Saturday, April 28, 2012

Huskies DT Ta'amu drafted in 4th by Steelers; OT Kelemete drafted in 5th by Cardinals

By Kshell

This year just like the last two years the Washington Huskies had two guys drafted in this years NFL draft. Steve Sarkisian saw two of his former players who were both recruited by Tyrone Willingham get drafted in Alameda Ta'amu in the fourth round and Senio Kelemete in the fifth round. For the Huskies to produce two lineman in the draft has shown just how far this program has come along. For Kelemete he was the first Husky offensive lineman taken since Joe Toledo in the 2006 draft. While Ta'amu is the first defensive tackle taken since Terry Johnson in the 2004 draft. Those stats right there shows you why the Huskies program has struggled in the last couple of years.

The Pittsburgh Steelers traded up to draft Ta'amu in the 4th round. Ta'mu who is 6'2" weighs 348 lbs is a perfect fit for the Steelers who run a 3-4 defense. In his career with the Huskies Ta'amu was a big time recruit for Tyrone Willingham out of Rainier Beach High School. Ta'amu started as a true freshman on the defensive line late as he played in all 12 games including the final five games as a starter. As a sophomore Ta'amu started 11 games. Then as a junior he started all 13 games was named Pac-10 honorable mention as well. He was also named Huskies defensive lineman of the year. He was a big force in the Holiday Bowl win over Nebraska and was due for a breakout year his senior year. Instead he stayed the same as a senior once again starting all 13 games and once again was only named honorable mention all Pac-12. He was also a team captain and at times the heart and soul of the defense. With the Steelers who run a 3-4 unlike the Huskies he'll be a big addition for them.

The other Huskies lineman who was drafted was Senio Kelemete another local product. He was picked by the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth round. As a true freshman who had his redshirt burned by Willingham Kelemete played eight games at defensive tackle making four starts. When Sarkisian took over the program he moved Kelemete to offensive line. Kelemete started as a true sophomore on the offensive line where started 11 of 12 games earning honorable mention. Then in 2010 Sarkisian moved him again to the blindside where Kelemete was the left tackle where he started 26 consecutive games and was a two year captain of the team. As a senior Kelemete was rock solid earning second-team all Pac-12. Kelemete is an athletic lineman who is 6'4" 307 lbs. The Cardinals can play him at tackle or guard and Kelemete will surely get the job done for the Seahawks divisional rivals.

This draft was a disappointment for the Huskies program as they expected to get four guys drafted instead they have just two. You know the program has arrived when the Huskies are getting multiple guys drafted not just two per year. Considering the Huskies did go back to back years in the 2008 and 2009 drafts with nobody selected at least they are getting some drafted. For Ta'amu and Kelemete they were both good Husky lineman and it was a shame there wasn't more players like these two on the lines for this program. I know both will do well in the NFL as they are going to teams where they fit their styles. For the Huskies program anytime you get guys drafted it can still be seen as a positive. I wish nothing but the best for Kelemete and Ta'amu!

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