The Washington Huskies were dealt a major blow to their offense when junior wide receiver Kasen Williams was lost for the season with an injury suffered in UW’s win over the Cal Bears last week. Following surgery to repair a broken bone in his lower left leg, Williams was confirmed to be out for the next 2-4 months, ending his 2013 campaign. After leading the team in receiving in 2012 with 77 catches for 878 yards and six touchdowns, Williams had stepped up as a leader for a deep receiving corps in 2013. In his absence, someone will have to step up and fill that leadership void for a young group of pass catchers and Jaydon Mickens is the perfect man for the job.
The sophomore wide receiver has already stepped up his production on the field, leading the Washington passing attack this season with 45 catches for 542 yards and four touchdowns. He has blown past his numbers from his freshman season when he caught just 20 passes for 190 yards and one touchdown and wide receivers coach Eric Kiesau knows the reason why; he’s practicing better. Kiesau said that Mickens used to “choose” which days he would work hard in practice last season but this year has been completely different. He comes to practice ready to work and gives 100 percent and it is paying serious dividends on Saturday.
That was one of the biggest impacts that Williams made on this team. Kiesau told reporters that he never had to watch what the junior was doing because he already knew he was doing it right and with 100 percent effort. That’s the example that he set for the rest of the receiving corps and it’s shown in how deep this team has been this season at receiver. Every single pass catcher looks prepared to step in and do his job and it is in some way thanks to the example set by their leader at receiver, Williams.
With him out, the job of setting that example to the rest of the group falls to Mickens. He’s enjoying a breakout season on Saturday so far in 2013 but can he step up his game as a leader on the sideline and in the locker room during the rest of the week?