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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

July 22, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Huskies announce addition of Josh Shirley

shirley.jpg
What had been rumored for a few weeks became official today as the Huskies have announced that linebacker/defensive end Josh Shirley (pictured right in a photo courtesy of the Riverside Press-Enterprise) will sign a financial aid agreement and join the team next month. Here is the official release from the school.
Shirley was one of three UCLA recruits who were dismissed from the team after being arrested on June 23 on suspicion of stealing a purse. The LA District Attorney’s Office this week referred the case instead to the City Attorney’s Office to decide if misdemeanor charges should be filed.
UCLA announced earlier this month that all three players had been released from their letters-of-intent, allowing them to immediately enroll and play at another school. So Shirley will be able to play for the Huskies this season.
UW coach Steve Sarkisian said that the school had investigated the issue and felt comfortable bringing in Shirley, who will join the team Aug.8 when players officially report.
“We are very aware of the circumstances surrounding Josh,” said Sarkisian in a statement. “We have done our due diligence and truly feel that this is not indicative of his true character or the way that he was raised. We are excited about the opportunity Josh has to excel on the football field, in the classroom and in his personal life in our environment, around our people at the University of Washington.”
Shirley, from Henry J. Kaiser High in Fontana, Calif., signed with UCLA last February after also seriously considering UW — he took an official visit to Washington the week the Huskies beat USC. That relationship helped ease the comfort level in bringing in Shirley now.
Shirley, rated a four-star recruit by ESPN.com’s Scouts Inc., figures to likely contend for immediate playing time at the strongside linebacker spot that is wide open entering the season. Junior Alvin Logan and senior Victor Aiyewa, each converted safeties, are the leaders at the spot heading into the fall but neither has ever played the position in a game. (Here is some video of Shirley).
Shirley’s presence could also allow UW to go with more 3-4 looks, something the Huskies said they may experiment more with this year if they run into depth issues at defensive end, where potential starters Kalani Aldrich (knee) and Everrette Thompson (Achilles) each missed the spring with injuries.
UW has the room to bring in Shirley after some off-season attrition dropped them to an apparent 81 scholarship players.
As the UW’s release notes, he was one of 12 semifinalists for the Butkus Award and played in the U.S. Army All-America game where he scored a touchdown on a 77-yard return of a blocked field goal. The release also states that among his other honors, Shirley was the Defensive MVP of the Sunkist League, co-Defensive Player of the Year of the CIF Southern Section Eastern Division, a PrepStar All-American and a member of the Tacoma News Tribune’s Western 100.

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