Freshman Hau'oli Jamora starts to come into his own for Huskies
The defensive end, who gets his first start Saturday against Arizona, draws similarities to former Husky Daniel Te'o-Nesheim.
Seattle Times staff reporter
UW @ Arizona, 7:15 p.m., ESPN
Latest from the Husky Football & Basketball blogs
The similarities are so eerie, Hau'oli Jamora's Washington teammates don't even bother to try to be subtle about it.
Jamora, a freshman defensive end for the Huskies, is simply called "Daniel Te'o" by teammates because he reminds them so much of former UW defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim.
"He doesn't like it," laughs defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu. "He takes it as a compliment with the way he plays, but he wants to be his own player."
It hasn't taken long for Jamora to make that happen.
Just six games into his career, Jamora is emerging as the pass rusher off the edge the Huskies haven't had since, well, Te'o-Nesheim graduated after last season. When Te'o-Nesheim took his UW record 30 career sacks to the NFL, even Huskies coaches wondered who would replace his production.
And for the first few games of this season, consistent pressure off the edge was sorely lacking.
But the last two games, it's been evident in increasing regularity as the Huskies have recorded six of their 13 season sacks, three each against Arizona State and Oregon State.
Jamora had 1 ½ sacks against the Beavers, teaming with Cameron Elisara for a key second-down sack late in the third quarter after OSU had driven to the UW 5-yard-line. OSU QB Ryan Katz threw an interception on the next play as UW maintained a 21-21 tie.
"We are starting to come," said UW defensive-line coach Johnny Nansen. "Obviously we wanted it so much earlier, but I think they are starting to get comfortable, guys are starting to understand things better and we are not shuffling (personnel) so much and they are getting comfortable with their positions, and that's the reason they are showing. Saturday was a good indication of what is to come."
Especially from Jamora, who will get his first start Saturday night in Tucson when the Huskies play at Arizona, replacing Talia Crichton, who will be out 2-3 weeks with a knee injury.
Jamora, however, has already produced, ranking seventh on the team in tackles with 18 while rotating with Crichton.
"He's coming faster than what I thought a freshman should come," said Ta'amu. "He's learning quick. He's not playing like a freshman anymore."
Because he is a freshman, though, he is not allowed to talk to the media, per the rules of UW coach Steve Sarkisian.
However, Nansen said reporters shouldn't expect much when they do finally get their chance at Jamora, saying that the comparisons to Te'o-Nesheim — also known for being fairly reserved vocally — run deep.
"When I say he's like Daniel, it's everything," Nansen said. "He just works and he loves football."
Nansen and UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt first saw Jamora — who attended Kahuku High in Laie, Hawaii — two years ago initially scouting a different player.
"We were like, 'who is that kid?' " Nansen said. "He stood out the way he outworked every other kid on the field. When we were there he was the first one on the field and the last one to leave."
Listed at 6-foot-3, 238 pounds, coaches say he should only get better as he fills out physically.
Jamora hasn't been alone in creating more push up front. Holt said the line has begun to come together after a recent shift moving Everrette Thompson from end to tackle and Elisara from tackle to end. And Ta'amu has also played better of late, barely coming off the field against Oregon State.
"They're just working hard," Holt said. "And (we're getting) good coverage, and guys (are) getting off blocks and playing hard and doing what they're supposed to be doing. We probably should've had a couple more sacks than we did."
Locker again limited
Jake Locker sat out team drills during practice Tuesday. But Sarkisian said it was just for rest and to keep his body fresh, saying it's "the same as last week," when Locker sat out team drills until Thursday. Last week, Locker was resting a thigh bruise. He later said the rest allowed him to be fresh for the game. Locker participated in individual drills.
• WR Devin Aguilar (hip) and RB Johri Fogerson (hip) each were in pads and participated in parts of practice. Aguilar appeared to do more than Fogerson and could be closer to returning.
• With Crichton out, Holt said De'Shon Matthews and Kalani Aldrich will be called on more in a reserve role at end. Aldrich is listed as the backup at Jamora's spot.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.