If practice is any indication, Taz Stevenson may finally get the opportunity at Hawaii that he never got in four years with the Washington Huskies.
After sitting out all of the 2013 season at UW with a shoulder injury, Stevenson earned his bachelor’s degree in May, making him eligible to transfer to UH, where he has one year of eligibility remaining.
Stevenson has quickly risen up the depth chart at safety and is now working mostly with the first-team unit with Trayvon Henderson at the other safety spot.
Stevenson has not been allowed to talk to the media as part of a policy head coach Norm Chow put in regarding freshmen and transfers. Defensive coordinator Kevin Clune said after Monday’s practice that the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder has been a nice addition to his defense.
“I didn’t know what to expect at all when he came in so I’ve been happy with his progress and his learning of the defense,” Clune said. “He’s stepped up really quickly and we want to see him continue to build his leadership role.”
“He’s bought in to what we’re trying to get done here,” added defensive backs coach Daronte Jones. “He’s been a big asset for us.”
A 2010 graduate of Mililani High, Stevenson played in every game as a true freshman with the Huskies. While most of it was on special teams, he did start to get some reps at safety by the end of the season and looked on the verge of breaking into the starting rotation.
An injury caused him to miss part of his sophomore year and a position change from safety to linebacker back to safety seemed to derail his UW career. He played in every game his junior year but again, it came on special teams. Finally, a shoulder injury caused him to miss all of 2013 as he never played another down for the Huskies.
Now, he may finally have found his starting spot, and just in time to face his old team in the season opener on Aug. 30.