Co-Defensive Coordinator Tim Hundley - PART II

Washington looks extremely strong and deep up front this fall, and will look to bolster the pass rush and push from their front four. At linebacker the athleticism is good but the depth may be a little thin. In the secondary is where the real question marks are, however, where the safety jobs are up for grabs.


"We have some depth up front this year. They improved throughout the year, but they still have a ways to go. Terry Johnson needs to become more consistent in what he does. He has a TON of ability, so we'll be interested to see if he'll mature among those lines," said Hundley of Randy Hart's defensive front.

"Josh Miller has been a steady-Eddie for us, but we're going to limit the things he can do this spring because of a nagging back injury."

Miller was the most consistent interior lineman for the Huskies in 2002, playing the nose tackle position.

"We're hoping that Jerome Stevens can keep improving. He's another older guy inside for us that we'll count on. We'll give Tui Alailefaleula a certain amount of time to prove that he can be a big time contributor inside, and get some push for us on the defensive front. If he can't, then we're going to give him a chance to be an offensive tackle. It's a possibility that he'll move, it depends on how he does on defense and how important it is to him. We'll go from there."

Hundley will look to two guys that redshirted last year to provide some good punch inside and pressure from the edge.

"Dan Milsten is a hard charging guy, you bet. He's 275 pounds now and he'll be a little bigger come fall. He certainly has the toughness, and he's athletic. We're very anxious to see what he can do. Donny Mateaki will probably get a shot at the ‘HUSKY' end position, but maybe ‘REB'," said Hundley.

The "HUSKY" lines up as the defensive end over the tight end, while the "REB", or "rush end backer" is the smaller defensive end that lines up over the weak tackle.

"Stanley Daniels will get his first opportunity to show us what he's got. He's over 300 pounds and can really move his feet. He's big, a guy that doesn't need to work to be 300 pounds. In fact, he's working at being less than that," said Hundley with a little bit of a smile. "He's naturally got the size, and now the question becomes is he strong enough to take the pounding? Can he not only take the pounding, but can he become the pounder? We need to have him ready to go, and he's worked hard the past five weeks getting his shoulder ready to go. He had surgery and now he's getting back into playing shape"

Hundley and Snow will also look at a newcomer from the JC ranks as well, although they aren't certain where he'll play just yet.

"Hopefully Mike Mapu will be ready to go. Obviously he won't be in great shape because he's not going through our conditioning program," said Hundley of the Mesa JC transfer that will arrive just in time for spring football. "We'll find out where he fits in the equation this spring, and we'll look at him at both the HUSKY and inside as a tackle. He's 280 pounds, and it doesn't appear very difficult for him to be. It's a new world for him now, so it will be interesting to see how he does here."

"Graham Lasee is a guy you should watch. He's really filled out and if he continues to progress at the rate he has, he'll be a factor for us."

With the loss of Kai Ellis, is there any talk of moving Terry Johnson outside? No way.

"We want Terry to be a 3-technique (defensive tackle) at all times. Terry is a 285-pound guy that can be a real stalwart inside for us. If he plays more physical, he can be a great push guy. There is no thought of moving him outside. He has the most potential to do great things inside for us, now he just needs to show us he can do it consistently."

Johnson runs a 4.7 40 at 285 pounds, so the physical numbers are enough to get you excited. He will be a senior, and will want to go out with a bang.

"Brandon Ala is there on the outside as well. Watch for him to help us rush the passer. We won't move any inside guys and move them outside unless we have to. Terry is a big, physical guy that needs to stay inside for us. The answers will come from Mateaki, Ala, Lasee, and Will Conwell," said Hundley.

"Conwell is about 229 pounds now, significantly up from where he was. He broke a bone in his hand during a clean lift, and that's tough for him. Now he has to make a project out of getting himself to 245 pounds, which he can do. He has gained a great deal of strength in the last couple of months by working at it, and if he can get to 240 by the fall, it will help him a lot. He can get that done. Kai was only 245 when he played, so Will is not that far away."

Manase Hopoi will likely be a starter at the big HUSKY end position, but he did play some inside last year. According to the coaching staff, his biggest issue is gaining strength, and he's doing that.

"Manase really came on last year. He's got a ways to go, but we like what he's doing."

A true freshman man-child from Moses Lake also could make a splash this fall, depending on what he does in his first 15 practices.

"Jordan Reffett will go into his first spring, so he's very young, but he's definitely in the mix at tackle. He'll get reps in the three-deeps and get his shot. We want him to feel like this is his chance to step up and show us that he can make things happen. Experience doesn't supercede ability, so if he can play he's going to see the field. Reffett will be an interior player for us and is another hard-charging guy."

After having gone down the entire roster of defensive linemen, both Snow and Hundley smile.

"We have better numbers up front than we've had since we've been here. Having numbers is a good thing. Unless you have the luxury of playing the same three guys, you need about eight of them. We think we have that now. Now it's a matter of finding difference-makers, guys that can step up and make big plays. Terry has the most potential to be that guy of all of them, but we have other young guys that are motivated to do it."


Washington will employ a three-linebacker scheme once again, with two inside linebackers and one outside. The two inside guys are the "MIK" on the strongside and the "WIL" on the weakside, while the "SAM" is the outside guy that lines up over the tight end in most sets.

"We'd like to have Marquis Cooper out there, but he'll miss the spring. He needs to gain some weight anyway, so maybe this is a blessing for him," said Hundley of his leading tackler. Cooper is listed as 6-4 and 204 pounds, and runs a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash, by far the fastest of the linebackers.

"He needs to be about 220 by fall, so maybe he can use this time to do that. If Marquis can get into the weight room, get into the film room, and do those things that make great football players, missing spring will not be a big deal. IF he does those things, and I think he will, he could have a tremendous season. If he doesn't, we won't be as good of a football team. He's playing a spot (WIL) that gives you the best chance to make a lot of plays. You're in the middle of the mix. We'd like to have him be our leader in 2003."

"Behind Cooper, we're not sure who that's going to be yet. It could be Cory Jones, Scott White, or we may move someone. We're going to work with Greg Carothers and Tyler Krambrink at the SAM, although they may be inside some, too. We just need to find out who the best football players are. Tim Galloway is out for the spring. Tim has a chance to be a very fine football player, but it gives Joseph Lobendahn and Matt Lingley a shot at the MIK spot. They'll both get reps that Tim would've gotten, and hopefully they'll get things done. A walk-on will also be in the mix, I think. I like what Ben Warren has done. He'll run around and hit you," said Hundley.

Joe Lobendahn went from starter to being on the bench early in the first game of the season.

"Last spring Joe did a nice job for us, but he didn't play consistently for us early in the fall, and struggled with some things. He didn't play as well in space, so Coop beat him out. Now there's a chance that those two guys will be on the field at the same time, but Joe will now play more in the box (MIK). That suits him better, staying inside the tackle box."

"Cory Jones is very athletic, as is Scott White. It will be interesting to see how well they play in space because in this league, there are a lot of one-back teams. Spring will prove how physically tough they are. They have to prove that they are the hammer and not the nail."

Jones, at 6-0 and 217 pounds, is bigger and faster than White when you look at the numbers from spring testing. But the Notre Dame transfer is also a couple years older. White may need another year to fill out some more.

"I'm not sure that Tyler and Greg will not get some work at WIL linebacker just to see what the best combinations are," said Hundley. Krambrink has played both WIL and SAM, so it's not going to be a difficult thing for the Eatonville native to move around.


"We have guys that have been in and out of the lineup. Roc Alexander hasn't played any quality reps for two years because he's been hurt. The reality is that we probably should've probably redshirted him last year because he wasn't physically able to play the way he is capable of playing," said Hundley.

"He needs a lot of work because he just hasn't been out there much. That will be big this spring, to get Roc a lot of work. He has the ability, now he needs to be physical and compete to be a great football player. He's very capable of it, and he'll be going 100% this spring. He had his shoulder done early in the fall so he can take all of the contact that he's going to get in April."

"Derrick Johnson finished the year playing the way we knew that he could, and we're hoping that he'll pick it up right where he left off. He has some things to work on, and has a ways to go to become a difference maker. We'll look for that this spring."

And then there's cornerback/wide receiver/point guard/shooting guard Nathaniel Robinson.

"Nate Robinson has great ability, of course. He needs to come on and have a good year for us, just as he did last year. It's time for Sam Cunningham to do it now, too. Chris Massey needs to step up, obviously, and play championship football. We need all of these guys," said Hundley.

"Eric Shyne is a guy that has done some nice things in our drill work, mat drills and stuff, and has the chance to be a very good player. Matt Fountaine is just a freshman but he has a chance to be a big time. He runs really well and he's certainly tough enough. Now is his chance. All of these guys should fit into our special teams and will have the opportunity to make plays on kicks and punts."

Phil Snow has had the chance to see his new cornerbacks some, and believes that they are more than capable of anchoring a strong secondary. The numbers at cornerback are great, and Snow needs them to now become more accountable and consistent.

Cunningham didn't play quite as much last year for some reason, but Snow believes that he's ready to go now.

Hundley also likes the work that Pete Kaligis and Steve Emtman have done in the weight room at getting the cornerbacks to become more physical. "You have to gird yourself with the weapons you are able to develop, and if you are more physical, you are able to make more plays from a tackling standpoint. People make corners tackle now, they crack your safeties and the 'replacers' are the corners. We want our corners to have the best chance to be successful, and Pete and Steve are doing a nice job with that so far. They aren't done yet."


Here lies the biggest question mark of the Husky defense, and both Snow and Hundley know it.

"The four main guys will be James Sims, Jimmy Newell, Evan Benjamin, and Jordan Slye, but some other guys could be in the mix. Evan will battle for Greg Carothers' vacated strong safety position, and we may have Sims compete on the strong side as well. Jordan and Newell will probably line up on the other side at free safety, but we'll play the best two guys. The next two guys will back them up, obviously. That is an issue and is a question mark for us this spring. All of them but Jordan have played, but Jordan has done enough to show us that he's a bright guy that can run and be in the mix if he has a nice spring." Top Stories