Defender Greg Gaines
Defensive tackle Greg Gaines has pushed and worked hard to earn respect and notoriety in the Pac-12 and the NCAA in general. He is a standout defensive lineman, earning the distinction of best defensive lineman against the run. Now, a year bigger, stronger, and more mature, he is lining up for the Washington Football team in the trenches once more.
He will no longer be flanked by standout teammates Elijah Qualls, who is now playing for the Philadelphia Eagles. Nor will he line up next season next to Vita Vea, who many expect to be selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Those projections are confirmed by ESPN’s Todd McShay, who had Vea coming off the board in round one of a preseason mock draft.
Gaines leads 2018 defense
But Gaines is worthy of accolades in his own right. As we had noted in earlier articles, 6-foot-2 318 pound Gaines arrived as a three-star recruit for the class of 2014. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has surpassed all expectations, and continues to flourish as one of the best interior defensive linemen in the nation. As PFF reports, Gaines is worth taking note of, as he is literally an immovable object when he lines up in the trenches.
Gaines will be the veteran on what will be a new defensive front seven. The Huskies lose Vea and outstanding inside linebacker Keishawn Bierria. While Gaines will be counted on to anchor the defense, he will be leading a deep group of competitors who have added inside linebacker M.J. Tafisi and Brandon Kaho. They are completely complimentary of one another and will likely earn respect quickly in the Pac-12. The team also added Sam Taimani and Temple transfer Josh Bronson, who has bulked up to 290 to handle the interior. For now, 2018 appears to be shining brightly for the Washington Football team. And according to CBS, they see a bright future for Washington as well.