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Husky Roster Review: Buelow Gets Second Chance to Excel

Two years after losing his job, the big tackle is back in the mix.
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To open the season, Julius Buelow beat out returning starter Ulumoo Ale and the promising Troy Fautanu in 2021 to become the University of Washington's No. 1 left offensive guard, a heady accomplishment.

With a robust 6-foot-8, 310-pound frame, the then-redshirt freshman from Kapolei, Hawaii, seemed to be on his way. 

He had the potential to be a four-year Husky starter. He was every reason to dust off that borrowed quip that whenever the UW offensive line stands up, it could see Denver, or least Spokane.

Except following five opening assignments, all Buelow saw was a seat back on the bench. First the equally mountainous Ale replaced him, then Fautanu took a turn as the first-teamer at the end of a disappointing 4-8 season.

Today, Fautanu is the UW's No. 1 left tackle and a slimmed-down Ale is bidding for a starting defensive tackle job. 


After a fairly inactive 2022 season of mop-up duty  and special-teams play, the fifth-year junior has been given the left offensive guard position once more to win or lose.

"It's definitely taught me a lot," Buelow said in the spring. "Facing adversity, that was kind of the first time I went through something hard in football. You know, losing my spot, it taught me you can't have that 'I've arrived mentality.' "

Going down the roster from No. 0 to 99, Buelow, who wears No. 77 all to himself, is next up in a series of profiles about each of the Huskies' scholarship players and assorted walk-ons, summing up their spring football performances and surmising what might come next for them.

Buelow definitely has the size to be a bedrock UW offensive lineman. However, his problem before was quickness — defenders flat-out beat him off the line and got into the backfield. 

Yet is says something that Kalen DeBoer's coaching staff is attempting to resurrect the Hawaiian as a regular contributor and not just discard him as an inherited player who didn't pan out.

Of the five UW offensive-line starting jobs, left guard seems the most unsettled. While Buelow ran with the No. 1 offense throughout spring ball, sophomores Geirean Hatchett and Gaard Memmelaar remain in the hunt for more prominent roles. 

Younger players such as Parker Brailsford, a redshirt freshman, and Landen Hatchett, a newly arrived freshman and the brother of Geirean, currently are reserve centers who appear ready to play early in some capacity and one of them easily could be moved to guard to increase the competition.

DeBoer, in replacing three starters up front from a sterling group that gave up just seven sacks last season, said the reconfigured Husky offensive line will be different but his guys overall have played a lot of snaps and bring necessary experience. 

"You've got some pretty mobile guys in Nate [Kalepo] and Julius, and Matteo [Mele] and Geirean [Hatchett], and all of those guys," the UW coach said at the end of spring ball. "I think Parker Brailsford has done a nice job, too. It was good to see him get out there and get some action."

Buelow has the job entering fall camp, but he has many of those others guys to contend with. He'll be as hard-pressed as any starter for the Huskies to keep it. If he does, he'll have earned it.



Service: Buelow has appeared in 18 games and started five, with all of the game-opening roles coming in 2021. A year ago, he got on the field in eight of the Huskies' 13 outings.

Stats: At 6-foot-8, Buelow is tied with freshman offensive lineman Soane Faasolo for being the tallest player on the team.

Role: For the second time in three seasons, Buelow is a starter until someone says otherwise. In 2021, someone said otherwise. He'll look to hang on to it this time.

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