Pre Spring Position Reviews - Defensive Line

The return of a healthy Hau'oli Jamora will be a big plus for the Washington defense in 2012. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Defensive Tackle

For the past four seasons Washington had a very big man anchoring the inside of the defensive line. Alameda Ta'amu was that big man and most thought when he was recruited that he had the potential of being an all All American type of player based on just his size and strength alone.

While Ta'amu had some fine moments during his career he didn't turn into the type of guy who could dominate offensive lines and take over games even though he often warranted a double teams. Overall conditioning, health, genetic flexibility, and perhaps motivation seemed to be the missing pieces to his puzzle.

His replacement Danny Shelton is another big man who the coaches think is cut from a completely different type of cloth. The coaches and even Ta'amu feel that Danny has a much higher upside. The kid is a workout warrior and is naturally more flexible than the departed Ta'amu.

Shelton is a potential star and I truly expect that star to start shining brightly this fall if he can get some help playing beside him. Sr Semisi Tokolahi could be that guy. He can play either the nose or the three technique. He didn't play at full strength in 2011 after coming off a nasty leg/ankle injury suffered at the end of the 2010 season against WSU.

Lawrence Lagafuiana is also in the mix at the nose backing up Shelton. He got his feet wet last season and will be expected to provide more reps to the rotation in 2012.

Whenever you pick up a JC player you do that with the expectation that he will contribute immediately. Josh Banks was signed to fill a hole at the three technique. The film on him is great. He can really play and I expect him to start or at least be the first man in off the bench..

So Sione Potoa'e and Rs Taniela Tupou will also contribute to the rotation at the three spot. Potoae is a highly touted local recruit who has struggled with what has been termed as sore knees. Tupou who was also highly touted will get his first chance to contribute this season after red shirting last season..

Fr Pio Vatuvei arrives this summer and is a kid who will get the opportunity to play right away. Fr Damion Turpin who we will initially list as a DE could also move inside once the coaches have had a good chance to evaluate him.

Washington will be running more 3-4 looks this season under new DC Justin Wilcox. We won't get a real good idea of how he will run it until he has had a chance to evaluate the current players during spring practice.

  • Danny Shelton So
  • Semisi Tokolahi Sr
  • Lawrence Lagafuiana So
  • Josh Banks Jr
  • Sione Potoae Jr
  • Taniela Tupou Rs
  • Pio Vatuvei Fr

Defensive End

The Huskies have a lot of good looking talent and youth at defensive end. A lot of talent went through a baptism of fire by playing way too much too early after second year phenom Hau'oli Jamora went down with a season ending knee injury.

Josh Shirley gained a lot of experience and quite a few sacks last season but he was still a little undersized to be categorized as an every down player. The same could be said for Andrew Hudson who also saw a lot of the field last season.

Jamora when healthy has the potential to be the teams best defensive player. If Shirley and Hudson can play more stoutly against the run this could be the foundation of a pretty good unit.

Talia Chrichton had a knee injury of his own as a sophomore and really didn't look like he came back 100% last season. UW definitely would benefit from a guy with his experience being able to supply some quality reps.

Jarret Finau, Corey Waller, and Connor Cree sat out to preserve a year of eligibility last season. Finau has a great build and is a real load at a listed 254 lbs. UW lacked size and strength outside last season and Finau provides what they were missing.

Cree is a local kid from Skyline who has a great frame and good speed. He isn't as big as Finau but also has the type of body that can develop into a player that can be tough against the run.

Waller is more of a Hybrid/Leo guy like Josh Shirley who they would set up on the outside to rush the QB on passing downs. True frosh Damion Turpin and Kalei Auelau are due to arrive this summer. Both are expected to redshirt.

  • Jamora So
  • Chrichton Sr
  • Finau Rs
  • Cree Rs
  • Turpin Fr
  • Shirley So
  • Hudson So
  • Cree Rs
  • Waller Rs
  • Auelau Fr
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