Ngata Turns Impatient: UW LB Leaves in Search of Playing Time

Dan Raley

Ariel Ngata, a Washington linebacker without a clear path to steady playing time, will leave the football program and enter his name in the transfer portal, he disclosed on social media on Friday. 

He's the first player to transfer out following the Huskies coaching change from Chris Petersen to Jimmy Lake. 

The 6-foot-3, 213-pound junior from Reno, Nevada, was given every opportunity to get on the field in 2019, shifting between outside linebacker and the inside slots, but he couldn't make a breakthrough.

He was unable to dislodge Joe Tryon and Ryan Bowman as starters on the outside and both return next season as seasoned and effective players.

On the inside, redshirt freshman Edefuan Ulofoshio claimed one of the starting jobs late in the season and recently earned a scholarship. The other job remains open, with the physical Jackson Sirmon a leading candidate.

Ngata wasn't willing to come back to a team now led by the defensive-minded Lake, who moves up from defensive coordinator to head coach with the departure of Petersen. 

In the accompanying video, Lake discussed the late-season advances made by Ulofoshio and Sirmon. Ngata wasn't in the picture. 

A mobile but undersized player, Ngata appeared in every Huskies game this past season and 12 of 14 in 2018 after redshirting his first year. He collected 11 tackles each season. 

He has two seasons of eligibility remaining. 

Ngata's departure announcement on Twitter: