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Washington receiver Aaron Fuller’s breakthrough no surprise to teammates

Fuller ranks second in the Pac-12 in receiving yards so far this season.

Adam Jude

In the Huskies’ 35-7 rout of BYU last Saturday, Aaron Fuller had eight more catches for 107 yards. Those types of performances were the rule, not the exception, during his first month as a full-time starter for No. 10 Washington, and it’s the kind of performance Jake Browning had long predicted from the junior wide receiver.

“He’s been really consistent,” Browning said Wednesday. “Pretty much whatever you ask him to do, he’s able to do.”

Through five games, Fuller ranks second in the Pac-12 Conference with an average of 94.8 yards receiving per game. The junior from McKinney, Texas, had 475 yards receiving in his first two seasons for the Huskies, and already he has 474 yards (on 30 catches) this season, including three games of 100-plus yards.

Fuller is on pace to become just the sixth receiver in program history to surpass 1,000 yards receiving in a season, looking to join Reggie Williams (three times), Jerome Pathon, John Ross, Mario Bailey and Jermaine Kearse.

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“It’s just more doing my job, you know,” Fuller said. “As a receiver, you want to get open and make plays. At the end of the day it’s about getting open and having that connection with Jake. He trusts me to make those plays.”

Eleven players have at least one reception for the Huskies, and five different players have at least one receiving touchdown. Ty Jones, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, has become the top option in the red zone (with a team-high four touchdown catches); junior Andre Baccellia has been dependable throughout the field (14 catches, 160 yards); and junior Quinten Pounds is averaging 22.5 yards on his six receptions.

“They’ve definitely come a long ways,” Browning said. “We’ve got some guys who haven’t played a ton. Everybody was talking about Dante (Pettis) and Ross are gone, and it’s been pretty cool to see Fuller come into his own, along with Ty Jones and Andre. Quinten is a big X-factor for us because he can make some big plays, and Chico is coming along. We’re feeling pretty good about our receiver room.”

Chico: ‘I’m feeling great’

Browning is confident junior slot receiver Chico McClacher will be a factor for the Huskies this season.

“You know what Chico is going to do,” the QB said. “I think he’s been fighting back from injury and all that, but he’s one of the best players we’ve got on this team and the guy has consistently been a big-time playmaker for us for as long as I’ve been here. Whenever Chico is one-on-one, I feel really comfortable about just putting the ball up to him.”

McClatcher has eight catches in five games (four of those against lower-division North Dakota) as he works his way back from two major injuries a year ago.

“I’m really close. I’m really close,” the Federal Way High product said. “I feel great today, so that’s all that matters. I can’t really give you all — I don’t know a percentage (on his health). But as long as I’m feeling great, I trust the coaches and that’s it.”

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