Washington football has a sleeping giant that will be unleashed to his full potential in 2019.
Washington football’s offensive output has been subpar over the past two seasons, compared to the 41.8 points per game they scored during their College Football Playoff run in 2016. Jacob Eason should be able to up that output, as we saw a major drop off in Jake Browning‘s production over the last two seasons. We saw Browning’s production increase in the fourth quarter of the Rose Bowl when he started to force the ball down the field to his best offensive weapon, tight end Hunter Bryant.
Bryant burst on to the scene as a true freshman in 2017, and was honored by ESPN on their freshman All-American team. During his freshman year, he proved that he was a star, finishing with 22 catches for 331 yards (good for second on the team behind Dante Pettis) and a touchdown.
He did that while missing the last four games of the year with a knee injury. Bryant proved to be a spark this year when he returned from that injury, catching 11 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown. We saw him start to get unleashed during the fourth quarter of the Rose Bowl, which is just another promising sign heading into 2019.
In 2019, the Huskies will be able to truly unleash Bryant as the mismatch and monster that he is in the passing game. He should become a security blanket for Jacob Eason very quickly, and his reception numbers should shoot up this season. Expect him to be in contention for the Mackey Award this season, and the bold prediction here is he will have a better season than the 2018 Mackey winner, T.J. Hockenson from Iowa, who caught 49 balls for 760 yards and racked up seven total touchdowns.
There’s no one in the Pac-12 who can cover Bryant. Whoever is big enough to cover him isn’t fast enough, and all the guys who are fast enough aren’t big enough. The Washington offense is going to be a juggernaut in 2019, and Bryant is going to be a key piece of the puzzle.