Washington is predicted to have one of the more explosive offensive attacks in the conference but defense traditionally wins titles. How do the Huskies measure up this season on D?
Cameron Elisara is going to play three technique DT and DE this year. The coaches liked what they saw this spring and feel he will hold up better on the outside. That creates an opening for early playing time for Sione Potoae and Chris Robinson at the three technique. Semisi Tokolahi is another guy that will get a look here even though he seems more suited for the nose.
If Washington can get quality production from Potoae, Tokolahi, and Robinson inside this season it will make this a much more flexible and successful defense.
I love the collection of nose guard types we have put together. Ta'amu is going to break out this season. Tokolahi and Lagafuiana will provide him with enough rest to keep him fresh in the fourth quarter.
Deshon Matthews can play inside or out and will provide depth.
Sione Potoae Fr - Deshon Matthews Sr - Chris Robinson Rs-Fr
So is Cameron Elisara a DE or a DT?
The coaches think he will play more DE than DT.
Are Kelani Aldrich and ET healthy enough to give us 40 snaps a game?
The coaches feel that they are ready to go. The question they need to determine is how much gas they have in the tank after recovering from injuries. Both of these guys are prone to setbacks. It took Jason Wells till November to come back from an Achilles tear.
Is Josh Shirley a SLB or a DE?
Those answers won't be answered till the bell rings at training camp. I would guess that since Shirley is new that they would use him first as a situational pass rusher and speed demon on special teams. I think the future is hand down for him but the coaches will experiment with him throughout the year.
Will Jamora and Hudson play right away?
Size wise they can contribute but keep in mind the learning experience Chrichton and Pulu went through last season. If Aldrich and ET have set backs these guys will play quite a bit and unfortunately have to learn on the job.
Talia Chrichton So - Everette Thompson Jr - Haouli Jamora - Fr Brent Williams Fr
Cameron Elisara Sr - Kelani Aldrich Jr -Fr - Josh Shirley Fr
Mason Foster and Cort Dennison are solid but after them the pecking order is really anyone's guess until the team has been in camp a couple of weeks. The coaches really want to see somebody emerge at SLB. If nobody emerges they will move Foster back to his old slot and elevate Jordan Wallace to the starting lineup.
Victor Burnett had a strong spring and has the the backup job secured in the middle. The coaches weren't really happy with Tucker's spring or off season. He needs to step it up this fall. Vic Aiyewa and Matt Houston get one more chance to start before they end their careers as Huskies.
Josh Shirley and Jamaal Kearse are two guys to keep an eye on. Either could provide an answer at SLB.
Mason Foster Sr - Jordan Wallace So - Princeton Fuimaono Fr - Garrett Gilliliand Fr
Sr - Matt Houston Sr - Jamaal Kearse Fr - Cooper Pelleur Fr
Cort Dennison Jr - Victor Burnett Fr - Tim Tucker So
The Huskies return four guys with extensive starting experience, plus two kids who looked really good this spring, and they add a prospect like Greg Ducre to the mix who has been making veterans shake their heads during informal workouts.
Trufant and Richardson ended the spring as starters. Long and McDowell are definitely considered 1-B type of guys. Boyles and Gobern both had good springs and will contribute this year. Keep an eye on Ducre.
Desmond Trufant So - Vonzell McDowell Sr - Anthony Gobern So
Nate Williams is the quarterback of this defense. The goal for Nate this season is to be more durable. He was banged up so much in games last year that he usually sat out practices during the week.
The four year starter will be teamed with either Shaumburger, Fellner, Glenn, or Walker. Justin Glenn was looking very good until he went down with a leg injury against Notre Dame. Nate Fellner filled in well and played a physical game. Walker was an early starter who gave way to Glenn and fell down the depth chart. Shaumburger was impressive this spring.
When you add talent like Sean Parker and Taz Stevenson to an experienced group like this you are adding serious depth that can play right away if needed.
Nate Williams Sr - Justin Glenn So - Sean Parker Fr - Taz Stevenson Fr - John Timu Fr
Will Shaumburger Rs- Fr - Nate Fellner So - Greg Walker So - Marquise Persley Jr