Washington had been quiet in the transfer portal market so far having brought in a few known official visitors but yet to actually close an incoming player. That changed on Friday as the Huskies landed a commitment from Sioux Falls transfer edge rusher Zach Durfee.
There’s no question that the 6’5, 250 lb Durfee was under the radar playing at the D-II level which is several notches below FBS. However, Durfee’s numbers were incredibly impressive as he put up 11.5 sacks as a redshirt freshman including 4 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in his first career game. Those numbers are increasingly astounding considering that Durfee played quarterback in high school and this was his first season playing defensive end. He’ll have 3 years to play 3 as far as eligibility goes.
The Huskies had a natural in with Sioux Falls given that Kalen DeBoer won multiple national titles as head coach at the school back in the day (plus is an alumnus) and still clearly has ties to the school and the region. Durfee also had an offer from home state school Minnesota but the Huskies were able to win the day and pull him out to the Northwest.
Watching Durfee’s play from this past season what really strikes you is his incredible speed rush off the edge. You have to account for level of competition but everyone else seems to be moving in slow motion in comparison.
Washington needed to bring in some help at the edge position and it’s possible they will want even more. Senior Jeremiah Martin is out of eligibility after this year after earning 1st team all-conference honors. There’s also the chance that fellow 1st team All-Pac-12 selection Bralen Trice could opt to declare for the NFL Draft. If he does then UW is left with really only Zion Tupuola-Fetui and Sav’ell Smalls as edge players with college experience.
The Huskies played 4 guys at that spot this past year. If Trice returns then UW has a potentially great foursome with Trice, ZTF, Smalls, and Durfee. If Trice decides to declare for the draft then look for Maurice Heims to enter the picture for playing time or for Washington to look for additional help in the transfer portal.
Welcome Zach and we can’t wait to see what you can do in the Pac-12!
Here are Durfee’s freshman year highlights at Sioux Falls.