Richmond, Va. – There’s no denying that the strength of this Washington team is the defense. And we all know it starts in the trenches with a front four that’s meaner than your average 2nd-grade bully. They’re big, they’re physical and impose their will on everything and everybody.
Washington is coming off a season where it ranked second overall in total defense under Jack Del Rio. It was bolstered with the likes of Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Montez Sweat, former Hokie Tim Settle and Chase Young.
“We’re coming back like, ‘Man, we can do this and do this right, who knows what we can do?” star defensive tackle Jonathan Allen says.
“I think my motto this year is, ‘Be at where my feet are at.’ And that’s not to really worry about the future, not to worry about the past, but just worry about right now where I’m at,” Young added.
The athletic front was among the leagues best which led to 47 sacks. But they feel there’s still room for improvement
“The biggest thing with having success as a defense last year is not coming into this year expecting to duplicate that without putting in the same amount of work,” Allen added.
“We have everything on paper, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. I feel like if we stay on each other and we hold each other accountable and do it every day, that defense that y’all talking about, I feel like it could be done,” Young says.
And the hope is that a few Hokies can help get it done. Tim Settle has just come off the non-football illness list, and defensive back Greg Stroman remains on the PUP list. And after being a journeyman in college, Washington signed defensive end Justus Reed battling to make a roster spot.