What you need to know ...
There are way too many question marks going into the
season. Can last year's average offensive line actually improve
after losing four starters? Is there a quarterback on the roster
who can put points on the board and come up with wins? Who will
the deep threat be to replace Craig Chambers? It takes lots and
lots of points to keep up in the Pac 10, and with the defense UW
has coming into this season, this offense will have to be used
to playing in some track meets. Does it have the firepower?
There's experience and plenty of options, but the jury is still
out on whether or not this can be the 30-point-per-game attack
it needs to be.
Passing: Isaiah Stanback
143-264, 2,136 yds, 9 TD, 6 INT
Rushing: Louis Rankin
104 carries, 485 yds, 1 TD
Receiving: Sonny Shackelford
41 catches, 592 yds, 2 TD
Star of the offense: Senior WR Sonny Shackelford
Player that has to step up and become a star: Junior WR
Unsung star on the rise:
Best pro prospect: Redshirt freshman RB J.R. Hasty
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Shackelford, 2) TE
Robert Lewis, 3) QB Isaiah Stanback
Strength of the offense: Running back
Weakness of the offense:
Deep threat receivers
The overall quarterback play improved by leaps and bounds
after a rough 2004, and now someone has to prove he can lead the
team to wins. Isaiah Stanback is the starter based on the
improvements made throughout last season
with the hope that he'll take another step up in his
development. Johnny DuRocher and Carl Bonnell have been around
long enough to know what they're doing, and they have to start
playing like it. Incoming freshman Jake Locker is considered the
future of the program.
The key to the unit: Find someone who can keep the
offense moving, come through in the clutch, and get wins. Isaiah
Stanback has to throw it downfield as effectively as he did this
Quarterback Rating: 6.5
- Isaiah Stanback, Sr. - 143-264, 54.2%, 2,136 yds, 9 TD,
6, INT, 100 carries, 33 yds, 3.5 ypc, 5 TD
He hasn't received the 100% full endorsement as the starter
despite being the only true option to start the season. He went
from being a tremendous athlete who happened to play quarterback
to a solid all-around playmaker who became a more confident
passer as well as a strong runner. Now he has to take another
step up and become a winner. He has to be more accurate and he
has to prove that he can be the reason the team wins. If the
team doesn't get off to a strong start and the season starts to
go downhill, Stanback will likely get pulled just to get some of
the younger options a shot.
- Johnny DuRocher, Jr. - 24-54, 44%, 247 yds, 2 TD, 2
DuRocher got plenty of chances to show what he could do last
year, but he wasn't sharp and ended up breaking his wrist
against Oregon State getting knocked out for the year. He has a
strong arm and can be the good deep passer the team needs, now
he has to show a better command of the offense.
- Carl Bonnell, Jr.
He saw a little bit of time getting two starts in 2004 before
getting hurt, He has the talent to be an interesting prospect
with size, speed and a great arm, now he has to show in practice
that he deserves a longer look.
- Jake Locker, Fr.
He won't get any sort of a shot at the starting job, but he just
might be the team's best quarterback ... next year. He's an
athletic passer with an accurate arm and good leadership taking
his team to the Washington state title last season. He was a
Parade All-American who was a big get for Ty Willingham. A
fantastic baseball player, he chose to play football rather than
try his hand as a major leaguer.
a shock if this isn't the team's strength. The coaching staff
has done everything possible to praise last year's starter Louis
Rankin and senior Kenny James, and they'll get a year to hold
off academically ineligible star-in-waiting J.R. Hasty takes over the offense with his combination of
skills and speed. He's the special back the offense has been
missing over the last few years. That's not to say Rankin and
James can't play, they'll likely start the season on the top of
the depth chart, they're just not quite as special as Hasty.
The key to the unit: Make sure all the backs are
happy and productive while maximizing all of the available
Running Back Rating: 7.5
- Kenny James, Sr. - 29 carries, 103 yds, 3.6 ypc, 1 TD
The unsung back in the mix, James is a good 215-pound back who
didn't do much last year thanks to health problems and the
emergence of Louis Rankin. The coaching staff is expecting a
bounceback season and a push for starting time early on, but
this could change in a hurry if J.R. Hasty comes on later this
- Fullback Mark Palaita, Sr. - 3 carries, 4 yards
The 240-pound back got two starts last season and has been a
regular on special teams. The former walk-on will rarely, if
ever, see the ball getting used mostly as a power blocking
- J.R. Hasty, RFr.
Seen as the hope for the future of Washington football, the
superstar recruit and Washington high school legend is the
team's best back with power, speed, and a résumé with 5,493
career yards and 92 touchdowns. He scored a state-record 50
touchdowns and ran for 2,519 yards as a senior, but the redshirt
tag stayed on last year. Husky fans will have to wait another
year as he was declared academically ineligible late this
- Louis Rankin, Jr. - 104 carries, 485 yds, 4.7 ypc, 1
TD, 6 catches, 54 yds
The veteran finished second on the team in rushing despite
suffering a toe injury with four games to play. He's a speedy
back with a great burst around the edge and the ability to carry
the workload when needed. However, he's not a special back and
doesn't make the big plays he should considering his wheels.
Even so, he has the experience and the respect of the coaching
staff to likely get the call on opening day.
- Shelton Sampson, Sr. - 4 carries, 20 yds
Sampson is a speed back who could end up at corner or even
receiver as long as he's accepted back on the team with open
arms. He cranked out 131 yards and three touchdowns against
Oregon as a freshman, but hasn't been able to make much noise
- Fullback Luke Kravitz, Soph.
A smaller fullback option than Mark Palaita, the 230-pound
sophomore is more of a runner and will see a few carries in
short yardage situations.
It's not like Craig Chambers was another Randy Moss, but
he was the team's most talented deep threat before he
transferred to Montana and now the rest of the receiving corps
will be trying to find a replacement for his 18.1 yards per
catch. Sonny Shackelford is a solid, but limited number one
receiver and while he wants to be the go-to guy on deep passes,
someone else has to step up and take over the job. Anthony Russo
has the potential as the number two man in the mix, while speedy
Corey Williams, Duke transfer Chancellor Young and huge JUCO
transfer Marcel Reese have to become major factors right off the
bat. Robert Lewis is a solid tight end, but a foot injury to
280-pound Johnie Kirton could be an issue.
The key to the unit: Finding a few reliable deep
targets to open things up for the rest of the attack.
Receiver Rating: 6.5
- Sonny Shackelford, Sr. - 41 catches, 592 yds, 14.4 ypc,
Shackelford isn't an elite target, especially by Pac 10
standards, but he was the team's top receiver last year with ten
more catches than the number two man. He was consistent and came
up with some big plays despite not having top end speed or
athleticism. Now he'll have to maintain his role as one of the
team's steadier performers while getting into the end zone more.
- Anthony Russo, Jr. - 30 catches, 487 yds, 16.2 ypc, 1
Russo showed off the speed to be a solid deep threat with a good
average and consistent play. Now he'll have to try to make up
for the loss of Craig Chambers and be the team's man long
distance man. He's not huge at 5-11 and 185 pounds, but he's big
enough to be a strong number two receiver to Sonny Shackelford.
- Tight end Michael Gottlieb, Soph.
One of the stunners of spring ball, the former walk-on turned
out to be the best tight end looking ready to be more than a
special teamer. He's a good-sized target with nice hands and
- Corey Williams, Jr. - 6 catches, 91 yds, 15.2 ypc
Williams has the athleticism and the speed to grow into a
tremendous playmaker for the offense. Now he has to push for
time behind Sonny Shackelford and make more big plays after not
doing much of anything over the final ten games of last year.
- Cody Ellis, Soph. - 8 catches, 154 yds, 19.2 ypc, 1 TD
Ellis caught a touchdown pass in the opener against Air Force
and then never saw too many other passes outside of garbage
time. Speed isn't an issue, getting enough work is.
- Chancellor Young, Jr.
The Duke transfer is a big 6-2, 210-pound talent who'll
try to carve a niche for himself as a deep threat next year
after being declared academically ineligible. All he needs
is more playing time after catching just two passes for 15 yards
for the Blue Devils.
- Marcel Reese, Jr.
The JUCO transfer will be a tough option to keep off the field
after he caught 47 passes for 1,286 yards and 13 touchdowns last
season for El Camino CC. He's 6-3 and 235 pounds adding a
physical presence the corps could use.
- Tight end Robert Lewis, Jr. - 14 catches, 162 yds, 11.6
ypc, 1 TD
Lewis started his career as a linebacker and went from a part
timer and special teamer to a decent receiver finishing fourth
on the team last year. While he won't make too many
field-stretching plays, he'll be a good midrange route runner
and a physical blocker.
- Tight end Johnie Kirton, Soph. - 14 catches, 152 yds,
10.9 ypc, 1 TD
A great looking young prospect, the 6-3, 280-pound sophomore
returns after tying starting tight end Robert Lewis for fourth
on the team in catches. He has the size and athleticism to grow
into a great offensive weapon if he can come back healthy from a
Only one starter returns even though there are several
players with starting experience. Stanley Daniels is a solid guard and
Clay Walker, if he doesn't move to center, should be fine on the other
side, while Nathan Flowers is promising at left tackle. That's
about where the certainty stops with the depth chart likely to be
changed around 25 different ways until the opening day. There are plenty
of good prospects to play around with among the reserves, but few
veterans. Better pass protection will be the key early on, while the
running game could use more of a push that it isn't going to get right
The key to the unit: Find the right combination
immediately and let it have time to jell.
Offensive Line Rating: 6
- OT Ben Ossai, RFr.
A potential option at left tackle, the 6-6 Ossai is taller than
possible starter Nathan Flowers, but not nearly as big. With no one
looking great this spring at the spot, Ossai will likely get the first
chance this fall unless Flowers becomes more consistent.
- OG Stanley Daniels, Sr.
The former defensive tackle is now the only returning starter to the
ling. He's 6-4, 310 pounds, and an effective all-around blocker getting
better and better as last year went on. Now he'll have to be a leader
and a rock on the left side.
- C Juan Garcia, Jr.
The 310-pound junior has talent, but he's still trying to come back form
a serious leg and ankle injury suffered a few years ago. He'll have to
battle hard to get the starting center job over Clay Walker and could
move to guard if needed..
- OG Clay Walker, Sr.
While not technically a returning starter, he might as well be with 13
career games of starting experience at guard. He'll get the first shot
at the full-time gig on the right side and will get a long look at
- OT Chad Macklin, Jr.
Macklin is 6-8 and 300 pounds with a little bit of starting experience,
but he wasn't exactly a rock when he got his chance. Now he'll need to
be a steady starter on the right side.
- OL Jordan White-Frisbee, Soph.
The promising young all-star defensive tackle will move over to the
offensive side to add his athletic 335 pounds to the front. He's
talented enough to take over a starting spot, or at the very least, will
be a great backup option.
- OT Nathan Flowers, Soph.
The 335-pound sophomore will battle for the first look at left tackle after
seeing plenty of action in every game last year both on offense and
special teams. He bulked up big time over the last year and needs to grow
into a key blocker for the ground game after being average this spring.
- OG/OT Casey Bulyca, Soph.
The 6-5, 315-pound sophomore hasn't seen the field yet, but that will
change this season as a top reserve at at right tackle behind Chad
Macklin or at guard behind Clay Walker,
- C/OG Ryan Bush, Soph.
Bush bulked up over the last year and now appears ready to be a steady
contributor at either guard spot or center. Even though he's not huge at 285
pounds, he's considered a key to the line's future.