Game week mercifully started on Monday. That means the Huskies brought out the first depth chart of the season.
There were few surprises. D’Andre Goodwin is back in from the cold and listed as one of the top three receivers along with Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar. James Johnson, a sophomore who started his freshman year gangbusters, was hounded by an ankle injury throughout fall camp and has slipped to third simply because he has not had enough healthy reps.
Greg Christine is the starter at right guard after breaking his leg last season. Head coach Steve Sarkisian admitted he thought Christine’s career was over at the time, but he has made it all the way back.
Sarkisian said only linebacker Brandon Huppert (in addition to the obvious absence of running back Deontae Cooper) is out for Saturday. Defensive end Kalani Aldrich is the largest question. Sarkisian said he is not out and will use the week to assess if Aldrich can travel, though the redshirt junior is unlikely to play at this point. Defensive end is one of the large questions for this team.
How it shakes out:
Freshman Kevin Smith will fill the spot left open by Cooper on kick returns. Notice 12 true freshmen on the depth chart. Will they all play?
“We’re not just going to throw them out there for a snap,” Sarkisian said. “If a guy plays, it’s going to be some significance there.”
A conspicuous absence on the depth chart is big-time recruit Josh Shirley. Washington will try not to play him and the other true freshman not listed.
“The plan right now is not (to), but you never know when you need someone on the road,” Sarkisian said. “First-game injuries happen.”