These are 12 kids that I picked out to highlight today that you seldom see written about. Each is on track to be a key contributor in 2008. All of them have been around four to five years. They all might not be starters but this collection of scholarship late bloomers and walk on's are going to be counted on to provide impact this season season.
Each one of these guys bring some special skills to this team that is often used in a situational basis. You want improved special teams in 2008? Included are some very key contributors that will help with that goal.
FB Luke Kravitz Sr
This is Luke's fifth year in the program and the legacy recruit from Olympia has seen a lot of time on the field at the FB position and special teams. Luke plays behind Paul Homer but the coaches have equal respect for the abilities of both players. Kravitz has had some type of nagging injury each year he has played and this will be the first time he has left training camp unscathed.
The coaches like the way Luke catches the ball out of the backfield and maybe this year the coaches will call his number more often.
WR Chancellor Young Sr.
Chancellor originally committed to Duke and stayed one year there before transferring to Washington. He had to sit out a year and had a breakout spring game. He was never heard from again after suffering from academic problem. Chancellor is back for his last season as a walk on and he had a good fall camp. That camp will get him a shot catching the ball and playing on special teams in 2008.
Young is very good athlete and will get every chance to play this season. Pencil him in immediately for special teams. Don't count out time at receiver because he is the big and physical guy we possibly lack.
WR Charles Hawkins Sr.
Hawkins from Chicago transferred from a small program in Iowa. He has worked his way high up enough on the depth chart to get extensive time last spring. He dropped a couple of passes in the spring game that probably hurt him, but it wasn't like anyone else other than Goodwin was lighting it up either.
Charles will get some opportunities to play in 2008.
TE Walt Winter Sr.
Walt came to Washington as an Army All American LB. he was moved from LB to DE and asked to beef up early in his career and the move didn't really fit him even though he gained some playing time. This is his second year at TE and he is starting to blossom at that position and will open the season as the #2 behind Mike Gottleib who has been slowed down by a hamstring injury.
Walt should have been at TE all along.
OL Morgan Rosborough Jr.
Morgan has been a work in progress ever since he joined the team. Morgan is a giant man the training staff has spent three and one half years sculpting. He always had light feet but he needed to lose weight and gain strength. He saw his first action last season at OG and will get his reps in again this season at the crowded and deep position. Morgan is the fourth guard behind Tolar, Bulyca, and White-Frisbee.
Next year he will compete for the starting job alongside Tolar when the other two graduate.
LB Josh Gage Jr.
Every guy dreams about walking on to a division one program and earning a starting job. Josh did that this year when EJ Savannah went into exile. Gage isn't your usual walk on. He has impressed the coaches with his ability since he joined the team.
Obviously a healthy EJ would be the starter but it is nice to see Gage get his shot.
LB Fred Wiggs Jr.
You hear Fred's name called quite a bit during games. He tends to be around the ball a lot on special teams. He has played a lot since he walked on from O'Dea becoming one of the leaders on special teams.
Fred is a big hitter so keep an eye on him.
S Tripper Johnson Jr.
A 26 year old walk on safety from Newport HS in Bellevue. He signed to play baseball out of high school and bounced around the minors for eight years. He walked on this spring and was running with the 2's for the most part. He is going to be a valuable reserve in 2008 and a boost to the special teams.
Johnson is going to play plenty over the next two years.
S Darin Harris Sr.
Harris has started a lot of games for the Huskies in between sitting out with a broken back. He teamed with Forrester for most of last season after Wells went down. The young talent at safety and the return of Jason Wells still hasn't knocked him out of the rotation.
Harris is your likely starter for the opener beside Williams.
LB Chris Stevens Sr.
The coaches need to find a way to utilize Stevens more in 2008. The absence of EJ should give him more time out there. Chris can be a big play type of player in the right situations. In the past he has lined up as a pass rushing DE and has caused some serious havoc.
Ed Donatell needs to maximize this kid this season.
LB Trenton Tuiasosopo Sr.
Trenton has started a lot of games since recovering from a near fatal bicycle accident. He will be listed as starter 1-B at MLB this year. Trenton is very solid against the run so I believe we will see him used on a situational basis this year when Donald Butler is on the field.
I could see Butler and Tui playing besides each other during obvious running situations.
DE Jovan O'Connor Sr.
I don't know if Jovan has ever played a down since he hit campus five years ago. He was listed as the #1 DT at the start of Spring than quickly moved down the depth charts. He lost 40 lbs since school ended and is now listed as a DE. I don't know if that translates into playing time but Willingham must like this kid to keep him around this long.