Washington football’s coaching staff does an incredible job preparing players for the NFL, no matter where they get drafted
There are currently 37 Washington football alumni with NFL contracts (including practice squad players). 27 of them are on active rosters, which is tied for the highest in the Pac-12 conference with the Stanford Cardinal. Among them is the game’s highest-paid safety, Arizona Cardinals’ Pro Bowler Budda Baker, and a Miami Dolphins’ backfield dominated by former Huskies Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed.
During the 2020 season, Husky fans have seen familiar faces start a game for an NFL team at every position outside of quarterback. Gaskin has had a fantastic second year in Miami, and broke 1,000 all-purpose yards on Saturday despite missing five games due to a knee sprain and contracting the COVID-19 virus. In his sted, Ahmed took his place and didn’t disappoint, setting up an exciting, all Husky backfield for the foreseeable future.
Baker, who is headed back to the Pro Bowl for the third time in his young career, is second among all defensive backs in tackles despite missing a game due to thumb surgery. He also seems to be well on his way to his second All-Pro selection.
Vita Vea was also well on his way to a Pro Bowl selection before a fractured leg ended his season. He and Greg Gaines have headlined Ikaika Malloe’s defensive line development, which also includes Super Bowl champion Danny Shelton.
On the defensive side of the ball, Husky fans will never forget Shaq Thompson. One of Washington’s biggest wins on the recruiting trail in recent memory, the former five-star recruit has proven the staff’s development. He was a first-round pick by the Carolina Panthers, received a $54 million extension, and is a Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee. He’s also having an excellent season in 2020, having recorded 95 total tackles and two forced fumbles for the Panthers.
With a resume like this, we’ve started to see recruits take notice. After two stellar recruiting classes in 2019 and 2020, it shows that high schoolers are starting to notice that this coaching staff can get them to the next level. With all the talent within reach in the next few years, and Jimmy Lake can continue to have success on the field, the Huskies have the potential to become a superpower.