By Stephen Tsai
Defensive end Josh Shirley has left the Washington football team and expressed an interest in the Warriors, according to people in the know.
Shirley, who amassed 18 sacks the past three seasons, actually has ties to the UH coaching staff. Head coach Norm Chow and running back coach Wayne Moses were with UCLA when they recruited Shirley to the Bruins in 2010.
Shirley never played a game for the Bruins. That summer, Shirley, cornerback Shaquille Richardson and wideout Paul Richardson were arrested on a theft accusation. They eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Shirley transferred to Washington, Shaquille Richardson went to Arizona and Paul Richardson enrolled at Colorado. The Seattle Seahawks selected Paul Richardson in the second round of this year's draft; the Pittsburgh Steelers picked Shaquille Richardson in the fifth round.
Shirley, who is 6-3 and 228 pounds, had 8.5 sacks in 2011, 6.5 in 2012, and three in 2013. He was used as a pass-rushing specialist last year, and was projected to be in the d-line rotation this year.
Shirley is set to earn his bachelor's degree, which will allow him to transfer and play this season.
UH and Washington meet in the season opener on Aug. 30. Two former Huskies — safety Taz Stevenson and defensive tackle Lawrence Lagafuaina — are in the process of completing transfers to UH.