With a pair of linebackers set to graduate after this season, and a potential third player choosing to pass on his final year of eligibility, UW will need to bolster the position before next fall.
Washington has verbal commitments from two linebackers for its 2023 recruiting class; Devan Bryant (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) and Jordan Whitney (Oxnard, Calif./Pacifica).
Both are expected to sign with the Huskies during the early signing period from Dec. 21-23, which comes about a week before the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29.
Sophomore Alphonzo Tuputala started all 12 games next to graduate with graduate transfer Cam Bright – Bright did not start the Apple Cup against Washington State – this season and finished second in tackles behind senior safety Alex Cook.
In addition, fellow sophomore Carson Bruener played in all 12 games at LB – one of only three players at the position who appeared in every game along with graduate transfer backup Kris Moll and Bright.
Bruener finished the season as the highest graded linebacker in the Pac-12 according to Pro Football Focus (79.8), although he did not meet the 20 percent minimum snap requirement by 13 snaps.
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While both Bruener and Tuputala don’t have a draft decision to make, one linebacker does.
Edefuan Ulofoshio, who played in the Huskies’ final four games in 2022 after recovering from an offseason injury, does have one final year of eligibility remaining next season.
However, the junior missed the final six games of the 2021 season due to injury before suffering a separate injury this past January during winter conditioning.
With the potential departure of Ulofoshio – on top of losing Bright and Moll – Washington has targeted USC senior linebacker Ralen Goforth.
The 6-foot-2 and 225-pound linebacker entered the transfer portal last Monday and hasn’t publicly stated that he will take any other official visits after his upcoming trip to UW this weekend.
Goforth, signed with the Trojans out of St. John Bosco High School in the 2019 class as a three-star recruit.
UW did recruit Goforth under former head coach Chris Petersen but did not get him on campus for an official visit.
In his four-year USC career Goforth started 13 games and played in 31 total with 147 tackles, four tackles for loss and an interception to his name.