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Woof: Washington Lands California Edge Rusher

Washington picked up a tremendous sleeper in edge rusher Ratumana Bulabalavu

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 24 Stanford at Washington Photo by Jesse Beals/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Washington continued their recent string of defensive commitments today by adding on a pledge from California defensive lineman Ratumana Bulabalavu.

The hybrid lineman out of Army and Navy Academy (Carlsbad, California) is a very intriguing pickup. He isn’t the most talkative prospect on social media but announced his initial offers in February and they came in from over half the Pac-12 (Arizona, ASU, Cal, Oregon, OSU, UW, and Utah). Bulabalavu ended up taking official visits to Arizona and Oregon State but saved his last one for Washington’s big recruiting weekend where he pulled the trigger.

At 6’4 and 260 pounds Bulabalavu has the size to either bulk up and move inside as an interior pass rusher or stay on the edge with a body type that can help protect the edge against the run. He plays in a lower division school in California but he put up essentially video game numbers. As a sophomore he had 18 sacks and improved on that with 22.5 of them as a junior. Despite that production, he’s somehow still unrated in the 247 Sports Composite although has an 87 rating (high 3-star) from 247 Sports.

The Huskies under DeBoer have liked to bring in both lighter pure pass rushers as well as bigger defensive ends with some positional flexibility. Bulabalavu in high school played as a stand up edge rusher but also showed the ability to shift inside as an interior pass rusher on pure passing downs. There will clearly be an adjustment in competition as he shifts to the college game but he appears to be one heck of a lottery ticket for a player even taller and heavier than ZTF coming out of high school (fun fact, he is also related to current Husky Tuli Letuligasenoa).

Washington’s edge situation will be very unsettled come 2024 with both ZTF and Bralen Trice gone. There is room for a player to step into the rotation immediately and Bulabalavu has the frame to do that. It’s probably more reasonable though for him to spend a year redshirting and shaping his body to the role the coaching staff sees for him and compete for playing time in year 2.

RB is the 4th defensive commitment of the day so far and the 7th overall from this weekend’s visitor group.

Here are his highlights:

Welcome to Montlake Ratumana.