Report: Washington defensive end Josh Shirley leaves program

Sam Cooper
Dr. Saturday
Report: Washington defensive end Josh Shirley leaves program

One of the more experienced members of Washington’s defense has opted to leave the program. According to the Seattle Times, defensive end Josh Shirley “would like to play his senior season closer to his native southern California.”

Shirley, a native of Fontana, Calif., originally signed with UCLA out of high school but was released from his letter of intent by then-Bruins head coach Rick Neuheisel after being arrested on theft charges. Shirley, who was a Rivals four-star recruit and the No. 137 ranked player in the country in 2010, then signed to play with the Huskies. Shirley, along with two others, pled guilty to a misdemeanor.

Shirley took a redshirt in his first year in Seattle, and then burst onto the scene when he started seven games and registered 8.5 sacks as a redshirt freshman in 2011. His production dropped off following that standout season. He started three games and notched 6.5 sacks in 2012, then finished the 2013 season with just 13 total tackles and three sacks.

Former Washington coach Steve Sarkisian, who is now at USC, praised Shirley’s attitude since joining the Huskies program.

“He’s 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,” Sarkisian said last year.

In all, the 6-foot-3, 228-pound Shirley registered a combined 74 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 18 sacks in three seasons for the Huskies.

If Shirley has graduated from Washington, he could be eligible to suit up immediately for his next team via the graduate transfer rule. 

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!