Ranking Washington's 22 most important (non-QB) players for 2023
Which players will the Huskies rely on most?
SEATTLE — Michael Penix Jr. is Washington’s most important player.
On Montlake may win a Pulitzer yet,1 but it will not be for unearthing that particular revelation. The starting quarterback nearly always is the most important player on any college football team, but especially so when that quarterback is a sixth-year senior who broke the school’s passing record last season and now is considered among the top Heisman Trophy candidates in 2023.
So, as always, we will omit the starting quarterback from this exercise, and instead rank Washington’s 22 most important non-quarterbacks ahead of preseason camp.
Remember: this is not a ranking of Washington’s best players, though you will see at least some correlation. Instead, it is a ranking of Washington’s most important players, which requires consideration of several factors such as talent, experience, positional depth, and, crucially, what it would mean to the team if this player couldn’t play — or does not perform to a certain standard — relative to other players on the list.
I’ve also included where I ranked each player in a similar story last July. (Note: the “five more” designation applies to the group of players I mentioned who would have fallen between Nos. 23-27 last year.)
These lists are subjective, and there will always be misses. I’m curious to hear where your opinion might differ. I can think of several other players for whom you could easily make a case.
We’re 11 days out from Pac-12 Media Day, and a little more than three weeks away from the start of camp. I’ll be there for all of it. Be sure to pick up a paid subscription to guarantee access to everything I write.
On to the ranking …