Hi Lloyd. Been away. but now I’m back. Apologies for the delay on posting this, had some family things come up – but we’re good to go, now.
The easy thing to do here is plug Lavon Coleman into this post and let it write itself. The guy has an opportunity to win the starting running back job with the departure of Bishop Sankey, and he is from the same city as my all time favorite Husky, the incomparable Napoleon Kaufman. It would be just as easy to name Jermaine Kelly, the long and athletic DB who has a chance to make an impact in the wild west that is the Husky secondary. Despite those two worthy players, I am dying to see Elijah Qualls lace ‘em up for the first time.
This is a guy who is slated as Danny Shelton’s heir apparent. He’s, in the words of my two year old son, “so big, so huge you can’t lift him up!” It’s true, he’s a big dude. Listed at 6’1″ and 311 lbs, he’s got the prototypical build of an NFL defensive tackle. He also has something that’s unprecedented for a guy his size, and that is some freakish athleticism.
He ran for over 1000 yards as a senior in high school – as a 300 pounder. I don’t care that he was playing against inferior competition, for a man that big to put up numbers like that as a running back is astounding. He loves contact, and he loves to get to work – something that is a necessity on the defensive line. I think it’s long been established that Coach Petersen wants nastiness on both his lines, and Qualls is going to bring that. For the first time in a really long time there is depth on the line. In years past guys like Qualls have been thrown immediately into the fire and played as true freshman. Not that Qualls couldn’t have, but the fact that he had a year to learn and improve has made him even more ready to assume a large role in 2014.
Another reason I’m pumped to see this guy play – he was DYING to be a Husky, and he brought a lot of people along with him. He was the one who orchestrated the commitment of eight players during the 2012 UW Rising Stars Camp. I realize that it didn’t work out for some of them (ahem, Demorea Stringfellow), but the fact that Qualls wanted to win at UW so badly that he would work this hard to get talent into the fold speaks volume about his character and influence over other players. That is the kind of guy I want on my team.
Bow down and go Dawgs.