Washington’s trek to a potential College Football Playoff berth won’t actually start in Sept. 1 against Auburn in Atlanta. It’ll begin March 26 when the Huskies open spring camp, a school spokesman said on Friday.
UW’s camp’s will be held four times a week until the session commences with the spring game. The Huskies’ spring game is noon on April 21 at Husky Stadium.
The Huskies are coming off a 10-3 season season. It was the first time in more than 20 years the program recorded back-to-back campaigns of at least 10 wins. UW opened the 2017 season with a 6-0 start only to fight through injuries in the second half of the year.
A 13-7 loss in mid-October at Arizona State and a 30-22 loss in early November at Stanford dashed UW’s hopes of a return trip to the CFP semifinal. But consecutive wins over Utah and Washington State resulted in UW reaching the Fiesta Bowl for the first time in program history.
Washington fell 35-28 to Penn State on Dec. 30 in the Fiesta. The loss to Penn State was somewhat softened by the notion the Huskies are a serious contender for a CFP bid in 2018.
Star junior tailback Myles Gaskin announced he would return for his final season. Between Gaskin and quarterback Jake Browning, the Huskies return all but four starters from the Fiesta Bowl on offense.
UW will also return star left tackle Trey Adams along with receivers Chico McClatcher and Quinten Pounds. All three missed the final half of the year with season-ending injuries.
Although the Huskies lose Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Vita Vea and veteran linebacker Keishawn Bierria, they’ll still return nine starters on defense.
In addition to having several returners, Huskies coach Chris Petersen and his staff were building the program’s strongest recruiting class in the modern era.
UW has 10 composite four-star prospects in its 2018 class. The Huskies recently received a commitment from four-star safety Julius Irvin.
Irvin’s addition gives the Huskies the No. 1 recruiting class in the Pac-12, according to 247 Sports and Rivals.
247 considers UW’s class to be the ninth best in the nation. Rivals deems the group to be 10th overall.
Ryan S. Clark: @ryan_s_clark