In putting together the story for today’s paper on UW’s defensive line (which specifically focused on the players other than Alameda Ta’amu), I also spoke with line coach Johnny Nansen.
A lot of that didn’t make the final cut, so I’ll throw it on here, as well as a video below of Hau’oli Jamora from the other night, talking about his added weight, playing last year, and more.
As Jamora notes in the video, he weighs about 15 pounds more than he did last season, and Nansen says he thinks that’s making a difference.
“Hau’oli has really bought in and is doing a great job developing,” Nansen said. “He is going to be (used in) multiple (ways). There are a lot of things we do on defense, and he has to learn it and he is a fast learner, so I’m very prod of Hau’oli in that way. He’s put on 15 pounds and done a great job and looks good. There’s no doubt he’s a lot stronger. He’s more phsyical in the way he’s playing and he’s faster, also.”
Nansen heaps similar high praise on the play so far of Everrette Thompson.
“What a great kid,” he said. “The kid is always working. You always know what you are getting out of Everrette. It helps being in the system for three years now. He’s kind of our quarterback up front, and he’s really been a good mentor to the young guys with their development, especially Hau’oli and Talia (Crichton) and all those guys that are playing.”
Thompson regularly lines up at end or tackle, depending on the alignment, and Nansen said that will continue.
“He’s going to be used pretty similar to last year,” he said. “He’ll mainly be a three-technique (tackle) but with the option of moving outside and putting Danny (Shelton) and Lawrence (Lagafuaina) inside.”
The emergence of the latter two players the last week or so is giving the Huskies increased options.
Shelton’s progress has been well-documented, but Nansen said Lagafuaina has also stood out.
“The last week he has been having an outstanding camp and we are counting on him to help us out this year,” Nansen said.
Here’s what he said about a few other players:
— On Shelton: “Oh man, we are going to need Danny’s help, and you see he is running with the ones on some snaps. He’s a quick learner. He gets lined up and I think having the experience of (Alameda) and Talia up front is helping danny’s development. Most definitely we are counting on him to play for us and play a major role.”
— On Josh Shirley: “We would like for Josh to keep growing, and I think there are a couple of times he shows flashes of a guy that is exactly what we are looking for, and then there are a couple of times that we’ve got to look at what we can do to help Josh and eliminate some of the package that we have and find a role for him. Once we do that I think we are going to be in good shape.”
— On Andrew Hudson: “He is going to be in the mix of things, a great kid a great motor plays hard.”
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