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2024 UW Recruiting Profile: Omar Khan, DL

Wrestlers make for great linemen

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 19 Oregon at Washington Photo by Christopher Mast/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As per tradition, I’m spending the offseason working my way through the upcoming recruiting class. I’ll be taking a look at the tape of our current Class of 2024 commitments, getting a feel for their skills and talent, and assessing where they might fit on our roster. You can my find other 2024 UW recruiting profiles here.

Omar Khan (DL, 6’3” 270, Bridgeland HS, TX)

As Aaron mentioned in his post when Khan announced his commitment, recruiting talented defensive linemen on the West Coast can be a challenge, but Coach Inoke Breckterfield has shown for the third class in a row that he’ll go wherever he needs to in order to find his guys. Leaving our usual West Coast recruiting territory and going into our recent talent pipeline of Texas, Breckterfield was able to find a real gem of a DL talent in Omar Khan. After only receiving his first offer in February from Texas State, UW, along with other notable programs such as Baylor, Utah, USC, and TCU, joined the hunt to land the rapidly rising DL’s commitment. After official visits to Arizona and California and finally Washington, Khan the staff impressed Khan enough for him to shut down his recruitment and give his commitment.


One of the most striking attributes of Khan is his physical size. He’s listed as 6’2.5” and 270 lbs on 247, but he looks a lot taller/longer than that. Per Christian Caple of On Montlake, Khan’s HS coach thinks that he’s closer to 6’4” or even 6’5”, which would explain why he looks so lean on his tape. Length and projectable size on the interior of the DL seems to be a focus for Breckterfield over the last two classes with the 6’3” Parker twins in the ‘22 class, 6’5” Anthony James and 6’3” Elinneus Davis in ‘23, and ‘24’s top remaining DL target being 6’4” Jericho Johnson. It is interesting that Khan would be the lightest DT commit of the bunch (James is also getting looks as an EDGE in practices), but I’m not that worried about his listed weight because successful DT play isn’t just about finding big guys. More important that pure size is functional strength, and Khan’s wrestling background should ease many of those concerns.

In my experience playing and coaching, the best linemen I’ve seen also wrestled. Wrestling reinforces all of the leverage techniques that are important in football, and wrestling S&C training focuses on core and lower body strength, as well as intense cardio that produces comparatively lean big guys in the upper weight classes. Regardless of his true height, he still possesses ample room to add muscle mass to his frame, and if he really is in the 6’4”+ range, he could end up ~320 lbs when its all said and done. It will be fascinating to watch how Ron McKeefery plans out his S&C plan at the college level. Most incoming linemen need a year or two to lean out and improve their cardio, but if Khan comes in ahead of the curve, then he might be able to get to hit the field a bit sooner than most.

Jumping into Khan’s hudl film, he looks to have the potential to be an interior disruptor. Khan exhibits impressive skills in controlling blocks with his long arms and the functional strength to shed said blocks once he diagnoses the backfield action. He primarily plays from the 1-tech and 3-tech, which is where I expect him to play at UW. He has a good first step and the power to bulldoze through 1v1 blocks, but I really like his aforementioned ability to stack and shed off of 2-gap assignments.

In terms of technical development, I’d really like to see Khan refine his technique against the run. He gets the job done at the HS level with pure strength and his impressive reach, but he has a tendency to elevate his pads when he’s playing 1-gap assignments. If he’s going to play some nose tackle at UW, he’ll need to add to his technical tool belt with techniques like the “drop knee”.

Khan should have some time to grow and refine those skills. The presence of experienced defensive linemen Jacob Bandes, Faatui Tuitele, and Voi Tunuufi, who will be in their final seasons of eligibility when Khan arrives as a freshman, provides a valuable opportunity for him to learn from seasoned veterans. Additionally, the likes of the Parker brothers and incoming freshmen Davis and James add to the depth and competition at the position. Given these circumstances, a redshirt season seems likely for Khan with potential opportunity to get limited action due to our preference to rotate in fresh legs on the line like we saw last year with Parker.

Summarizing Khan’s play style and potential usage at the next level, I’d compare him to Levi Onwuzurike with shades of Greg Gaines. Levi was as versatile of a DT as we’ve seen on Montlake in recent years, playing everywhere from 0-tech to 5-tech, but he was most effective as an interior penetrator who could use his burst and power to wreak havoc in the backfield. He wasn’t a great 2-gap nose tackle, but he was effective playing from that alignment. While Khan has some of that explosiveness and pass rush upside in his game, he also has the tools to potentially be the type of bruising anchor that Gaines was. Granted, the barrel-chested Gaines is a very different type of athlete than Khan, and I don’t think that that Khan will be an every down run stuffer, but his style of run stuffing at various positions is more similar to Gaines than Levi.

Omar Khan’s commitment represents a significant recruiting victory for the Huskies, even if he isn’t among our highest ranked commits, because of his upside as a talented defensive linemen. With time in the weight room, Khan should end up as a key contributor and disruptive force in the middle of UW’s defensive unit in the years to come.