Washington picked up another piece for their defense from Tucson as edge rusher Isaiah Ward has committed to the Huskies through the portal. He will have 3 years of eligibility remaining. The UW football account announced his signing even though he had not publicly committed on social media.
Ward started 10 games this past season for Arizona and was 8th on their defense in snaps played as a redshirt freshman. He narrowly finished 3rd on the team in quarterback pressures per Pro Football Focus, just 2 behind leader Jacob Manu. Ward’s 4 sacks tied for 3rd on the team as well.
At 6’5 and 225 pounds, Ward has ideal length to bend around opposing tackles but is a little bit light against the run. He struggled with missed tackles this past season which won’t exactly be something new for a Husky edge rusher.
Coming out of high school in Ontario, California, Ward was rated as a three-star recruit and the 60th best player in the state per the 247 Sports Composite. He chose Arizona over offers from Utah, Oregon State, and Arizona State. It’s safe to say that he has good bloodlines as well as ties to Seattle. He is the nephew of Seahawks legend Bobby Wagner and his older brother Anthony was a walk-on linebacker at UW for a few years (he then transferred to Arizona but also entered the portal so another brother combo on the defense may be possible).
Ward got a little bit of playing time towards the end of his true freshman season playing 33 snaps and picking up a sack over Arizona’s last 3 games. He won a starting spot in the offseason and split time with fellow class of 2022 edge Russell Davis II, who has also now signed with the Huskies.
Washington lost its top-three edge players from this past year to the draft/graduation in Bralen Trice, ZTF, and SAA. They also lost their top-three high school edge recruits after the coaching change in Noah Carter, Dom Kirks, and Keona Wilhite. The Huskies are still trying to get back Wilhite but reinforcements at the spot were clearly needed even with the “addition” of Zach Durfee who was ineligible this past year up until the CFP. Right now it appears that Ward will compete with Durfee, Voi Tunuufi, Jacob Lane, and Lance Holtzclaw for playing time at that spot.
The Huskies also announced the signing of Isaiah’s older brother Anthony. He started his college career as a walk-on at UW before transferring to Tucson and now transferring back. Mike Vorel has reported that he is on scholarship and should have 2 years of eligibility remaining.
Welcome to Seattle, Isaiah and welcome back Anthony!