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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

February 1, 2010 at 9:59 PM

Spotlight on Garrett Gilliland

When the Washington Huskies sign 30 or so players to letters-of-intent Wednesday, the one turned in by linebacker Garret Gilliland of Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High isn’t likely to gain a lot of notice.
And of the players who have committed to UW, Gilliland is among those Husky fans may know the least about.
One reason is that an ankle injury suffered in the second game of the season held him out much of the year — he finished with 62 tackles in six games — and he didn’t earn a lot of media attention as a result.
But his coach, Jim Kunau, says there’s just one thing UW fans need to know about the kind of player they are getting. In 2008, as a junior, he was co-MVP of the Trinity League. The other co-MVP? Some guy named Matt Barkley (the honors are selected by coaches).
“Last year when he was healthy he was the co-MVP of our along with Matt Barkley,” Kunau said. “So I mean, he’s a good football player.”
And despite missing about half the season this year, he was chosen one of the league’s two defensive players of the year (and ahead of DT Kirifi Taula, the subject of a heated recruiting battle between UW and Arizona).
“This year, the games he was able to play, he played hurt in,” Kunau said. “He was kind of a shell of himself this year. But he was still the defensive MVP in our league which is saying something because our league is very good (including the likes of Mater Dei). So he’s a pretty good football player. It’s just because of the injuries this year that he didn’t get as many accolades and so forth.”
The 6-foot, 210-pounder played primarily outside linebacker for Orange Lutheran and is likely to start out as a WLB for the Huskies.
Kunau says the injury, while nagging all season, is fine now and won’t be a problem for Gilliland when he arrives next fall (he doesn’t plan to enroll early or late, Kunau said).
A solid student, Duke was among Gilliland’s options and he also had offers from Fresno State and Colorado. His final choice came down to Fresno State and UW. He took an official visit for the win over Cal and cited his trip, as well as the fact that UW was among the first schools to really start recruiting him, as reasons he decided to become a Husky.
“He’s very instinctive and aggressive,” Kunau said. “He’s an excellent open field tackler. He has a real nose for the ball.”

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