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Husky Spring Defensive Preview

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Nick Holt believes that the Huskies are building a nucleus of young players that are going to be able to carry the improvement made over the past two seasons into 2011. However eight of those players are going to be held out of contact or be limited this spring since they are recovering from various ailments.

The Huskies will be experimenting with some 3-4 looks this spring. It will be interesting to see what types of personnel combo's they can come up with for certain situations. Look for the pass rush to continue to improve.

Defensive Tackle

Semisi Tokolahi broke and dislocated an ankle against WSU and will be out this spring. Chris Robinson who hurt his knee during Holiday Bowl practices will be limited. That most likely means that Everette Thompson will stay inside for now since there is ample talent and depth returning at defensive end.

Ta'amu should be on most of the media's All Pac 12 lists heading into the fall. He has the ability to be really dominant next season. Tokalahi is a huge if because of the nature of his injury. He has a RS year available if he isn't ready to go in August. if he plays a bit at the end of spring that will be a very good sign.

The two players to keep an eye on are Potoae and Lagafuiana. both of these ids have lots of potential and will be counted on to be big parts of the rotation this fall.

Danny Shelton and Taniela Tupou could challenge for immediate playing time but you always hope that you can RS frosh linemen. Tupou still has some work to do to qualify.

  • Sr Ta'amu - RS Lagafuiana - So Robinson - Fr Shelton
  • Sr Thompson - So Potoae - Jr Tokolahi - Fr Tupou

Defensive End

Talia Chrichton will be limited this spring due to his knee. He could play if there was a game next week but the coaches don't want to rush him. Haouli Jamora could pick up some pre-season accolades after the freshman year he had. Kelani Aldrich is a factor if he can stay healthy. He had some really good reps in the Holiday Bowl.

The big attractions this spring that everyone has been waiting for are Shirley and Hudson. They were a veritable wrecking crew on the scout team last fall. The coaches are expecting big things out of those two guys. Justin Finau enrolled this winter and will also be in the mix this spring.

Everette Thompson is also a guy you can pencil in outside if Tokolahi returns to reclaim his starting job inside.

  • So Jamora - RS Shirley - Fr Cree
  • Jr Chrichton - Sr Aldrich - RS Hudson - Fr Finau

Linebacker

Cort Dennison returns to anchor the middle and quarterback the defense. Cort is a heady player that should show a lot of improvement this season after having a years experience at the position. Garrett Gilliliand who started one game last season will back him up. Keep an eye on Victor Burnett who came on string last year while working with the scout team.

JC recruit Thomas Tutogi has been told that he will start out the season at the Sam position. Tutogi was brought into start immediately but he will have competition from Pelleur, Kearse, Timu and Waller when he arrives this fall. Pelleur will be limited this spring while recovering from shoulder surgery.

Princeton Fuimaono and Jordan Wallace will slug it out this fall for the WIL position. Fuimaono will be limited this spring while he recovers from shoulder surgery. Matt Lyons arrives this fall to join the depth and Scott Lawyer will gray shirt and arrive winter quarter.

  • Jr Wallace - So Fuimaono - Fr Lyons - Fr Feeney - Fr Lawyer
  • Sr Dennison - So Gilliliand - So Tucker - RS Burnett
  • So Tutogi - Fr Timu - So Pelleur - RS Kearse - Fr Waller

Cornerback

Quinton Richardson and Desmond Trufant return as seasoned starters but they need to keep improving to stay ahead of the competition behind them. Greg Ducre is the principal backup and he has the ability to compete for a starting job but he is out this spring recovering from shoulder surgery. 

Adam Long is out with a torn ACL. Justin Glenn will likely move over from a crowded safety position to provide depth and competition. Keep in mind that Glenn was one of Washington's best defenders until he was injured two years ago against Notre Dame. Glenn is a valuable guy because he can play CB and S.

Gobern has mainly been used on special teams. Marcus Peters and Antavius Sims who arrive this summer will compete for immediate playing time this fall. Keep an eye on Sims. He is big, physical, and he can really fly.

  • Jr Trufant - So Ducre - Jr Gobern - Fr Peters
  • Sr Richardson - Jr Glenn - Jr Long - Jr Sims

Safety

Sean Parker and Taz Stevenson were key backups last season. This spring they will both compete for starting jobs with Nate Fellner and Will Shaumburger. In a perfect world James Sample and Evan Zeger get to redshirt but I am thinking that they will give Sample an immediate shot. Greg Walker has played here and there and has even started a bit but he slid into the depth last season. Stevenson will be limited this spring while he recovers from shoulder surgery. Parker who missed the last quarter of the season with stingers will also be watched closely this spring.

  • Jr Fellner - So Shaumburger - Sr Persley - Fr Zeger
  • So Parker - So Stevenson - Jr Walker - Fr Sample