Husky Roster Review: Life in the UW Fast Lane

The sophomore edge rusher played in nine games during his first season in Montlake.
Jacob Lane gets in a perfect stance during spring ball.
Jacob Lane gets in a perfect stance during spring ball. / Skylar Lin Visuals

When last season began, edge rusher Jacob Lane was just another freshman for the University of Washington football team, someone buried on the depth chart and likely far removed from meaningful game snaps

By the time it ended, however, the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Lane played in nine outings, including all three postseason games -- tying him with center Landen Hatchett for the second-most appearances by a freshman, trailing only departed running back Tybo Rogers, who played in 12 games in 2023.

Lane simply showed off his great quickness in practice to the point Kalen DeBoer's coaching staff felt compelled to find ways to get him on the field. The coaches, in fact, created a third-down, speed-rush team that featured the Puyallup, Washington, product coming hard with Bralen Trice, Zion Tupuola-Fetui and Voi Tunuufi. It was four edge rushers teamed all at once.

"I think he is going to be — and he's got a chance if he continues to develop — one of the next dynamic edges at the U-Dub," former co-defensive coordinator Chuck Morrell said back then.

It first became obvious something was up with this brawny player when Lane was inserted late against USC in real time, with the Huskies still in the process of closing out a milestone 52-42 victory over the Trojans in Los Angeles.

This would be a trip down memory Lane for him, and certainly not mop-up duty whatsoever.

"I was ready for it," Lane said of his appearance against the Trojans. "It was a little surprising, though, that it actually came to happen. But when it came time to do it, I just had to be ready to go."

Jacob Lane (48) and Jayvon Parker (94) were often in the same defensive rotation during spring football.
Jacob Lane (48) and Jayvon Parker (94) were often in the same defensive rotation during spring football. / Skylar Lin Visuals

This is one in a series of articles -- going from 0 to 99 on the Husky roster -- examining what each scholarship player and leading walk-on did this past spring and what to expect from them going forward.

This spring, with a new coaching staff in place, Lane was part of an extra competitive edge-rusher group that goes at least four deep on each side. He rotated between the No. 1 and 2 defenses. He even lined up inside and came out of a three-point stance on occasion.

New UW defensive-line coach Jason Kaufusi said it was important for him to use spring practice largely to get acquainted with all of these capable edge candidates, as well teach them the position nuances that Jedd Fisch's staff prefers.

Of course, the more you see of Lane, the more you want to use him.

Edge rusher Jacob Lane (48) pressures Utah quarterback Bryson Barnes (16) in their 2023 game at Husky Stadium.
Edge rusher Jacob Lane (48) pressures Utah quarterback Bryson Barnes (16) in their 2023 game at Husky Stadium. / Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

JACOB LANE FILE

What he's done: As a freshman, Lane made appearances in games long decided against Michigan State and California before DeBoer's staff played him against USC and in all proceeded to use him in each of the final seven games, each with a lot on the line when he was in. He finished the season with 4 tackles.

Starter or not: Lane appears fully capable of becoming a game-opening player on the edge. It's just a matter of how the fall competition shakes out. Zach Durfee and Arizona transfer Isaiah Ward will be difficult to dislodge, but if anyone can do it Lane is the guy.

For the latest UW football and basketball news, go to si.com/college/washington


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Dan Raley

DAN RALEY

Dan Raley has worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, as well as for MSN.com and Boeing, the latter as a global aerospace writer. His sportswriting career spans four decades and he's covered University of Washington football and basketball during much of that time. In a working capacity, he's been to the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, the MLB playoffs, the Masters, the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and countless Final Fours and bowl games.