Washington defensive players piling up postseason recognition
Defense has been the name of the game for the Huskies in 2014, so it only makes sense that Washington’s defensive players are bringing in the majority of the accolades now that the regular season is over.
Led by senior sack monsters Hau’oli Kikaha and Danny Shelton and junior two-way star Shaq Thompson, the Huskies had 10 players named on the All-Pac-12 list, which was released earlier this week.
Kikaha, Shelton and Thompson were all named to the first team, and Thompson earned an additional first-team award as an all-purpose/special teams players.
Washington had seven other players named honorable mention: freshman safety Budda Baker, senior offensive tackle Micah Hatchie, senior defensive end Andrew Hudson, sophomore return specialist John Ross, senior center/guard Colin Tanigawa, senior linebacker John Timu and sophomore kicker Cameron Van Winkle.
Kikaha has also been named a finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy finalist, named after legend Ronnie Lott and given annually to the student-athlete who best represent the qualities embodied by the award – integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity. Kikaha has previously been named a finalist for the Butkus Award, Lombardi Award and Polynesian Player of the Year.
Additionally, the Huskies have earned numerous honors for their work in the classroom. Shelton, Kikaha and sophomore offensive lineman Jake Eldrenkamp were named first-team Academic All-Pac-12. Junior guard Siosifa Tufunga and sophomore safety Trevor Walker were named to the second team, while sophomore quarterback Jeff Lindquist and Timu made honorable mention.
Shelton, who now has three first-team Academic All-Pac-12 awards, also was named first-team Academic All-American, marking just the 14th time in history a Husky made the first team and the first time since 1991.