Huskies need to replace six of seven starters on the defensive front.

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Entering their second season with Chris Petersen as the coach, the Huskies begin fall camp Saturday at Husky Stadium, 27 days before the Sept. 4 season opener at Boise State. Here, a primer on the UW defense:


Joe Mathis
, jr., 6-2, 252
Taniela Tupou, sr., 6-2, 288
Jarett Finau, sr., 6-3, 274
Shane Bowman, rs-fr., 6-3, 273
Jason Scrempos, fr., 6-6 280
Bryce Sterk, fr., 6-4, 234

Elijah Qualls, so., 6-1, 311
Greg Gaines, rs-fr., 6-1, 310
Vita Vea, rs-fr., 6-5, 340
Ricky McCoy, fr., 6-2, 307

Will Dissly, so., 6-4, 277
Jaylen Johnson, rs-fr., 6-2, 260
Benning Potoa’e, fr., 6-3, 270
Damion Turpin, jr., 6-4, 276
John Clark, fr., 6-3, 260*
Jared Pulu, fr., 6-4, 225*

Outlook: There are a lot of new faces and a lot of unknowns up front as the Huskies introduce an entirely new D-line. Versatility is key here, with guys like Dissly, Tupou, Bowman and Johnson capable of shifting around the line (and even into coverage at times), depending on the defensive alignment. That’s becoming more important as defensive coordinators try to get creative against spread offenses. Dissly was dominant for much of the spring, and Qualls looks like he’ll take over for Danny Shelton as the main man in the middle. We’ll probably see more guys rotating more often this season. Potoa’e, listed at 270 on the updated roster, is the one true freshman who seems most likely to play on the D-line; McCoy could push for time as well.


Travis Feeney, sr., 6-4, 226
Psalm Wooching, jr., 6-4, 236
Kyler Manu, fr., 6-1, 225

Cory Littleton, sr., 6-3, 227
Tevis Bartlett, fr., 6-2, 218
Ben Burr-Kirven, fr., 6-0, 201
Gerran Brown, fr., 6-1, 214*

Azeem Victor, so., 6-3, 240
Jake Wambaugh, rs-fr., 6-1, 220
Connor O’Brien, so., 6-2, 238
Jusstis Warren, fr., 6-2, 239

Scott Lawyer, sr., 6-2, 232
Keishawn Bierria, so., 6-2, 220
Sean Constantine, so., 6-2, 225
Matt Preston, rs-fr., 6-2, 213*
DJ Beavers, fr., 6-0, 211

Outlook: Lots of questions here with a thin, inexperienced group looking to replace Hau’oli Kikaha, John Timu and Shaq Thompson. That’s no small task. Getting Feeney back from shoulder surgery will help; he’s the only returning starter on the front seven. I’m curious to see where Littleton ends up; he was a starting D-end two years ago. I wonder if he might be an option at Buck. Mathis experimented at Buck in the spring and it’ll be interesting to see if he sticks there. Bierria’s expected back after missing spring with an undisclosed injury; he filled in capably on the weak side when Shaq shifted to running back last year. Lawyer adds a steady presence there, too. Note: The freshman position projections are my best estimates. We’ll see where they line up this weekend.

*denotes walk-on


Sidney Jones, so., 6-0, 178
Austin Joyner, fr., 5-10, 186
Brandon Lewis, rs-fr., 5-10, 186
Sean Vergara, rs-fr., 6-2, 178*
Hayden Schuh, jr., 6-0, 207*

Free safety
Budda Baker, so., 5-10, 178
Brandon Beaver, jr., 6-0, 196

Strong safety/rover
Brian Clay, sr., 6-1, 207
Jojo McIntosh, rs.-fr., 6-0, 196
Ezekiel Turner, so., 6-2, 206
Trevor Walker, jr., 5-11, 188

Darren Gardenhire, so., 5-11, 185
Kevin King, jr., 6-3, 183
Jordan Miller, fr., 6-0, 163
Dustin Bush, fr., 5-9, 171*

Outlook: How quickly things change, eh? A year ago, the secondary was UW’s biggest question mark, with three openings and virtually no proven options to fill those holes. Entering this fall, the secondary looks like the strength of the defense, if not the entire team. Baker and Jones are secure in their starting roles. They are emerging stars in the Pac-12 — and we should even see Baker on offense and special teams this season. The other two spots should provide quality competition in camp. I could see any of the strong safeties/rovers starting: Walker played in the first eight games last season (starting three) before tearing his ACL; Clay might be the most fundamentally sound of the bunch; and McIntosh and Turner both turned heads (and torsos) in the spring as the team’s two newest enforcers. Gardenhire and King are the favorites for the other corner job. Gardenhire was one of the breakout performers in the spring. King, who sat out spring ball, is intriguing; he’s more of a natural free safety who played out of position most of last year at rover but will get a shot to play corner this fall. Probably more than any of the freshmen, I’m curious to see Joyner in camp. The hunch here is he’ll play a role on this team this season. UPDATE: Sophomore CB Naijiel Hale has been dismissed from the program.


Cameron Van Winkle, jr., 5-10, 184
Tristan Vizcaino, so., 6-2, 205
Sebastian Valerio, fr., 5-10, 150*

Korey Durkee, sr., 6-4, 247

Long snapper
Ryan Masel, sr., 6-1, 220
A.J. Carty, fr., 6-2, 270
Luke Hutchison, so., 6-2, 225*

Outlook: Not much concern here. Van Winkle was excellent in his first season as the primary place-kicker, converting 20 of 24 field-goal attempts. Durkee, we know, has a booming leg, and he seemed to get the hang (see what I did there?) of Petersen’s preferred rugby-style punting as the season rolled on.