Caden Jumper is a University of Washington tight end, projected as a bruiser when blocking the edge and as a capable receiver when releasing into the flat.
Departed coach Jimmy Lake compared Jumper favorably to former Husky Will Dissly, now with the Seahawks. Making that connection was almost an automatic.
“This is one of the tougher guys I’ve seen on film,” Lake said when discussing Jumper’s signing in 2020. “What you guys should think about is Will Dissly. That’s Caden Jumper.”
While all of that sounds well and good, there’s a new UW coaching staff in charge in Montlake, one deemed much more innovative offensively, and Jumper could present it with an interesting option.
Physical blocker: Check.
Reliable receiver: Check.
End-around passer: What the …. heck?
Jumper now carries a 6-foot-2, 265-pound frame after reporting for spring football last year and spending a year in the UW weight-training and conditioning program.
He likely could match the way the Huskies have used teammate Jack Westover by lining up as a traditional tight end, dropping into the slot at times and standing behind the quarterback at H-back.
Yet as new UW coach Kalen DeBoer gets to know his personnel better, Jumper would be remiss if he didn’t mention his right arm. It’s got some mileage on it.
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Less than a month until spring practice, we’re offering intel and observations gathered on the UW football personnel in a series of stories on every scholarship player from No. 0 to 99. We’ll review each Husky’s previous starting experience, if applicable, and determine what comes next under new coach Kalen DeBoer.
As is the case with any coaching change, it’s a new football beginning for everyone, including the Huskies’ No. 49 on offense.
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Jumper comes to the UW from Eatonville High School in the quaint town of the same name at the base of Mount Rainier.
The son of Brandon Jumper, who was a record-setting running back in their hometown and later an Oregon Ducks fullback, Caden does things differently than his old man. He caught the ball, ran it, tackled people as a linebacker and dropped into pass coverage.
Oh yeah, Caden Jumper lined up at quarterback.
This thick, 200-pound-plus high schooler played that position a lot. He left Eatonville with career passing stats of 99 completions in 155 attempts for 1,528 yards and 22 touchdowns with just 5 interceptions.
This’s not to advocate that DeBoer move Jumper to the quarterback competition. He’ll get plenty of use out of this guy at tight end.
Yet maybe a better Husky comparison for Jumper would be Eric Bjornson, a 1990s Husky starting quarterback who finished up as a No. 1 wide receiver before becoming an NFL tight end.
Bjornson occasionally threw the football for the UW when he lined up at receiver.
If DeBoer and his guys are as creative as advertised, look for Jumper to catch a lot of balls, knock down a bunch of people and fling the occasional tight-end pass.
UW Starter or Not: With Cade Otton leaving for the NFL draft and Mark Redman transferring to San Diego State, Jumper should have plenty of opportunity to play this season. He’ll push juniors Devin Culp and Westover, both previous starters, plus sophomore Quentin Moore and redshirt freshman Mason West, for playing time. True freshman Ryan Otton will figure in, as well. Jumper ‘blocking likely will determine if he passes up any of the veterans and how soon. Look for him to be an eventual starter maybe not this season but certainly as an upperclassman.
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