SEATTLE — The University of Washington’s defensive line depth took a hit Wednesday.
Huskies coach Chris Petersen announced via statement that fifth-year senior defensive end Josh Shirley and seldom-used, third-year sophomore offensive lineman Taylor Hindy left the UW football team and intend to transfer.
Shirley’s departure had been rumored for a while. He sat out much of the second half of the Huskies’ spring practices with an undisclosed illness, and fans began speculating about his future after he didn’t participate in UW’s Husky Combine on May 20.
Shirley posted a photo on his Instagram acount Tuesday of himself on a jet ski with the accompanying message: “Seattle it’s been real. Had to have one final ride. #illbeback #TurnThePage #NextChapter”
Shirley finishes his UW career with 18 sacks and 74 tackles in three seasons. He will be a fifth-year senior in 2014, meaning he will be immediately eligible to play elsewhere so long as he obtains his degree from UW.
A 6-foot-3, 228-pound native of Fontana, Calif., and a standout at Kaiser High School, Shirley originally signed with UCLA and coach Rick Neuheisel in 2010. But after being arrested in connection with the theft of a student’s backpack in June of 2010 — along with now-Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Paul Richardson and his cousin, cornerback Shaquille Richardson — the three players were dismissed from the program before school even started.
Shirley transferred to UW to play for coach Steve Sarkisian, who had recruited him heavily, and agreed to redshirt the 2010 season as a condition of playing for the Huskies. Paul Richardson wound up at Colorado — he became the Seahawks’ second-round draft pick this year —and Shaquille Richardson transferred to Arizona.
Shirley made his debut in 2011, when he played in every game, made seven starts, and recorded 8.5 sacks. That total dropped to 6.5 in 2012 and 3 last season. He had been projected by some NFL draft websites as a future first-round selection.
Hindy, a 6-foot-4, 318-pound lineman from West Hills, Calif., and Chaminade Prep, appeared in two games in 2013, against Idaho State and Colorado.
UW-Hawaii game time changed
UW’s season opener will kick off late for fans watching on the West Coast.
Originally scheduled for 5 p.m., the Huskies’ Aug. 30 game at Hawaii was moved to a 7:30 p.m. start. That’s 4:30 p.m. Hawaii time. The game will broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.