SEATTLE – While playmakers like Myles Gaskin and Jarrett Stidham will generate much of the media attention in the build-up to No. 6 Washington taking on No. 10 Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic September 1 in Atlanta, the NFL scouts watching likely will be just as interested in Huskies senior left tackle Trey Adams, a 6-foot-7, 327-pound goliath projected as a 2019 first-round pick by NFLDraftScout.com.
What no one yet knows is if he will be healthy enough to play.
Albeit as a limited participant, Adams returned to the practice field on Saturday for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last October.
It was clear that head coach Chris Petersen and his staff were taking their time with their prized left tackle. Adams wore a sleeve over his right leg and while he went through positional drills like the one shown in the video above (Adams is No. 72), he was held out during team work.
As Adams explained following practice, that is all part of the long-term plan.
“Obviously, you want to play every game,” Adams said when asked if he will be ready to play against Auburn. “If you can, you can; if you can’t, you can’t. Me being a competitive person, I obviously want to play. Like I said, we’ve got a great plan, so now I’ve got a month to prepare. We’re going to see what happens and go from there.”
Adams enters his senior campaign with 32 starts already under his belt, all at left tackle, where he earned First Team All-Pac-12 honors from league coaches as a true sophomore in 2016.
While massive, Adams is surprisingly light on his feet and balanced in pass protection. His size, strength and finishing mentality also make him a standout run blocker, behind whom Gaskin, a fellow NFL prospect, has rushed for over 1,000 yards each of the past three seasons.
Along with right tackle Kaleb McGary (a potential first round pick, himself, currently ranked third at the position on NFLDraftScout.com’s board) Adams is one half of the best tackle tandem in the country and a big reason, literally and figuratively, why Washington enters the season with national title hopes.
(McGary, No. 58, is the first player to run through the shoot in the video above.)
Whether he plays against Auburn or not, Adams recovery and play this season bears watching as the 2019 crop of tackles appears richer than in recent years with several underclassmen like Alabama’s Jonah Williams, Mississippi’s Greg Little and the Tigers’ Prince Tega Wanogho among the more intriguing early entry candidates.