- Mason Kelley, Reporter, Recruiting Nation
The rash of injuries Washington endured at the linebacker position throughout fall camp further proved that depth is essential when building a successful program.
The Huskies had so much depth at safety, they were able to shuffle players to plug holes.
For some players, such as redshirt freshman Travis Feeney, the move from safety to linebacker resulted in a better fit. For freshman Shaq Thompson, it provided a chance to prove he could play right away.
With a strong group of freshmen currently on campus, the Huskies have only added one defensive back to its 2013 class. They have, however, added three players who project at linebacker at the next level.
Here is a look at who the Huskies have, who they want and where they stand when it comes to linebackers and defensive backs:
Linebacker Sean Constantine (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue) -- 6-foot-3, 225 pounds
Constantine is the kind of player who enjoys practices as much as the games on Friday nights. The leader of Bellevue’s defense, the four-star recruit is a versatile linebacker who has a knack for finding the football.
Athlete Connor O’Brien (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Santa Margarita) -- 6-foot-3, 205 pounds
A safety in high school, O’Brien picked off eight passes as a junior. In college, however, the three-star recruit projects to an outside linebacker as he fills out his frame. His versatility adds options for the Huskies.
Cornerback Kevin King (Oakland, Calif./Bishop O’Dowd) -- 6-foot-2, 172 pounds
With college coaches looking for big, physical receivers that create matchup problems for smaller cornerbacks, programs are now trying to uncover long, lean athletes with good coverage skills. King fits the profile and Bishop O’Dowd coach Hardy Nickerson thinks the senior has the potential to be great.
Linebacker Caleb Tucker (Monroe, La./Ouachita Parish) -- 6-foot-2, 225 pounds
Tucker’s high school coach, John Carr, called the linebacker a “lightning rod” for the Ouachita Parish program. He loves everything from lifting weights to watching film and was drawn to the youthful exuberance of Washington’s coaching staff.
In their sights
Cornerback Jalen Ortiz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) -- 5-foot-9, 167 pounds
The four-star cornerback will visit Washington in October when the Huskies play USC. Known for his instincts and ball skills, Ortiz -- he has Washington in his final six -- isn’t afraid to help in run support.
Cornerback Daquawn Brown (Los Angeles/Dorsey) -- 5-foot-11, 175 pounds
Brown doesn’t quite have the height King does, but he has the size necessary to compete with bigger receivers. The three-star recruit’s strength is zone coverage with a strong ability to break on the ball.
Safety Jayme Otomewo (Los Angeles/Dorsey) -- 6-foot-2, 190 pounds
One of the leaders of Dorsey’s defense, the three-star safety is Brown’s teammate -- they have played together since seventh grade. A “rangy” free safety, Brown has good instincts and is strong in zone coverage.
Position of strength
However, the Huskies are still looking to lock up complementary pieces and could add a few more before close out this year’s class.
With three linebackers currently committed Washington has addressed that position, bringing in athletic playmakers who have been leaders on their high school defenses.