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Linebacker Ale Kaho, highest-ranked recruit to sign with Chris Petersen, asks for release from Washington

UPDATED: Thu., Aug. 2, 2018, 8:39 p.m.

Washington  head football coach Chris Petersen speaks at a news conference Thursday  in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
Washington head football coach Chris Petersen speaks at a news conference Thursday in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

SEATTLE – One of the most touted recruits to sign with the Huskies has asked for his release from his National Letter of Intent.

Ale Kaho, a five-star linebacker who signed with Washington last December, has made a formal request through the NCAA to be released from his NLI, a family member told The Seattle Times on Thursday afternoon.

Kaho was in Seattle for six weeks this summer but was unable to participate in the Huskies’ formal offseason training program because he still had one high school class to complete before he could enroll at UW, according to a source close to the team.

Two members of Kaho’s family, an aunt and an uncle, died suddenly in July. Kaho flew home to Reno, Nevada, for their memorial services and has remained there. Family members were worried about Kaho’s health after he apparently lost some 20 pounds while in Seattle.

Kaho’s parents are also going through a divorce, putting a strain on the entire family, one of Kaho’s family members said in an interview.

“He had so much stuff going on right now,” said the family member, who asked for anonymity. “Football is not even our concern right now. He does not look right. He does not act right. He’s not the same bubbly kid we know.”

Kaho, listed at 6-foot-1 and 218 pounds, was ranked by 247Sports as the No. 21 overall recruit in the nation for the Class of 2018, the No. 1 inside linebacker in the nation and the No. 3 overall recruit in the West. He signed an NLI with the Huskies during the early signing period last December, the only five-star recruit to do so during Petersen’s 13 years as a head coach.

“We are 100 percent Dawgs here. We are the biggest UW fans ever,” the family member said. “But right now UW is out the window because we are just trying to get him back to eating and working out. … To see him like this, we have put football on the back burner right now.”

A spokesman at UW had no comment on the development.

Two to watch

Asked about the outside linebacker position, Petersen’s eyes lit up when he mentioned Joe Tryon’s name.

Tryon, a redshirt freshman out of Renton’s Hazen High, had a good showing in his first spring with the team in April, and he could be in the mix for playing time at Buck linebacker this fall.

“We have some young guy we really like: Myles Rice and Ariel Ngata; Benning (Potoa’e) and (Ryan) Bowman and Joe Tryon, who redshirted and has done some good things. That’s a decent crew right there that we’ll mix and match and see.”

What, in particular, about Tryon does he like?

“He’s a good-looking guy when he walks by and he works hard in the weight room, so that gives me a smile on my face,” Petersen said. “He did a great job redshirting and he did a nice job in spring ball and he’s a big, good-looking guy that can move. He’s athletic, so we’re excited about his future and what he could possibly bring to the table. But he’s a young guy who hasn’t played a snap of college football, but we’re interested to see what he can do.”

Another redshirt freshman to watch in camp is tight end Cade Otton, the former Tumwater High standout.

“Cade Otton, we think, he had a really good offseason and a really good redshirt year and we’re anxious to get him in the mix,” Petersen said.

Fuller to wear No. 2

Junior wide receiver Aaron Fuller, with the blessing of the family of Husky legend Chuck Carroll, will wear jersey No. 2 this season, the first UW player to do so since 2014. That number had been retired to honor Carroll, a star for the Huskies in 1927-28 who was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1958.

Kasen Williams was the last to wear No. 2, from 2011-2014.

New additions

Among the newest additions to the UW fall roster is junior wide receiver Fatu Sua-Godinet, listed at 6-foot and 186 pounds. A native of Honululu, Sua-Godinet spent the past two seasons at Delaware State.

Other new additions (previously unannounced): DB Angelo Sarchi (Skyview HS, Vancouver, Wash.); OL Will Pliska (Lake Washington HS, Kirkland); OL Noah Hellyer (Skyview HS, Vancouver, Wash.); OL Gage Harty (University HS, Spokane); RB Malik Braxton (Meadowdale HS, Lynnwood).


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