The Seattle Seahawks played their last preseason game a week ago, beating the Oakland Raiders 22-6. Usually the last preseason game isn’t important for the starters – for example, QB Russell Wilson only played one series against the Raiders. But he only needed one to complete three of three, passing 68 yards for a three minute opening drive that ended in the Hawks first touchdown.
But the last preseason game was important for guys on the bubble fighting for a job. Cuts have now been made and the Hawks have finalized their 53 man roster. And while the backups don’t have the glory of the starters or know if and when they will play, here are three rookies to watch for during the season who could make an impact.
Christine Michael (Position: Running Back)
At 5’10”, 221 lbs, this second-round pick from Texas A&M was exciting to watch during the preseason. His breakout performance was against the Green Bay Packers, where he had 11 carries for 97 yards, which included a 43 yard touchdown in the third quarter. He also caught a pass for 25 yards that gave the Hawks a first down and preceded their last TD that decided the game and handed Seattle the win, 17-10. Michael is an impressive athlete, posting the highest high jump ever for a RB during the April combine. Though he is set to be the backup to the backup (that is, he will back up Robert Turbin, who is the backup to Marshawn Lynch), look for Michael’s energy, speed and “low man wins” approach to be a contributing factor for the Hawks in the future.
Spencer Ware (Position: Running Back/Fullback)
The sixth-round pick from LSU at 5’10” and 228 lbs might be expected to see minimal plays as a result of the Seahawks’ use of the fullback position. However, Ware has consistently thrown himself into the action throughout the preseason. Over the three games he played (he didn’t play against the Packers), he had a total of 23 carries for 102 yards. Also impressive to add to his stats was his first touchdown, on 1st and goal, up the middle for six yards against the San Diego Chargers during the third quarter, and a defensive tackle against the Raiders during a kick return in the first quarter.
Luke Willson (Position: Tight End)
Not to be confused with the actor and brother of funny man Owen Wilson, the 6’5”, 252 lbs fifth-round selection from Rice University has gotten better week after week. For his first game as a Seahawk, Willson started against the Chargers and had two completions for 16 yards. Then against the Raiders, Willson caught four passes for 45 yards, and was instrumental in two series where the Hawks scored in both. After an impressive preseason showing, of the rookies, he could get the most action on the field.
Be sure to check out the Seahawks and possibly one or all of these three rookies during the season opener this Sunday when the Carolina Panthers host what promises to be the first of many highly-anticipated games!