Jack Westover will be the key player in Husky Makeover
One by one, some of the fiercest gladiators on the University of Washington football team fell last fall, either for long stretches or the rest of the season.
The injured list was filled with a number of Husky heavyweights in Edefuan Ulofoshio, Jaxson Kirkland, Ryan Bowman, Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Ja’Lynn Polk, Cam Williams, Rome Odunze, Quintin Moore, Richard Newton, Cade Otton. .. and Jack Westover.
Their collective absences played a significant role in UW’s slump to a 4-8 record after being projected by The Associated Press in its preseason poll as a Top 20 team.
Typical was Westover, who was always someone the Huskies could count on to put on a big play or do the dirty work.
After appearing in all 17 games in his previous two seasons, the 6-foot-3, 250-pound tight end and H-back got bumped at the start of 2021 and was only available for seven outings.
Since joining the Huskies, Westover has performed well, but nothing has come easy for him. Originally, he was a walk-around player before Jimmy Lake staff gave him a scholarship.
Westover has made a few starts in 2020, this after catching a touchdown pass the previous season. But last year turned out to be a complete failure for him as his health was called into question during spring training and didn’t hold up throughout the season.
He must now show Kalen DeBoer’s new staff who he is and what he can do.
With less than a month to go before spring training, we’re offering insights and insights gathered from the UW football staff in a series of stories about every scholarship player from #0-99. We’ll review the experience each Husky’s previous starting lineup, if any, and determine what comes next under DeBoer.
As with any coaching change, it’s a new beginning in football for everyone, including the Huskies’ number 37.
Westover wore a redshirt in Washington for his first season in 2018, but worked his way into the roster the following season. He played all 13 games. Without scholarship.
He scored in Arizona on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Eason, drifting out of the backfield to open up and having fans back home scrambling to call the UW football roster to see who he was. .
In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Westover started twice as the Huskies changed him up with different rosters to start each outing, playing a most unusual role. He ran the ball three times against Oregon State, twice more against Stanford. He caught another pass against Arizona, but it didn’t reach the end zone. He upset a lot of people by providing an escort.
With Otto now chasing the NFL Draft and once-promising redshirt freshman Mark Redman transferring to San Diego State, Westover is even more needed to keep the tight position well-supplied .
He and junior Devin Culp, a six-game career starter who has appeared in 22 games, are the experienced veterans and top contenders as DeBoer examines talent in their positions.
UW Starter or not: Westover started at Michigan among his seven appearances last fall, so he played under ultimate pressure in front of college football‘s biggest crowd. He is capable of being the No. 1 guy although his real value lies in his alignment all over the court, from the full-back position to the lunge to the outside edge of the offensive line. He’s the best blocker and a more than adequate receiver among tight ends. DeBoer should really like what he sees in this guy.
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