Washington added a pass rushing piece to their defensive line out of nowhere yesterday when they swooped in to land ASU star BJ Green II. They did it again today with the commitment of Montana State DT Sebastian Valdez. He has one year of eligibility remaining.
Valdez is listed at 6’3, 284 pounds and was named 2nd team all-Big Sky this past season playing for the Bobcats (plus 1st team the year before). He has played extensively since he arrived on campus putting up at least 5 sacks each of the last 3 years. Pro Football Focus doesn’t always credit sacks the same way as the official scorekeeper but thought that he wracked up a career low with 7 in 2023. He finished this year with 27 tackles and 28 QB pressures with 2 of his 7 sacks coming at Montana who are now in the FCS championship game. Valdez was top-ten in the FCS in QB pressures from the DT position each of the past 2 seasons.
Coming out of Monte Vista high school in Spring Valley, California, Valdez was unranked by any of the major recruiting services. He didn’t have any other reported offers before ending up at FCS Montana State. Clearly though there were a ton of people who overlooked his talent. He reportedly chose the Huskies this time around over Cal.
Washington needed help along the interior defensive line with the losses of run stuffers Tuli Letuligasenoa and Ulumoo Ale who are out of eligibility. Valdez is not going to be a clear one-to-one replacement for either. He is slightly undersized and his strength is as a pass rusher. With the additions of Green and Valdez each of whom are known for their pass rush at ~280 pounds it seems clear that next year’s defense will be focused on being disruptive in the backfield and featuring a little less beef. Valdez should step in and be an immediate rotation player while competing with Faatui Tuitele and Jacob Bandes among potentially others for starting spots.
Valdez becomes the 5th transfer portal addition of the cycle joining: QB Will Rogers (Mississippi State), OT Drew Azzopardi (San Diego State), ED BJ Green II (Arizona State), and LB Ethan Barr (Vanderbilt).