Washington losing Odunze, Johnson to NFL draft

  • Pete Thamel, ESPNJan 12, 2024, 11:15 AM ET

Washington is losing two proficient players to the NFL draft: pass receiver Rome Odunze and running back Dillon Johnson.A third player,

safety Mishael Powell, who started every game and had three interceptions and 38 tackles, has gone into the transfer portal.Odunze led the country in receiving lawns in 2023 and

earned first-team All-America honors. He enters the draft as Mel Kiper’s No. 5 total player and No. 2 wide receiver.Odunze became the key ability position cog in Washington’s unlikely go to the nationwide title game, which included a Pac-12 title and 21-game winning streak that ended against Michigan in the College Football Playoff title game.Johnson led Washington with 1,195 lawns and 16 hurrying goals. He balanced 5.1 lawns per carry this season after investing his very first 3

at Mississippi State.Odunze nearly left for the NFL in 2015, when he said he got feedback from the NFL that he ‘d be a leading 100 prospect. He banked on himself, staying at Washington and it settled

for both sides. “I believe this has actually been something that’s been brewing for a long time,”he said of his choice to go to the NFL.”Not simply the last week approximately. I wished to do whatever I could this season and offer it one last ride. “Odunze’s choice does not come as a surprise. While he had a year of eligibility remaining after redshirting in 2020, his seismic production and enticing measurables– 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds– made him a fast riser in the eyes of NFL scouts throughout the year.Odunze confessed to combined feelings with his imagine going into the NFL draft coming so not long after a difficult loss on the most significant phase. However he showed to a college profession that saw him connected to three head coaches, withstand the 2020 COVID-addled season and go 4-8 in 2021.

“I would state it’s been more extremely grateful than anything,”Odunze told ESPN. “Naturally, that last game was a bit sour. I’ll have that carry over all my feelings from what I have actually been through. But from where I was when I began and where I ended, I’m magnificently grateful. “Odunze set up possibly

the most statistically dominant season by a wide receiver in college football this season. Along with his 1,640 yards that led the nation, he grabbed 13 goal passes and had 10 games of 100 or more lawns. He partnered with fellow receivers Ja’Lynn Polk and Jalen McMillan for the country’s best trio.Odunze prospered in advanced getting metrics. He led the country with 80%of his catches opting for an initially down or a goal. Odunze likewise led the FBS with 21 catches tossed more than 20 lawns down the field, 10 of which were objected to catches.While Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. leads Odunze in almost every draft forecast, Odunze did rank ahead

of him in essential innovative analytical metrics, per ESPN Statistics & Info. Odunze’s 44 %contested catch rate was tied for fifth among players with at least 40 objected to targets, well ahead of Harrison’s 32%.

Odunze’s 20 required missed out on tackles were well ahead of Harrison’s six.Odunze acknowledged that remaining in the race for the draft’s leading wide receiver with players like Harrison and LSU’s Malik Nabers is” amazing. “He included:”I think it’s a real honor to be up there with a few of those guys. Everyone are going to be compared to one another, and it’s not about tearing other guys down. It’s about making yourself the best possible option and putting out the very best possible numbers and statistics. Obviously, I want to be the No. 1 pass receiver. I believe I’m the very best pass receiver in college football.”

To enter that top-tier discussion took a journey he referred to as among “postponed gratification.”However it’s a path he’s grateful for. He said he appreciates of the training personnels, the support staffs, his teammates and the equipment staff at Washington.He likewise made sure to thank his entire household, singling out both sets of his grandparents– Wayne Bunnell, Helen Bunnell,

James Odunze and Laetitia Odunze– with whom he’s excited to share the moment.” I’m so near accomplishing one of my greatest dreams,”he stated, “and along the way, to make a lot of friends and family members happy.

I get to bring that excitement and happiness and rush of emotion to numerous individuals’s hearts. That’s actually why I do it.”

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