Washington used to be known for its great linebackers, but when was the last time we truly had an exceptional one? To be honest with you it has almost been a decade since Washington produced what we would call a great prototypical linebacker.
Who was the last great Husky linebacker?
I have to go with Jeremiah Pharms. I know he won't win any awards for his off the field behavior, but he was the last real animal we have had back there. I am pretty sure that if he hadn't have gotten in trouble he would still be playing in the NFL.
MLB Donald Butler has the potential to be a great linebacker, and the reason it hasn't become obvious yet is that he played at about 65% last year after a late summer knee surgery. In all honesty he should have probably redshirted last season because Trenton Tuiasosopo did a splendid job filling in for him all season.
This season Donald is now back to 100%. The coaches are counting on him to have a huge year. He is going to need to have one because the defensive line in front of him is going to be extremely green this season. What distinguishes Butler when he is healthy is his size, 6'1, 242, speed, and maturity. Donald can really get to the ball and he is fast enough to cover in passing situations which wasn't exactly Tuiasosopo's greatest asset.
Donald is one of the leaders of this defensive squad. The kid is another workout warrior, and he also earned honorable mention on the Pac Ten All Academic team last season. Obviously this is the type of kid that Coach Ty Willingham likes to work with.
When Butler is teamed up with So Mason Foster, and possibly JR EJ Savannah if he returns from academic exile the Huskies will have one of the better groups of linebackers on the West Coast.
In 2008 you are going to be really surprised about the way Donald Butler plays football. He is going to open a lot of eyes and compete for some post season honors in a league that is loaded with quality linebackers.