Washington’s Tevis Bartlett reacts to an extra point in a game against UCLA on Oct. 28, 2017, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

Washington’s Tevis Bartlett reacts to an extra point in a game against UCLA on Oct. 28, 2017, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

Senior LB eager to do more in the middle of UW’s defense

Tevis Bartlett is ready to take on a new role after moving to inside linebacker.

By Adam Jude

The Seattle Times

The Huskies want more out of Tevis Bartlett, and the senior linebacker believes he’s capable of doing just that.

“Absolutely. We all want to play, right?” Bartlett said. “If you can get more in the action, that’s even better. I’d love to have more of the responsibility. Now I’ve just to go help my teammates and produce.”

In shifting Bartlett to inside linebacker, Washington coaches have indeed given him more responsibilities and put him in better position to have a greater influence on the defense and be around the ball more.

“He’s one of the smartest guys we have … and I think he helps our overall defense inside and it helps him, maybe his skillset even more,” UW coach Chris Petersen said. “I’m excited to see how this one progresses.”

As a starting outside linebacker in 2017, Bartlett had 48 tackles, four sacks, two interceptions and a team-high 12 tackles for loss. This spring, he moved to weakside linebacker, replacing the graduated Keishawn Bierria — now in his first NFL training camp with the Denver Broncos — and will play alongside returning middle linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven in an all-senior inside combination.

During the offseason, the 6-foot-3, 233-pound Bartlett studied film with linebackers coach Bob Gregory, and studied more on his own of how Bierria and Azeem Victor manned the position the past two seasons.

“I’m still working through (some details). Like today, there was a play when I needed to sit back on RPO (run-pass option) and was playing the run a little too fast,” Bartlett said over the weekend. “Just things like that, getting more reps at it and watching more film, and then it will become second nature. Once we get there, we’ll be in good shape.”

The Huskies have limited depth inside — and they got even thinner when five-star freshman linebacker Ale Kaho asked for his release from the program.

Junior DJ Beavers, held out of spring ball with various injuries, is back working with the No. 2 defense, along with senior walk-ons Matt Preston and Jake Wambaugh. Junior Brandon Wellington has been going through some position drills, but he’s still limited after having surgery to repair a torn ACL late last fall.

Unheralded underclassmen

Sophomore Amandre Williams is the new No. 1 strong-side linebacker, having studied under Bartlett there last season. Sophomore Myles Rice has been working with the second-team defense at SAM.

“It was cool to learn from someone like Tevis Bartlett. He’s a big mentor of mine. He’s real smart and I’m just taking in every little thing he has to say,” Williams said.

Sophomore Ryan Bowman and junior Benning Potoa’e are 1-2 at the other outside linebacker spot (Buck). Two intriguing up-and-comers are redshirt freshmen Joe Tryon — listed at 6-feet-5 and 267 pounds — and Ariel Ngata, long and lean at 6-2 and 217 pounds.

“There’s going to be a role for all those guys,” said co-defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, who coaches the outside linebackers. “We’ve got good depth, and all those guys are hungry. They all want to play. It’s going to all work itself out in these next 20-something practices.”

Ngata has at times feasted on the third-team offensive line through three fall-camp practices.

“He’s really quick, fast, twitchy,” Kwiatkowski said. “He’s going against some younger guys (on the offensive line) and he was working them pretty good. It’s going to be interesting to see how he does when he gets the pads on. I know he cares — he cares about it and wants to be really good. We’ve got high hopes for him.”

5-star linebacker released from NLI

The Huskies have granted Kaho, the highest-rated recruit to join Chris Petersen’s squad, a release from his National Letter of Intent after he made the request last week, according to The Athletic’s Christian Caple.

Kaho will have no restrictions on which school he signs with next.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Community sports roundup: MP alum earns big academic honor

Olivia Lee’s work at EvCC is recognized; the Snohomish Soccer Dome closes its doors for good.

POLL RESULTS: “The Last Dance” was a big hit

Readers watched the 10-part documentary on the Chicago Bulls of the 90s, and they liked what they saw.

Silvertips notebook: Fonstad likely to return to Everett

The winger is not signing a pro contract with Montreal, meaning a return to the WHL is likely.

MG’s Knight named Gatorade state baseball player of year

Despite not having a season, the star junior was recognized as the top overall player in Washington.

Stay or go? Local senior college athletes face tough decision

Whether to accept the NCAA’s offer of an extra year due to the missed spring season isn’t black and white.

Oregon State’s Mikayla Pivec speaks to reporters during the Pac-12 Conference women’s NCAA college basketball media day last Oct. 7 in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)
Pivec won’t play in the WNBA during the 2020 season

The Atlanta Dream announce the Lynnwood High School product will sit out for personal reasons.

Kamiak names new boys basketball coach

Former Bishop Blanchet head coach and Edmonds-Woodway alum Joe DeGrazia replaces Brandon Corsi.

“The Last Dance,” a 10-part documentary produced by NBA legend Michael Jordan, is a 10-part series chronicling the Chicago Bulls’ run to the 1997-98 NBA championship, the franchise’s sixth title in eight seasons. (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser)
POLL: Have you seen “The Last Dance,” and what’s your take?

The 10-part ESPN documentary on Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls has been a phenomenon of the pandemic.

Healthy George Karl starts podcast, may someday coach again

The ex-Sonics coach, who has survived cancer three times, talks about the time he offended Michael Jordan’s sensibilities.

Felix Hernandez aims for 200 career wins and 3,000 strikeouts

But the COVID-19 pandemic is getting in the way of the former Mariner’s pitcher’s goals.

Seahawks’ Wilson has a little ‘Air’ Jordan in him

Like the NBA great, the Seattle QB has shown he can use perceived slights to fuel his competitive fire.

Seahawks agree to deal with veteran running back

Carlos Hyde, who began his career in San Francisco, rushed for 1,070 yards for the Texans last season.