UW Huskies Insider

UW Huskies Preview: Sizing up the defense and special teams

Post by Ryan Divish on Aug. 31, 2011 at 7:45 am with 7 Comments »
August 31, 2011 7:39 am

DEFENSIVE LINE
Pac-12 rank: 6
The skinny: A few years ago, the Huskies defensive line was a pushover. They weren’t strong or fast or big. Not this year. Good recruiting and the maturation of senior Alameda Ta’amu have transformed the defensive line into a team strength. Ta’amu showed he’s a force inside late in the season and is a legitimate NFL first-round pick. Hau’oli Jamora showed glimpses of greatness as undersized freshman. He’s added 25 pounds of muscle and is undersized no more.
Backups: The Huskies finally have depth and versatility. But this depth has talent. True freshman Danny Shelton has been outstanding in his first fall camp and will see plenty of snaps, particularly in run situations. Sophomore Sione Potoa’e has been inconsistent and beat up with injuries, but has talent. Speedy defensive end Josh Shirley gives UW the ability to switch up the defensive front look with a pure speed rusher from the outside.

NO.NAME, POSITIONHTWTYR-EXPHOMETOWN/LAST SCHOOL 
74Alameda Ta’amu, DT6-3337Sr-3VKent/Rainier Beach
92Everrette Thompson, DT/DE6-6272Sr-3VRenton/Kennedy
52Hau’oli Jamora, DE6-3247Soph-1VLaie, HI/Kahuku
11Talia Crichton, DE6-3255Jr-2VLakewood, CA/Lakewood
71Danny Shelton, DT6-1334Fr-HSAuburn/Auburn
55Sione Potoa’e, DT6-2276Soph-1VFt. Lewis/Lakes
97Lawrence Lagafuaina, DT6-0329Fr-RSAiea, HI/Aiea
98Semis Tokolahi, DT6-2334Jr-2VHilo, HI/Hilo
22Josh Shirley, DE6-3229Fr-RSFontana, CA/Kaiser
93Andrew Hudson, DE6-3251Fr-RSRedlands, CA/Redlands East Valley

LINEBACKERS
Pac-12 rank: 12
The skinny: It could be an interesting season as middle linebacker Cort Dennison looks around and sees nothing but underclassmen and inexperience. The Huskies will start sophomore Princeton Fuimaono and freshman John Timu on either side of him. Both are talented but low on game snaps. Dennison is sturdy and steady. He was fourth in the Pac-10 in tackles last season, despite missing a game.
Backups: There isn’t a ton of experience in the second team unit. Sophomore Garrett Gilliland started in place of Dennison last year and looked like a freshman. He was in the mix as starter at outside linebacker and will see reps. Junior college transfer Thomas Tutogi has looked good in fall camp and is physically ready to step in and play.

NO.NAME, POSITIONHTWTYR-EXPHOMETOWN/LAST SCHOOL
31Cort Dennison, MLB6-1234Sr-3VSalt Lake City, UT/Judge Memorial
10John Timu, OLB6-1220Fr-HSLong Beach, CA/Long Beach Memorial
37Princeton Fuimaono, OLB6-1215Soph-1VLong Beach, CA/Long Beach Jordan
50Thomas Tutogi, MLB6-1244Soph-JCChula Vista, CA/Southwester JC
53Garrett Gilliland, OLB6-0226Soph-1VAnaheim, CA/Orange Lutheran
58Jamaal Kearse, OLB6-2224Fr-RSLakewood/Lakes
54Tim Tucker, MLB6-1240Soph-SQHarbor City, CA/Narbonne
43Cooper Pelluer, OLB6-3225Soph-SQSammamish/Skyline
51Jordan Wallace, OLB6-0237Jr.1VSacramento, CA/Grant

SECONDARY
Pac-12 rank: 7
The skinny: There is some experience and some talent, now the unit just needs to make plays. Last year, the secondary was inconsistent, particularly its most talented player, Desmond Trufant. But this fall, Trufant has made it a point not to be hesitant and play aggressively on the ball. The result is a return to the promising player we saw in 2009. Strong safety Sean Parker is hard hitter in run support, while junior Nate Fellner has been steady in the games he’s started.
Backups: Oft-injured safety Justin Glenn could see some time in place of Fellner and as the nickel back. When he’s healthy, Glenn has been productive. Sophomore Greg Ducre will be the first corner off the bench and could start early with Quinton Richardson still recovering from an ankle sprain.

NO.NAME, POSITIONHTWTYR-EXPHOMETOWN/LAST SCHOOL
29Nate Fellner, FS6-1201Jr-2VFresno, CA/Clovis
1Sean Parker, SS5-10202Soph-1VLos Angeles, CA/Narbonne
28Quinton Richardson, CB6-0203Sr-3VRenton/O’Dea
6Desmond Trufant, CB6-0184Jr-2VTacoma/Wilson
20Justin Glenn, FS5-11206Jr-2VMukilteo/Kamiak
14Taz Stevenson, SS6-1203Soph-1VMililani, HI/Mililani
5James Sample, SS6-2191Fr-HSSacramento, CA/Grant
39Greg Walker, FS5-10203Jr-2VBellflower, CA/St. Bernard
18Greg Ducre, CB5-10173Soph-1VLos Angeles, CA/Crenshaw
26Anthony Gobern, CB5-11187Jr-3VFair Oaks, CA/Del Campo
21Marcus Peters, CB5-11185Fr-HSOakland, CA/McClymonds



KICKERS/SPECIAL TEAMS
Pac-12 rank: 5
The skinny: Senior Erik Folk has made plenty of big kicks in his career with the Huskies. He made 13-of-20 kicks last season, but Sarkisian believes he can even better. He has range to 55 yards on a good day. The Huskies will use both Kiel Rasp and Will Mahan at punter based on the situation. Rasp has the bigger leg of the two. The Huskies ranked last in punt and kick returns in the Pac-12 in 2010. Sarkisian has made an effort to make both units better. Both Devin Aguilar and Kasen Williams will return punts with Williams being the more explosive of the two. Kevin Smith will likely take the bulk of the kick returns early with Jesse Callier starting at tailback.
Backups: While he’s not listed on the depth chart, don’t be surprised to see true freshman Bishop Sankey figure into the mix on returns if he isn’t redshirted. The Huskies will want to find ways to get him the ball if he’s going to play.

NO.NAME, POSITIONHTWTYR-EXPHOMETOWN/LAST SCHOOL
17Erik Folk, K5-11185Sr-3VWoodland Hills, CA/Notre Dame
93 Kiel Rasp,P6-3225Sr-1VSeattle/Nathan Hale
46Will Mahan, P5-11196Sr-1VBakersfield, CA/Bakersfield CC
60Brendan Lopez, LS6-0231Sr-1VBellevue/University of Michigan
27William Chandler, H6-0191Soph-1VSammamish/Skyline
9Devin Aguilar, PR6-0195Sr.-3VDenver, CO/Mullen
2Kasen Williams, PR6-2212Fr-HSSammamish/Skyline
24Jesse Callier, KR5-10200Soph-1VDowney, CA/Warren
8Kevin Smith, KR6-0209Soph-1VCompton, CA/Centennial
16Eric Guttorp, K5-7179Sr-SQFair Oaks, CA/Del Campo

Ryan Divish and Todd Milles, staff writers

Categories:
Huskies football
Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. Not sure these rankings make any sense – who is saying the UW defensive line is the 6th best in the Pac12 – the TNT or some other entity? What 5 teams have a better d-line? Sounds pretty arbitrary to me.

  2. I agree ozark. I think our DL looks dominant this year.

  3. jchawks08 says:

    And how can we be ranked worse than WSU in any category? That’s my biggest beef with the rankings.

  4. Todd did the position rankings. I just wrote about them. I think the D line could be underrated this season. I like Jamora and Ta’amu and Shelton could be a beast. But Thompson needs to prove he can stay healthy and I’m not sure I’m sold on Crichton yet. But I think we could certainly argue the merits of the D-Line over a few cold beers.

  5. Todd Milles says:

    C’mon, really? Arbitrary, selected-out-of-a-hat position group ratings for the Pac-12? Geez, folks, when have you ever seen any of my UW articles not researched first?

  6. I agree, terrible ranking of the DL. Sark was just saying the other day how he felt we were legitimately 10 deep.

    Ta’amu and Jamora could be all Pac-12. Shirley has looked like a complete stud at times and he is the 3rd DE. It isn’t often that a frosh gets rave reviews on the DL like Shelton has. Supposedly he is already one of the strongest guys on the team. Sark said he has never been around a guy as strong for his size as Shirley.

    If you ranked them 6th then yeah, which 5 teams have better DL’s please.

  7. Todd Milles says:

    Let’s see – USC continues to have the deepest talent across the board on the DL (although the Trojans did underachieve a bit last season). … Even though Cam Jordan left at Cal, Moala is equal to Ta’amu inside, and Guyton, Coleman and Gabe King are extremely stout. …. Junior Onyeali was Pac-10 defensive frosh of the year at DE, and ASU has lots of experience back. … Three of four UCLA starters have been in program since 2008, and Marsh and Odi (Portland kid) were sought after by everybody on the West Coast. … Utah has its best DL in the Kyle Whittingham era.

    So … it is every bit conceivable that the UW could be sixth-best. I do agree its depth this season, especially with Shelton at DT, is impressive. But isn’t it a bit of a reach to declare this unit SO GOOD when the UW rushing defensive gave up 190.5 yards per game in 2010 – eighth-worst in Pac-10?

    If objective is TERRIBLE, then that is where we sit heading into the season opener Saturday.

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