Washington football’s offense is probably the biggest question mark so far going into the 2020 season
Who will win Washington football’s quarterback battle? Only time will tell, but whoever it is, they’ll have an incredible supporting cast of wide receivers. Between the incoming talent and returners on the roster, the Huskies have seven blue-chips (four/five-star recruits) at the position.
There are a lot of exciting returners this year. Terrell Bynum emerged as an impact player towards the end of the year. Ty Jones, who finished in the top 10 in the Pac-12 in receiving touchdowns in 2018, will be healthy and ready for a full season. Puka Nacua is going to burst back onto the scene during his sophomore season, and with John Donovan’s simplified scheme, a lot more receivers are going to have an opportunity to shine.
In an interview with the Seattle Times’ Mike Vorel, incoming freshman receiver Sawyer Racanelli told him that he expects a lot from the receivers in new offensive coordinator John Donovan’s offense. “A lot of people have said, ‘Oh, it’s going to be a run-heavy offense,’ which I don’t think it’s going to be. It’s a prostyle offense. Prostyle realistically is 60-40 pass-run. Having good running backs is going to help, but based what I’ve seen, it’s going to be a fun thing for the receivers. It’s not going to be the run-heavy offense that UW has recently seen in the last couple years,” Racanelli told Vorel. “I think it’s going to be a new offense and a fun offense and I think the fans are going to be in for something special.”
One of the returners that’s primed for a much bigger workload is sophomore Austin Osborne. After getting passed over on the depth chart as a redshirt freshman, Osborne is primed to make the jump to stardom in his third season on Montlake. He has the versatility to line up anywhere in the formation, and can quickly become a reliable target on the boundary and over the middle of the field.
On top of that, the Huskies are also bringing in three super talented freshmen. Racanelli will probably redshirt in order to make sure he’s completely recovered from his torn ACL. Rome Odunze is an exciting four-star prospect with some insane measurables, and it’s going to be hard to keep him and fellow four-star recruit Jalen McMillan off the field. While it’s unlikely that either player will start, Nacua was able to force his way onto the field as a freshman, and Odunze and McMillan have the same potential.
Not only is this group highly talented, but they’re going to be matchup nightmares. The shortest receiver on scholarship is Jordan Chin, who measures in at an even six feet tall. This is going to be a drastic shift from the 2019 offense, with both Andre Baccelia and Aaron Fuller, who measured in at 5’10 and 5’11 respectively.
Size isn’t everything at the receiver position, but it certainly helps, especially in the case of 50/50 balls. With the 6’4 Jones and 6’3 Marquis Spiker on the outside, a lot of those throws might not be so 50/50.