Washington football is only returning two starters along the offensive line, but this group isn’t short on talent
Scott Huff has done nothing except dominate on the recruiting trail since he became Washington football’s offensive line coach. And the fruits of his labor as a recruiter are starting to show on the field. Victor Curne and Ulumoo Ale were both recruited by Huff, and it looks like both guys are on track to get their first starts against Cal on November 7th when the Huskies open up their season.
Both players look like stars in the making, especially Ale. The coaching staff has sung their praises for him recently, citing his movement skills at 355 pounds. On a Zoom call on Thursday, Huff called Ale a “pretty special athlete. He can run, catch. He’s not your typical o-lineman.” Could this mean a trick play is coming for the big man? While he’ll be playing left guard, it’s very possible the Huskies could line him up at fullback for a little trickery.
The other new full-time starter, who wasn’t recruited by Huff, is Henry Bainivalu. The Skyline High School product made his first career start in the Las Vegas Bowl last season, and is primed for a breakout year in 2020 at right guard.
Both returning starters are also technically “newcomers,” because senior Luke Wattenberg will be sliding over from left guard to center, and junior Jaxson Kirkland will kick out from right guard to left tackle. Kirkland has been one of the best offensive linemen in the conference over the last two seasons, and he looks like he’s dropped a lot of weight in an effort to become more agile at the line’s most important position.
Wattenberg might be on the hot seat, especially in a year of free eligibility. True freshman Myles Murao has been featured a few times on Washington’s social media, and it looks like he’s running with the second team at the moment. If Wattenberg struggles early, and Murao continues to impress in practice, don’t be surprised if a switch gets made up front.
While there’s a lot of uncertainty along the line right now, this group has everything it needs to succeed. They have outstanding size and athleticism, and one of the best position coaches in the country who will make sure they’re more than ready to play in Berkley on November 7th.