The Washington Huskies received unfortunate news on the eve of fall camp as Adam Jude of the Seattle Times is reporting that LB Ale Kaho has asked for his release from the program. The incoming freshman from Nevada is the highest rated recruit that Chris Petersen has signed as 247Sports gave him 5 stars and listed Kaho as the #21 player nationally in the class of 2018.
This morning during his fall camp introductory press conference, Coach Petersen said that “Ale Kaho will not be here tomorrow. He’s got some family things he’s taking care of, and we’ll just kind of take it day by day from there.” It’s unclear whether Kaho had officially asked for his release at the time of that press conference.
In Jude’s article he states that Kaho has had multiple significant family hardships this summer which have clearly taken a physical and emotional toll on him. A family member in Jude’s report says that Kaho has apparently lost 20 pounds in the last few months. His family is worried about his well-being and going through the rigors of starting college and playing Pac-12 football would be a great deal of additional stress which he doesn’t need right now.
As of yet, Washington has not granted Kaho’s release and it’s unclear where things will go from here. Kaho signed his NLI but had not started classes yet so it’s not crystal clear whether Washington would be able to and/or try to restrict his movement to another school.
First things first. Everyone’s thoughts should be to wish for the best for Kaho and his family. He has been through an incredible amount of pain this summer and should rightfully make sure that he has had time to process it before turning to the next phase of his academic and football career.
However, the game time with Auburn doesn’t change given today’s news. The Huskies were counting on Kaho’s ability to contribute from day one and their depth at OLB is definitely damaged by his unavailability. When fall camp begins tomorrow we’ll see what the depth chart at that spot looks like.
If and when Kaho is ready to begin thinking about his football future again there are a variety of different ways that things could go. In Jude’s article a family member is quoted as saying “We are 100% Dawgs here. We are the biggest UW fans ever.” The best case scenario for Washington would be if Kaho ultimately decides to grayshirt and takes this year off to heal before beginning at UW next season. That situation appears unlikely at this point but is the eternal optimist view. If Kaho decides he wants to stay at home town Nevada to be closest to family there would be no way that Washington would attempt to block that.
However, Washington would likely attempt to prevent a move to another Pac-12 school if possible. That question needed answering only after Kaho followed Oregon LB coach (and former Husky) Cort Dennison on twitter this afternoon.
We have no idea how long this story will take to unfold but we are hoping for the best for Kaho and his family over the coming months no matter where he ends up.