Washington Linebacker Sav’ell Smalls Highlights and the Latest Evaluation

The Husky coaches have liked what they've seen of freshman linebacker Sav'ell Smalls. Husky Maven's Mike Martin takes a look back at Smalls' football progression.
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Sav’ell Smalls is considered the best University of Washington outside linebacker in the 2020 class.  After just a few days in a helmet and pads, the freshman drew praise for his progress from his Husky coaches.

While his decision to stay home and play for Washington could boost future recruiting, we look at what's he capable of doing right now at outside linebacker.

The first thing one notices about Smalls is that he combines excellent size with supreme athleticism. 

At Kennedy Catholic, Smalls lined up at wideout, slot, OLB, ILB and as a defensive tackle — and was successful at each position. He will be used as an outside linebacker at the UW. 


Athleticism — Smalls' athleticism is off the charts. You see the same guy juke his way to the end zone on a curl route and on the next play swim over a guard for a sack.

Versatility — This goes hand in hand with athleticism, but it takes him a step further. Getting live snaps on both offense and defense helps him get a bigger picture of the game, raising his football IQ higher. He knows what's coming at him.

Effort — Yes, he’s fast, but what’s more impressive is he consistently chases down ball carriers on the other side of the formation.

Position Fit — Sav’ell sees himself as a defensive end or outside linebacker type of player with the occasional drop in coverage. You’d be hard-pressed to find a coach who would disagree. However, it's not like everyone is just going to forget about all of those clips of him playing receiver. Tight-end coaches won’t.