit of the spring, obliterating Jay'Veon Sunday on a pass play. Think James Clifford, only with an earlier knee injury.
Cornerback — Mishael Powell. The walk-on spent considerable time pulling first- and second-unit reps during spring ball, which means a scholarship might be in his future.
Cornerback — James Smith. He's still learning technique, same as Kyler Gordon did, so he'll be ready when called.
Nickel back — Meki Pei. He worked his way into more and more reps as the spring played out and seemed comfortable, sticking his nose in there.
Free Safety — Alex Cook. The three-game starter in 2020 missed most of spring practice with an injury. He has a lot of catching up to do.
Strong Safety — Makell Esteen. He had a couple of spring interceptions as he tries to make a safety breakthrough.
Kicker — Jarrett North. The second of two walk-ons on this unit, he looked fundamentally sound with limited opportunities.
Punter — Triston Brown. With no third punter, Brown mans this spot, too.
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