Husky Football: How Much Better Will the Defense Be?


Let’s face it, the defense last season for the Washington Husky football team was atrocious. The Alamo Bowl was about all the evidence you needed to see, and to know that fact. They couldn’t stop Baylor, they couldn’t slow down Baylor, and thus there was no way on earth the Huskies were going to win.

And it is not simply because Baylor had Heisman Winner, Robert Griffin III, because he didn’t even have to do much. He handed the ball off more than he hurled it through the air. It was a disaster. 67-56 Final Score.

However, no one is arguing that the defense wasn’t awful last year. Not even Coach Steve Sarkisian, that is why there is an entire new staff on the defensive side of the ball. Thus, how much better will the defense be with this new staff?

Let’s first take a look at the subtractions (in terms of players) before we look at the additions.


  • Alameda Ta’amu – DL on the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Cort Dennison – Trying out for NFL Teams
  • Everette Thompson – Trying out for NFL Teams
  • Quinton Richardson
  • Marquis Persley
  • Pete Galbraith


NOTE:  Most of the true freshman will be red-shirted as most recruits are that come out of high school. If you want a full list of the true freshman, click here.  There is only one that made this list (and one JC transfer).

  • Connor Cree (RS FR) defensive end – 3 star out of High School from Sammamish, WA.
  • Travis Feeney (RS FR) safety – 2 star out of High School from California.
  • Jarrett Finau (RS FR) defensive end – 3 star tight end out of High School from Kirkland, WA.
  •  Scott Lawyer (RS FR) linebacker – 3 star linebacker out of High School from California.
  • Matthew Lyons (RS FR) linebacker – 3 star linebacker out of High School from California.
  • Marcus Peters (RS FR) cornerback – 3 star cornerback out of High School from California.
  • James Sample (RS FR) safety – 4 star safety out of High School from California.
  • Justin Tang (RS FR) cornerback – Walk-on
  • Taniela Tupou (RS FR) defensive tackle – 4 star defensive tackle out of High School from Everett, WA.
  • Corey Waller (RS FR) defensive end – 3 star linebacker out of High School from California.
  • Evan Zeger (RS FR) linebacker – 3 star safety out of High School from Nevada.
  • Shaquille Thompson (FR) safety – 5 star safety from California.
  • Josh Banks (JC) defensive tackle – 3 star defensive tackle from California.

And now Justin Wilcox, the new defensive coordinator, how doe he stack up.

[table id=5 /]

The Boise State turnaround is impressive. Sure, it can’t all be credited to him but he was definitely part of it. And for Tennessee, remember it is in the tough SEC and had a bit of turnover to work through when Wilcox was there. But the stats are the stats. Take them or leave them.

All in all, it would be hard for the defense to get much worse than it was last year. With all the new additions, the development of players like Hau’oli Jamora, Danny Shelton, Andrew Hudson, Josh Shirley, and Jamaal Kearse, and the new coaching staff. This team should not only be competitive in the Pac-12 but able to really put together a solid defensive year.