This week, football at CenturyLink Field started off as a divisive topic around the country: Tate versus Jennings, Seahawks versus Green Bay, the refs versus the replacements… But there was no debate over the true victor Thursday night, with the Huskies and upset-enthusiasts everywhere celebrating UW’s decisive win over #8-ranked Stanford. There were a lot of variables that led to the “W,” such as great defense, clutch offensive plays, and key players – like sophomore wide receiver Kasen Williams, who is the subject of this Spectator Spotlight.
1. Local Guy
Before the purple and gold, Williams sported Skyline High School’s green and white in Sammamish, WA. During his Spartan years, Williams thrived as a highly-decorated football star, which included a front cover spread on Parade magazine when he was named their All-America National Player of the Year – the first player from Washington State ever with this award.
2. Taking “The Leap”
Along with football, Williams found success in High School Track and Field in the high jump, long jump, and triple jump. So it’s no surprise when those skills were displayed his first year with the Huskies at the 2011 Apple Cup (which is the last game of the season and the annual match-up between the Huskies and their rivals, the Washington State Cougars).
Toward the end of the first half, Williams completed a pass from QB Keith Price that ended with a Spiderman-leap over WSU defender Nolan Washington for a first down. The next play was Price to Williams again, only this time, ending with a touchdown. This play propelled the Huskies into halftime with a comfortable lead over the Cougars, where they remained, with a final 38–21 win.
3. The Next Generation
Not only is Williams a second generation Husky, but he’s a second generation UW wide receiver, holding the exact position as his father Aaron Williams, who played from 1979–1982. Another nod to his father: sporting the No. 2 jersey, which the senior Williams wore on the field during his Dawg days as well.
As the next generation of UW football is led by young talents like Williams, Husky fans can only hope for more wins like last Thursday and opportunities to display Husky pride.