CHRISTIAN CAPLE

Caple on UW Huskies: A key transfer to watch for each Pac-12 opponent

Mar 24, 2023, 9:57 AM

Studying the schedule of your favorite college football team is far more complicated in the transfer-portal era. Not only do you need to account for graduated seniors and incoming freshmen, but each team now also welcomes — and bids farewell to — several transfers each offseason.

Caple: 6 UW Huskies who could make noise in spring football

While there still should be plenty of player movement during the upcoming spring transfer window, every Pac-12 team already has loaded up on new faces who should make a big impact in 2023.

Here’s a look at the most intriguing new transfers — so far — for each Pac-12 team on the UW Huskies’ schedule this season (note: Washington does not play Colorado or UCLA in 2023).

QB Sam Jackson V (vs. California, Sept. 24)

Cal head coach Justin Wilcox hired Jake Spavital as his new offensive coordinator, then landed Jackson, a transfer from TCU, as the likely successor to Jack Plummer at quarterback. A former four-star prospect from Naperville (Ill.) High, Jackson appeared in four games for TCU last season and scored two rushing touchdowns. He’s a pass-first QB and should throw the ball a bunch in Spavital’s system (assuming he wins the job), but Jackson also has the athleticism necessary to threaten defenses with his legs.

LB Justin Flowe (at Arizona, Sept. 30)

The former national top-10 recruit in the 2020 class battled injuries throughout his three-year stay at Oregon, though he did make 35 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss in 10 games last season. Arizona hopes to channel Flowe’s hard-hitting presence in service of improving its porous defense, to which it also has added other transfer help like ex-Georgia defensive lineman Bill Norton, ex-Cal defensive end Orin Patu (a Rainier Beach product), and, of course, ex-UW linebacker Daniel Heimuli.

DE Jordan Burch (vs. Oregon, Oct. 14)

Alabama transfer Traeshon Holden gives the Ducks a boost at receiver, but I’m most interested to see if Burch will be a game-changer off the edge. The South Carolina transfer was a five-star, national top-10 recruit in the 2020 class. He had 60 tackles with 7.5 TFLs last season but only tallied 4.5 sacks in his three seasons with the Gamecocks. Additionally, Fresno State transfer Evan Williams, a safety, is an under-the-radar addition to watch.

RB Cameron Skattebo (vs. Arizona State, Oct. 21)

New Stanford coach Troy Taylor wasn’t the only Sacramento State product to leave for the Pac-12. After rushing for 1,382 yards and seven touchdowns to win Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year last season, Skattebo became one of Kenny Dillingham’s first big personnel additions at ASU. He joins the Sun Devils along with another transfer running back, Cal’s DeCarlos Brooks. Notre Dame transfer Drew Pyne will compete for the starting QB job, but Skattebo should be a factor regardless.

OL Trevor Mayberry (at Stanford, Oct. 28)

Transfers always will be few and far between at Stanford, and it’s no surprise that our pick here comes from an Ivy League school. Mayberry started 18 games at left tackle the past two seasons at Penn, and first-year Cardinal coach Troy Taylor hopes he will help shore up an offensive line that has looked decidedly un-Stanford-like the past few seasons.

RB MarShawn Lloyd (at USC, Nov. 4)

USC coach Lincoln Riley pulled in another stacked group of transfers this winter, including Arizona’s Dorian Singer, the Pac-12’s second-leading receiver in 2022. Lloyd, though, is a potential star at tailback coming from South Carolina who should pick up the slack following the departure of one-year Oregon transfer Travis Dye. The Trojans also loaded up on defensive transfers, such as Anthony Lucas, a former Texas A&M defensive end, and linebacker Mason Cobb, a second-team All-Big-12 pick and the leading tackler for Oklahoma State last season.

LB Levani Damuni (vs. Utah, Nov. 11)

Stanford’s leading tackler last season now plays for the Utes, who are back on the UW Huskies’ schedule for the first time since 2020. Utah also bolstered its receiving corps with Indiana transfer Emery Simmons — and picked up former four-star 2021 recruit Logan Fano, a defensive end from BYU — but Damuni is filling a more important role.

QB DJ Uiagalelei (at Oregon State, Nov. 18)

Did Beavers coach Jonathan Smith find his quarterback? The former five-star prospect never found his rhythm at Clemson, where he was benched in last year’s ACC Championship Game after passing for 2,521 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2022. Uiagalelei wouldn’t be the first quarterback transfer to rediscover his potential in the Pac-12. He’ll battle returning starter Ben Gulbranson for the job, and then, if he wins it, team with star sophomore tailback Damien Martinez in what could be a very interesting Beavers backfield.

WR Kyle Williams (vs. WSU, Nov. 25)

The Cougars lost several key players to the transfer portal this offseason — particularly at receiver and linebacker — and went right back into the portal to replace them. Williams is among the most important new additions. A former Mountain West Freshman of the Year selection at UNLV in 2020, Williams caught 40 passes for 541 yards and five touchdowns in nine games last season. Between Williams, Fresno State transfer Josh Kelly and San Jose State transfer Isaiah Hamilton, WSU quarterback Cam Ward has several new targets in 2023.

This column from UW Huskies football insider Christian Caple is exclusive to Seattle Sports. Subscribe to OnMontlake.com for full access to Caple’s in-depth Husky coverage.

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