UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt (pictured above in a Jim Bates photo) was a guest this morning on the Dave “Softy” Mahler Show on KJR-AM. (You can listen to it here).
As always, he had a lot to say. Here are a few key (or should I say “awesome”) excerpts:
— Asked for some impressions on some of the new players, Holt said that DT Danny Shelton has stood out in conditioining drills. “Obviously he’s got a ways to go, got to get in a little better shape, but for a big kid he is so athletic and so strong. He might be one of our stronger guys right now in our program and he’s only been here for the last three weeks. … I expect him to help us out as a freshman. We’ve just got to get him in good shape.”
— Two other incoming freshmen he cited as having a chance to play immediately are safety James Sample and cornerback Marcus Peters. “Obviously our depth at corner is not great, so we’re going to have to ask a couple of kids to step up,” he said. He said that “hopefully we can redshirt some of these guys” talking about the rest of the incoming defensive players but said those three loom as the most likely to play.
— He said sophomore DT Sione Potoa’e is “a little banged up. He’s having a good summer but his knees have been kind of giving him a little problem. He’s going to be fine but he’s been slowed down with some leg problems. But he’s made tremendous progress and we expect him to do some good things.”
— He cited basically the entire defensive line as having good summers, talking most in-depth about Everrette Thompson and Hau’oli Jamora. Of Thompson, he noted that due to previous injuries, this is the first time he’s had a full off-season program and that “he looks fantastic. I expect him to have a good senior year.” Jamora, he said, “has gotten bigger. He’s over 250 pounds (listed at 238 last year). … He looks real physical and strong, so I expect him to have a really nice sophomore year.”
— He also said specifically that Josh Shirley and Andrew Hudson are having good summers.
— He said of the off-season for the entire defense that “it’s amazing in three years the transition of our football team. You see the kids in the weight room and we just kind of look like a little better football team.”
— He said specifically of the defensive line that it’s the “first time I can really say that our front looks like a Pac-10, Pac-12 defense, starting to. … that’s our biggest progress is our front, our defensive line, just watching our guys walk around campus, we are starting to look like the real deal finally, just bigger and real athletic.”
— He said he thinks that improved strength and athleticism should allow UW to prevent the kind of defeats that Nebraska administered to the Huskies in Seattle last September or Oregon later in the season. “Hopefully those days are numbered and we won’t see those kinds of numbers put up. I hope that’s the case. Our conference offensively is just so good that day-in and day-out, week-in and week-out, it’s a hard conference. But hopefully we are getting to a point defensively where our players know our stuff and we’ve got good players that that won’t happen, and we have to make it not happen, and hopefully that’s the case. Athletically we’re getting to that point. We’re nowhere near where we need to be but we’re a lot better than we were three years ago, that’s for sure.”
— Asked about Alameda Ta’amu being projected by some as a possible first-round pick, he said: “Being a first-round draft pick, that’s a lofty goal. But because of his position, it’s hard to find defensive linemen. We have a hard time finding them and obviously the NFL (does). (DLs)are a special brred of cat and Alameda, he’s a special guy. He’s in great shape right now and moves well for a big, big man and at his position, there’s not a lot of guys out there like him.”
— Asked about the linebackers, he said Cort Dennison is having “a great, great summer” and that there are “a bunch of other guys and we’re going to have to figure it out in the next month who are going to be the starters at our other spots.”
— Of the secondary, he said “our two corners are legit. I love them. Desmond Trufant is having a great summer as well as Quinton Richardson.”