One of the most touted players to come to the Huskies under former coach Steve Sarkisian, DE Josh Shirley, has left Washington football to play closer to his Fontana, CA., home. The UW acknowledged Wednesday the pending transfer, first reported in the Seattle Times.
Shirley came to Washington in 2010 after being kicked off UCLA’s team by then-coach Rick Neuheisel for an episode in which he and two other incoming freshmen, cousins Paul Richardson and Shaquille Richardson, were arrested for stealing a backpack belonging a female student. Contents were valued at $1,200.
All three subsequently transferred to Pac-12 schools, and Paul Richardson, a wide receiver, became the Seahawks’ second-round draft choice in April after starring at Colorado.
Shirley’s only comment came on his Instagram account, where he posted a photo of himself riding a jet ski on Lake Washington and wrote, “Seattle it’s been real. Had to have one final ride.”
After an impressive freshman year in 2011, when he started seven games and had 8.5 sacks, the 6-3, 230-pounder saw declines in playing time and productivity.
Shirley in his junior season in 2013 was confined to a situational role of pass rushing in a “Jetsons” package. He had three sacks, all in a blowout of Illinois, and 13 tackles in 12 games.
Sarkisian told the the Times before the 2013 season that Shirley “has been a good student, he’s been great in the community, he’s been a good teammate. I couldn’t ask for more than what he’s brought.”
Shirley was an honorable mention selection on the Pac-12 Conference’s all-academic team.
Since Shirley used his redshirt year after tranferring from UCLA, he is likely headed to a lower-division school where he can play this fall.
The football program also said in the Wednesday email that another player, OT Taylor Hindy, a 318-pound redshirt sophomore from West Hills, CA., would transfer. He saw mop-up action in games against Idaho State and Colorado.
The Huskies begin fall camp Aug. 4 and open the season in Hawaii Aug. 30. Game time has been moved from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. PT to accommodate a broadcast on CBS Sports Net (Comcast cable channel 412). The home opener is noon, Sept. 6 against Eastern Washington (Pac-12 Networks).