Huskies Explain What They’re Thankful For

By Mason Kelley

When Washington players arrive for practice today, it will be much like every other morning. The Huskies show up, suit up and take the field.

But, once their workout concludes, the team will take the time to sit down for a Thanksgiving feast. The players will share a meal with their football family before breaking apart to spend time with loved ones outside the program.

With the Apple Cup falling on a Saturday this season, Washington gets to enjoy the holiday before flying to Pullman on Friday.

For DiAndre Campbell, this will be the fifth year he has spent the holiday with his teammates as he prepares for program’s rivalry game.

“We’ve been through a lot the past five years,” Campbell said. “The guys who redshirted with me have been through a lot together. We weathered the storm. We’ve become the leaders on the team, and I feel like we’ve shaped this team to be what we want it to be.

“It may not have been perfect, but I’m thankful for the guys I’ve been able to make it this far with.”

The Huskies have qualified for a bowl game in each of Campbell’s five seasons. He has helped rebuild the program and, as he give thanks for the experiences created throughout his career, he looks forward to two more chances to take the field for Washington.

“I’m thankful for another opportunity to play football and enjoy every moment,” he said. “Sometimes you get so caught up in it you take if for granted, but just getting to play the game, that’s what I’m thankful for.”

Ask any player on Washington’s roster what they are thankful for and two of the most prominent responses will involve family. For some, it’s the family they share the field with. For others, it’s the people who support them at home. For most of the Huskies, it’s a combination of both.

When senior lineman James Atoe – the youngest of seven children ­­– was asked to share what he was most thankful for, he talked about his parents and siblings in Oregon.

“I’m definitely thankful for my family,” he said. “They support me, day in and day out in everything I do. They were my biggest support in coming to college and sticking through it.”

Darrell Daniels, fresh off his 68-yard touchdown reception against Oregon State, said he is appreciative of the opportunities his scholarship provides.

“I’m thankful for being able to come out and play for the University of Washington, for my scholarship, my mom, my family and all that good stuff,” he said.

Whether they talked about savoring the moment or spending time with family and teammates, this is a special week for the Huskies on and off the field. As Andrew Hudson looked around the room at Monday’s press conference, he pointed to his senior teammates conducting interviews around the room. Then he smiled.

“Just looking around and seeing James (Atoe), Micah (Hatchie), Hau’oli (Kikaha) and Panda (Colin Tanigawa), I’m thankful to get to go to battle with these guys again,” Hudson said.

Coming off their best performance of the season against the Beavers, Washington is enjoying Apple Cup week, squeezing everything it can out of each opportunity. 

“I’m just thankful for God waking each and every one of us every morning,” receiver Jaydon Mickens said. “Not just the team. Not just the coaches. Everybody.”

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