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Thursday, July 22, 2010
Josh Shirley lands in Washington

By Blair Angulo

Josh Shirley will play his college football for the Washington Huskies, the school announced Thursday.

Shirley, a freshman linebacker from Fontana, had been dismissed from the UCLA football team and released from his letter of intent shortly after his arrest on June 23. He, along with fellow incoming freshmen Paul Richardson and Shaquille Richardson, were arrested by UCLA police on suspicion of stealing a purse at an on-campus dining hall.

The Richardsons, who are cousins, have not announced a new destination or whether they will wait until they are reinstated.

Washington coach Steve Sarkisian didn't seem too concerned about the situation.

"We are very aware of the circumstances surrounding Josh," Sarkisian said in a statement. "We have done our due diligence and truly feel that this is not indicative of his true character or the way that he was raised. We are excited about the opportunity Josh has to excel on the football field, in the classroom and in his personal life in our environment, around our people at the University of Washington."

Shirley, a highly touted defensive athlete, had been a major get for UCLA coach Rick Neueheisel.

"He's going to have a remarkable career," Neuheisel said on signing day, when Shirley shocked recruiting pundits by picking the Bruins. "He's a hybrid type of player. We've got him listed as a defensive athlete just because he's got the ability to play both as a linebacker or as an end in that hybrid deal. We've got a couple of odd packages in our defense that (coordinator) Chuck Bullough is kind of champing at the bit to get Josh involved in."