Washington heads into the season sporting two very special defensive ends in seniors Daniel Te'o-Nesheim and Darrion Jones. Te'o-Nesheim is an All-Pac 10 performer with a near-certain NFL future, with a motor that simply does not quit. Jones, in comparison, is a relative late-bloomer who has put together an excellent off-season. The coaching staff has impressed by his work ethic, which insiders believe is leading to a breakout season.
Backing up the seniors will be sophomores Everette Thompson and Kalani Aldrich, as well as junior Deshon Matthews. Thompson, with some starting experience as a true freshman in 2008, is destined to be an excellent player over his career. Aldrich's primary issue over his time on campus has been keeping weight on so he can effectively play the position. Matthews provides flexibility with the skills to play both inside and outside, though he is quite undersized to play tackle.
Junior Tyrone Duncan is listed as a tackle, but can also play both inside and outside when needed. Incoming freshman Talia Chrichton could well earn some early playing time should injuries mount on the line. The coaches told him when he was recruited of the possibilty of playing right away. The coaching staff may also take a long look at Semisi Tokolahi to see if the 6'3 290 pounder has enough speed to play outside. Obviously, his size screams tackle, but the coaches talked about him starting out as a DE. Finally, incoming freshman Andru Pulu will begin as an inside linebacker; however, should need arise, he could well move to DE.
Overall this position is much leaner than the new coaches would prefer. Preferring eight defensive ends in various stages of development, UW has only six true defensive ends. With two experienced senior starters graduating after the 2009 season, look for the Husky coaches to bring in three DE's in the 2010 class. If there is a JC kid available that can fill the need next season, watch for him to be heavily recruited.
- Daniel Teo Nesheim Sr
- Darion Jones Sr
- Everette Thompson So
- Kelani Aldrich So
- Deshon Matthews Jr
- Talia Chrichton Fr