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Friday, May 21, 2010
A-list position battles: Washington

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Ninth in a series taking a look at top position competitions this fall.

Washington: Strongside outside linebacker

Why the competition?  With the departure of middle linebacker Donald Butler to the San Diego Chargers, the Huskies have two returning starters at linebacker: Mason Foster and Cort Dennison. Dennison, however, will move from the outside to Butler's former spot, leaving a vacancy on the strong side.

Candidates:  Junior Alvin Logan (6-2, 219), senior Matt Houston (6-0, 220) and senior Victor Aiyewa (6-1, 208)

The skinny: With 19 starters back, there aren't many holes in the Huskies' lineup. The big questions at defensive end concern having enough bodies to go two-deep. At outside linebacker, however, there's uncertainty. Logan started 11 games at receiver in 2008 (though he only caught six passes) and was a reserve safety last year. He mostly ran with the first team during spring practices. Houston started one game in 2008 and has seven career tackles. Aiyewa, who started two games at safety in 2009, was in a red no-contact jersey this spring because of a shoulder injury. True freshman Victor Burnett, an early enrollee, was impressive. Though he's projected as a backup in the middle, he might be the Huskies' third-best linebacker. Or, perhaps another freshman will enter the mix in the fall.