Mickens Will Do ‘Anything’ To Make A Block
By Mason Kelley
Jaydon Mickens might not be the biggest guy on the field. But, when he gets the chance to spring one of his teammates, the 5-foot-11, 174-pound receiver will do “anything” to make a block.
“I just get nasty,” he said.
During Washington’s 59-52 win over Eastern Washington last week, the Huskies scored eight touchdowns. When it came time for the team to announce an Offensive Player of the Week, though, it wasn’t one of the five players who found the end zone.
It was Mickens. Sure, he led Washington with six catches for 53 yards, but it was his blocking that made the biggest impact.
“Scoring touchdowns is cool,” Mickens said. “It shows your athleticism and all that, but blocking is the core. Bishop Sankey wouldn’t be Bishop Sankey if he didn’t have that offensive line really tearing people down.”
Heading into this season, Mickens made a point to put more emphasis on his ability to help his teammates break big plays.
“It’s a want-to mentality,” Mickens said. “It can’t be, ‘Oh, I’m just going to do it.’ You’ve got to want to block. You’ve got to want to block for your teammates because, I know if I get the ball in my hands, I want my teammates to block for me so I can be successful.”
Each time the Huskies tried to get a playmaker the ball in space against the Eagles, a receiver was locked up with a defender downfield.
“We all spring our guys and we all make plays,” Mickens said.
On John Ross’ 55-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter, Mickens worked to seal the edge. Later in the game, Kasen Williams threw a block that helped Mickens.
“That’s something we go over,” Mickens said. “That’s something we talk about. We do this all the time in practice, and we did it throughout camp. It just transfers to the game.”
Washington has plenty of speed among its receivers. But there is more to a big play than a fast player who can make someone miss.
“That’s how you get the explosive plays, the downfield blocks,” he said. “That one extra nudge can change the outcome of a game.”