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Washington Pre-Spring Depth Chart Dive: Offensive Line

Washington Offensive Line

Washington will be transitioning from the Joe Moore Award-winning offensive line in 2023 to one of the youngest and most inexperienced offensive lines in the nation. Last year’s group featured two of the top tackles in the country in Troy Fautanu and Roger Rosengarten. Those two are off to the NFL, and the remaining three starters all transferred. At this point, next season’s offensive line returns no starters and just 161 total snaps from last year’s team. Jedd Fisch said he hopes to bring in four or five more offensive linemen from the transfer portal in the Spring window. But for spring practice, this is what Washington is working with.

Returning Snaps at Washington’s Offensive Line

Landen Hatchett and Zachary Henning are the only two Huskies who will be returning with any Washington game experience as of late winter. Hatchett played in nine games last season getting time at both center and right guard. He was a true freshman last year, and nine games with 120 snaps are significant. Hatchett allowed just four quarterback hurries and zero sacks on the season. Ahead of the Sugar Bowl last December, Hatchett suffered a knee injury and has since gotten surgery. Fisch indicated that Hatchett would not be a full-go for Spring practice in early April.

Henning played in two games as a true freshman against Michigan State and California. His 41 snaps last season were all at left guard, and he did not allow any quarterback pressures. The Colorado native attended Grandview High School and was a three-star recruit. He had offers from Utah and Kansas State, among others. 

But Washington does gain a talented tackle with experience in Drew Azzopardi who transferred in from San Diego State this offseason. Azzopardi played in 15 games over two seasons with six total starts. In 2023, he was on the field for 409 snaps, over double that of Washington’s returners. The former Aztec has excellent size, standing at 6’-7” and 315 pounds. He gave up just one sack as a redshirt freshman last season and is poised to be one of Washington’s starters at tackle next year.

Redshirt Freshmen

There are three redshirt freshmen that fill in many of the remaining slots on the two-deep for this offensive line. At tackle, Soane Faasolo is 6’-8” and 290 pounds. He has the frame of a prototypical tackle but has room to add some weight as he progresses through his redshirt freshman off-season. Faasolo was a three-star recruit with a basketball background which gives him better-than-average quickness at the position. 

Also at tackle is Elishah Jackett, a redshirt freshman from the class of 2023. He stands at 6’-7” and 259 pounds, again with an exceptional frame and room to grow. Jackett was a four-star recruit from El Modena High School in Orange, California. As a recruit, he was tabbed as one of the top offensive tackles in the country with natural abilities at the position. Jackett moves well and will be a great component of a young offensive line room.

Kahlee Tafai was recruited as an offensive tackle from Lawndale, California. He had offers from several West Coast schools out of high school to play offensive line, although he played both ways at Leuzinger High School. At 6’-6” and 300 pounds, Tafai will likely be slated at the guard position. But these young players are going to be fluid at the line. It’s expected that they rotate at guard and tackle as the group develops into the summer and fall. 

Returning from Injury

Gaard Memmelaar was an early enrollee in 2020 but did not see action until his third season in 2022. He played in four games that season but an injury in fall practice ahead of the 2023 season sidelined him for the year. He has since received surgery and Fisch has said that he, like Hatchett, will not be ready in time for spring practice in early April. In his four games, Memmelaar saw 58 snaps at left guard, giving up no quarterback pressures. The fourth-year junior stands at 6-4 and 299 pounds. He’ll likely be slated as a starter at right guard this spring.

Class of 2024 Offensive Lineman

The Huskies gained three offensive linemen in their 2024 recruiting class. Paki Finau is the highest-rated as a four-star offensive tackle. At 6’-5” and 253 pounds, Finau has the physical traits to play at either guard or tackle, but it’s likely that he slides to the interior at Washington. At Oak Hills High School in California, Finau played on both sides of the ball and excelled at pass protection on offense. 

As you move through the 2024 class, Davit Boyajyan is a three-star offensive tackle at 6-6 and 305 pounds. The California native attended Clovis North High School and had just a couple of offers. Boyajyan is still raw but has a very high ceiling with his size and athleticism at tackle. He’s a step or two away from being ready to play in the Big Ten, but his potential in this offensive line room is tremendous.

Another three-star with a high ceiling is Justin Hylkema. He’s another California native who was recruited by Brennan Carroll to attend Arizona. He decommitted from Arizona amid the coaching staff changes in late January and ended up flipping to Washington. Hylkema stands at 6-8 and 315 pounds. He was named MaxPreps Third-Team All-State as a senior and brings another physical presence to the outside of Washington’s future offensive line. When you average out the height of these players, it’s a 6-6 tall offensive line with room to grow in weight. Washington’s offensive line group is set up for a great future, but it’s in the building block years.

 

Washington Offensive Line
Photo courtesy:  James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

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