'Bear hunting with a switch?' Huskies hope trimmer Ulumoo Ale will be big presence at d-tackle
The former offensive lineman takes a lot of reps with the No. 1 defense, and has the size and athleticism to believe he could elevate UW's defensive ceiling.
SEATTLE — Inoke Breckterfield chuckles as he recalls Ulumoo Ale’s first few practices as a defensive lineman. The Fife, Wash., product played offensive guard his first four college seasons, but coach Kalen DeBoer wondered if the Huskies might put Ale’s 6-foot-6, formerly 330-plus-pound frame to better use as a run-stuffing d-tackle. He fulfilled Breckterfield’s desire for more length up front.
In spring 2022, “he looked like an o-lineman doing d-line drills,” said Breckterfield, UW’s defensive line coach, noting Ale’s footwork and punch.
He looks a little different now.
Tuli Letuligasenoa is the stalwart defensive tackle, a sixth-year senior with more than 1,000 college snaps behind him. With each preseason practice, it seems more apparent the Huskies could pair him with Ale, a fellow sixth-year senior who has slimmed down to about 318 pounds — he entered school in 2018 at a listed weight of 362 — and could elevate UW’s defensive ceiling if he … ah, does what co-defensive coordinator William Inge says he’s going to do.
“We’re going to let him go bear hunting with a switch,” Inge said after Tuesday’s practice. “He is a big ol’ stocking stuffer. … You have to account for him with more than one person up front. And if you don’t, he’s going to disrupt the play. That’s what we’re getting from him thus far.”