E.J. Savannah will return to Huskies
Linebacker was UW's leading tackler in 2007, but was suspended by coach Tyrone Willingham this season before leaving team.
Seattle Times staff reporter
E.J. Savannah, the leading tackler for the Washington Huskies in 2007, will return to the team next month, new coach Steve Sarkisian said today.
Savannah, a linebacker, announced in September he was transferring after having not been with the team all season while under an indefinite suspension for academic and other issues.
Sarkisian said today "he'll be back in January" and said he has talked with Savannah since becoming coach.
"We'll give him another opportunity," Sarkisian said.
The return of Savannah could help a UW defense that was the worst in school history this season in both points allowed (38.6 per game) and yards allowed (451.8).
Savannah was thought to have considered transferring to several schools after leaving UW, but never landed anywhere. And when coach Tyrone Willingham was let go in October, it was rumored Savannah was waiting to see who the new coach would be.
Savannah made 111 tackles in 2007 to rank sixth in the Pac-10 and was named the team's defensive player of the year.
He will have one season of eligibility remaining and will rejoin a linebacking corps that could return all three starters from the 2008 season — Donald Butler, Mason Foster and Trenton Tuiasosopo.
Savannah helped lead Bellevue High to four straight state titles and was part of Willingham's first recruiting class at UW in 2005. But Savannah struggled with injuries and academics during his first three UW seasons, seeming to often draw the ire of Willingham, who suspended him twice during his last season as coach.
Sarkisian also said that running back Brandon Johnson, who skipped a few practices last week and was suspended for the season finale at California, is also back in good standing with the team.
And while there have been lots of rumors about possible coaching hires, Sarkisian said again today he is not yet ready to make any announcements.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 10:18 PM
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