CHRISTIAN CAPLE

Caple: How UW Huskies’ 2023 transfers performed this season

Dec 16, 2023, 10:08 AM

UW Huskies Dillon Johnson...

Roger Rosengarten, Dillon Johnson and Camdyn Stiegeler of the UW Huskies celebrate on Dec. 1, 2023. (Ian Maule/Getty Images)

(Ian Maule/Getty Images)

As the UW Huskies explore the portal for their next group of experienced transfers, it’s a good time to look back at what this season’s transfer class accomplished.

UW Huskies land transfer QB Will Rogers from Mississippi State

It’s a group that includes a pair of second-team All-Pac-12 selections, and several others who could make a bigger impact in future seasons.

Here’s how UW’s scholarship portal additions turned out in 2023, ranked in order of impact.

(The Huskies also added junior-college transfer Thaddeus Dixon, a junior cornerback who played 312 defensive snaps, per Pro Football Focus, and had one interception.)

RB Dillon Johnson

When junior running back Cam Davis went down with a season-ending injury late in preseason camp, Johnson became an even more important addition than he already was.

The Mississippi State transfer wound up keying the Huskies’ offense in the second half of the season, rushing for 1,113 yards and 14 touchdowns in 12 games — UW’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Salvon Ahmed in 2019.

A second-team All-Pac-12 pick, Johnson rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns in the Huskies’ Pac-12 championship game victory over Oregon, and also made critical contributions as a pass blocker.

CB Jabbar Muhammad

A second-team all-conference selection, Muhammad was exactly what the Huskies needed at cornerback after their pass defense struggled in 2022. The transfer from Oklahoma State is second in the Pac-12 in passes defended (15), and tied for second in interceptions (3).

Muhammad played the second-most snaps on the defense, per PFF, and had the highest defensive grade among regular players in the Huskies’ secondary.

WR Germie Bernard

Though he originally signed with UW in the 2022 class, Bernard wound up enrolling and spending his freshman season at Michigan State. He transferred back to UW as a sophomore, though, and slid right into an important role in the Huskies’ receiver rotation. A former four-star recruit from Henderson (Nev.) Liberty, Bernard caught 31 passes for 371 yards and two touchdowns, and added another two touchdowns rushing. He also returned two punts for 43 yards, had a 51-yard kickoff return, and projects as a key starter in 2024.

LB Ralen Goforth

The senior transfer from USC played 353 defensive snaps for the Huskies as a reserve, totaling 35 tackles, four tackles for loss and two passes defended. He teamed with Carson Bruener to form an experienced backup duo behind starting linebackers Edefuan Ulofoshio and Alphonzo Tuputala.

TE Josh Cuevas

The highlight of Cuevas’ season: a 57-yard reception to key a touchdown drive at Arizona, one of few explosives the Huskies hit in what still was a fairly efficient offensive game. The Cal Poly transfer finished with four catches for 164 yards and played 134 offensive snaps. Cuevas also caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Morris in UW’s season-opening blowout of Boise State, and had a 57-yard reception at Michigan State. He should play a lot more as a fourth-year junior in 2024, with seniors Devin Culp and Jack Westover exhausting their eligibility.

RB Daniyel Ngata

The former four-star recruit from Arizona State never cracked UW’s running back rotation, taking only seven carries for 23 yards and a touchdown. But Ngata did carve out a role as the Huskies’ primary kick returner, and is fourth in the Pac-12 with 380 kick-return yards on 16 attempts (with a long of 41 yards, and two others of 30-plus).

OL Jalen Klemm

A 2022 recruit who spent his first college season at Kansas State, Klemm wound up UW’s backup left tackle and played 44 offensive snaps in three games, per PFF, plus special-teams action in other games. With Troy Fautanu off to the NFL — and right tackle Roger Rosengarten perhaps considering his own draft prospects — Klemm should have the opportunity to compete for a starting job as a third-year sophomore next season.

CB Darren Barkins

Barkins, a 2021 signee at Oregon, played sparingly in 2021-22 for the Ducks before moving north. He played 31 defensive snaps in three games this season, per PFF, but never reemerged after appearing to suffer an injury at Michigan State in Week 3.

QB William Haskell

The Huskies added the San Diego State transfer to ensure some quarterback depth. A third-year sophomore, Haskell hasn’t appeared in a game this season, but did win the team’s Offensive Scout Team MVP award.

EDGE Zach Durfee

Teeming with potential, Durfee, a third-year sophomore transfer from Division II University of Sioux Falls, was denied immediate eligibility by the NCAA and has yet to make his UW debut. He is eligible to play against Texas in the CFP, though, and could have a chance to display his pass-rushing skills — he had 11 sacks as a redshirt freshman at Sioux Falls — on a national stage.

Huard: UW Huskies getting a new ‘force’ on defense for CFP

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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