Sports

Analysis: Reassessing UW Huskies’ defensive depth chart forward of spring sport


Fourteen practices later, how a lot has modified?

Before UW hosts its annual “Spring Preview” at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, let’s reassess the Huskies’ defensive depth chart — together with an array of inexperienced defensive linemen, an ongoing competitors at cornerback and a constant set of security starters.

Defensive line

Tuli Letuligasenoa, jr., 6-1, 313, Concord, Calif.

Voi Tunuufi, soph., 6-1, 275, South Jordan, Utah

Faatui Tuitele, soph., 6-3, 308, Honolulu

Draco Bynum, jr., 6-4, 282, Wilsonville, Ore.

Noa Ngalu, soph., 6-2, 299, East Palo Alto, Calif.

Armon Parker, fr., 6-3, 284, Detroit*

***

Kuao Peihopa, rs. fr., 6-3, 304, Makakilo, Hawaii

Jacob Bandes, soph., 6-2, 295, Pittsburg, Calif.

Ulumoo Ale, jr., 6-6, 344, Tacoma

Siaosi Finau, rs. fr., 6-3, 266, Maui, Hawaii

Jayvon Parker, fr., 6-3, 296, Detroit*

(Asterisks denote gamers who’ve but to reach on campus.)

Analysis: This place group options a whole lot of names, and treasured little expertise.

The mainstay, after all, is fifth-year junior Tuli Letuligasenoa — who has produced 64 tackles with 9.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in 27 profession video games. But can the 6-foot-1, 313-pounder elevate his sport to an all-conference stage?

It’s unclear who else will occupy the inside of UW’s defensive position. Redshirt freshman Kuao Peihopa obtained beginning reps all through a lot of the spring, and sophomore Voi Tunuufi tied for the group lead with three sacks final fall. Sophomores Faatui Tuitele — who missed the spring with a foot damage — and Jacob Bandes carry some Pac-12 expertise as properly.

The wild card is 6-6, 344-pound behemoth Ulumoo Ale — who transitioned from the offensive to the defensive position this offseason. Theoretically, Ale’s presence ought to enhance a UW protection that ranked eleventh within the Pac-12 in speeding protection (permitting 194 yards per sport) in 2021.

Edge

Zion Tupuola-Fetui, jr., 6-4, 241, Pearl City, Hawaii

Sav’ell Smalls, soph., 6-3, 265, Seattle

Jordan Lolohea, soph., 6-1, 249, Salt Lake City

***

Bralen Trice, soph., 6-4, 256, Phoenix

Jeremiah Martin, sr., 6-4, 261, San Bernardino, Calif. (Texas A&M)

Maurice Heims, rs. fr., 6-5, 251, Hamburg, Germany

Lance Holtzclaw, fr., 6-3, 201, Dorchester, Mass.*

Analysis: Eric Schmidt says you want 5 succesful EDGE rushers to be a championship soccer group.

And, in keeping with UW’s first-year EDGE coach, junior Zion Tupuola-Fetui, sophomore Bralen Trice and senior Jeremiah Martin have established themselves in that rotation. He added, regardless of Tupuola-Fetui’s apparent pass-rush acumen, Trice has most likely been their hardest participant to dam this spring.

But who rounds out the 5?

“Sav’ell Smalls was coming on,” Schmidt stated Tuesday. “He’s been hurt here for a little bit. It was something minor. I think he’ll be out here on Saturday. So that’s hurt a little bit with him. But him and (redshirt freshman Maurice) Heims are the next two guys we have to really, really develop and get those guys ready to play for the fall.”

Linebacker

Carson Bruener, soph., 6-2, 224, Woodinville

Edefuan Ulofoshio, jr., 6-1, 230, Anchorage, Alaska

Drew Fowler, soph., 6-1, 218, Bellevue (stroll on)

***

Cam Bright, sr., 6-0, 219, Montgomery, Ala. (Pittsburgh) OR

Alphonzo Tuputala, soph., 6-2, 235, Federal Way

Daniel Heimuli, soph., 6-0, 230, East Palo Alto, Calif.

Demario King, jr., 6-3, 203, Los Alamitos, Calif. (Cerritos CC)

Analysis: You understand how the Huskies have all these defensive linemen?

They want extra linebackers.

Granted, Pittsburgh switch Cam Bright and legacy sophomore Carson Bruener ought to type a formidable tandem, and Edefuan Ulofoshio will carry a right away enhance if/when he returns from a major damage this fall. UW’s workers has been complimentary of sophomore Alphonzo Tuputala as properly.

But there’s no denying the Huskies want extra our bodies at linebacker, they usually’ll probably look to additional tackle that want within the switch portal.

Still, UW’s X-factor on the second stage could also be co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach William Inge.

“He’s a guy. He’s awesome — one of the better coaches I’ve been around,” Bruener stated. “He definitely has developed us in a way where he’ll give us a play and then all these different scenarios, so we’re not out here (focusing on) one responsibility and then left wondering, ‘What if they do this? What if they do this?’ He really breaks down everything and makes sure we know exactly what we have (to do).”

Husky

Dominique Hampton, jr., 6-3, 216, Glendale, Ariz.

Kamren Fabiculanan, soph., 6-1, 189, Camarillo, Calif.

Tristan Dunn, fr., 6-4, 188, Sumner*

Analysis: Dominique Hampton was constructed to be a hybrid “husky” nickel/linebacker.

At least, that’s the best way it seems to be.

The place — which was dropped at Washington by Kalen DeBoer and co-defensive coordinators Inge and Chuck Morrell — asks for a flexible defender to swallow run gaps and sometimes cowl tight ends and large receivers down the sector as properly.

If Hampton — a 6-3, 216-pound junior — goes to satisfy his athletic potential at UW, that is the best place to do it at.

Cornerback

Mishael Powell, soph., 6-1, 203, Seattle

Elijah Jackson, rs. fr., 6-1, 184, Carson, Calif.

Zakhari Spears, rs. fr., 6-2, 184, Los Angeles

Jaivion Green, fr., 6-2, 196, Houston*

***

Jordan Perryman, sr., 6-0, 198, Hanford, Calif. (UC Davis)

Jacobe Covington, soph., 6-1, 198, Chandler, Ariz.

Davon Banks, rs. fr., 5-11, 182, San Jacinto, Calif.

Dyson McCutcheon, rs. fr., 5-11, 181, Claremont, Calif.

Analysis: At this level, there are 4 major contenders to start out at cornerback: sophomore Mishael Powell, senior UC Davis switch Jordan Perryman, sophomore Jacobe Covington and redshirt freshman Elijah Jackson. Powell and Perryman seem like the inheritor apparents if wholesome, however these 4 ought to probably all play in some capability (offered they keep away from the switch portal). Redshirt freshman Davon Banks additionally loved a powerful spring and will theoretically work his approach into the rotation as properly.

But can that group mirror the manufacturing of departed corners Trent McDuffie and Kyler Gordon, who helped type one of many prime move defenses within the nation final fall? That’s asking a whole lot of anybody.

Safety

Alex Cook, sr., 6-1, 194, Sacramento, Calif.

Cameron Williams, jr., 6-0, 205, Bakersfield, Calif.

Makell Esteen, rs. fr., 6-1, 180, Hawthorne, Calif.

***

Asa Turner, jr., 6-3, 200, Carlsbad, Calif.

Julius Irvin, jr., 6-1, 181, Anaheim, Calif.

Vincent Nunley, rs. fr., 6-1, 191, Oakland, Calif.

Tristan Dunn, fr., 6-4, 188, Sumner*

Analysis: UW has employed the identical beginning safeties every observe this spring — senior Alex Cook and junior Asa Turner. Turner, particularly, has earned repeated reward for his work ethic and important strides this offseason.

If they stick with this system, juniors Cameron Williams and Julius Irvin would offer skilled depth on the again finish as properly. But contemplating redshirt freshmen Vince Nunley and Makell Esteen and true freshman Tristan Dunn have but to see important snaps on the school stage, any attrition would depart Washington considerably missing at security. It’s doable a cornerback like Covington, Elijah Jackson or Zakhari Spears might slide again to security if wanted.



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