Washington Huskies Football 2011: The 7 Best Defensive Players on the Squad
Washington had a tough time putting together a decent defense last season, relying heavily on linebacker Mason Foster. More often than not, they resembled a sieve which opposing offenses would slip through.
However, uber-intense defensive coordinator Nick Holt began whipping Washington’s defense into shape, especially towards the end of the 2010 season. Now with Foster gone to the NFL, here are the top seven players on the defensive squad that will have to fill the gap.
At 6’3’’ and 330 pounds, Ta’amu is a load for any offensive lineman to block. The defensive tackle earned honorable mention All Pac-10 in 2010, and was named to the watch list for the 2011 Lombardi Award. Ta’amu is the playmaking focal point for the Huskies defensive front.
The younger brother of current Seattle Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant, Desmond is blazing his own unique trail for UW.
The junior started all 13 games at cornerback in 2010, keyed the Huskies overtime win against Oregon State with six tackles and an interception, and was the linchpin to an ever-improving pass-defense.
The senior middle linebacker will be counted on to solidify the interior of the Dawgs defense. He finished the regular season ranked fourth in the Pac-10 with eight tackles per game.
Dennison has always been good about using his intelligence to be at the right place at the right time—he was named Academic All Pac-10 honorable mention in 2010.
Fellner has an uncanny knack for the ball from his safety position—he ranked fourth in the Pac-10 last year with five interceptions, including one in the Holiday Bowl.
The junior is also a sure tackler, notching 79 of them in 2010. His leadership will be important as the last line of defense.
Thompson played as a hybrid defensive lineman last season, starting eight games at defensive end and the other five at defensive tackle. At 6’6’’ and 244 pounds, he uses his leverage and agility to fend off offensive linemen and make plays
This senior has played in all 37 games, starting 30 of them, in his college career. Richardson forms a solid cornerback tandem with Desmond Trufant.
Q helped seal the Huskies victory over UCLA last year with a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown. His steady presence should allow defensive coordinator Nick Holt to dial up the pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
Parker was the Huskies' primary nickel back in 2010 as a true freshman. This season he will be stepping into the starting safety role for the Dawgs.
He had an outstanding Spring Ball session, roaming from sideline to sideline and showing off his ball-hawking abilities. He will add some youthful exuberance to a potentially improving Huskies defense.