Follow us:

Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 1, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Counting down the Top 10 Huskies — No. 5: Josh Shirley

shirley.jpg

The countdown continues with yet another player who looms as a key to reviving UW’s defense this year (kind of a common theme, I know) — defensive end Josh Shirley.

He’s pictured at right in a Jim Bates photo from the spring of 2011, so he may be a little bigger the next time he’s seen on a field than he appears there.

A redshirt sophomore, Shirley played early on last season mostly in situational pass-rushing roles. But he was thrust into a starting job when Hau’oli Jamora went down with a season-ending knee injury in week four against Cal.

He had some of the expected growing pains, especially against some of the more physical teams on UW’s schedule such as Stanford and USC.

But by the end of the season he had emerged as one of UW’s biggest playmakers on defense, becoming the kind of speed pass-rusher the Huskies envisioned all along.

Shirley had 5.5 sacks in the final three games of the season, including three against Baylor in the Alamo Bowl, to finish with 8.5 for the season, good enough to finish tied for second in the Pac-12 and tied for 28th nationally (with Bruce Irvin of West Virginia, who was taken by the Seahawks in the first round of the draft).

Shirley’s role this season figured to expand no matter who was running the defense, especially as he develops physically, allowing him to have better success against all styles of offenses.

But his talents seem a perfect fit for some of the schemes of new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox. Wilcox envisions running more 3-4 looks, many of which in the spring featured Shirley in a stand-up role on the line (thereby creating the 3-4).

And with Jamora now expected back and Andrew Hudson having had a solid spring on the other side, the Huskies figure to get creative to find ways to make use of what appears to be an increasing amount of talent on the front line.

PREVIOUS ENTRIES
No. 6 — WR Kasen Williams
No. 7 — SS Sean Parker
No. 8 — C Drew Schaefer
No. 9 — DE Hau’oli Jamora
No. 10 — FS Justin Glenn

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►