Former Washington player Josh Shirley now at UNLV


Senior defensive end Josh Shirley, who announced last month he was leaving Washington, has resurfaced at UNLV, where he will have immediate eligibility.

Shirley (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) went through his first practice Friday. He was a freshman All-American at Washington in 2011, when he had 8.5 sacks and looked like a star on the rise. But his production dropped in the past two seasons. He had 6.5 sacks and six forced fumbles in 2012, then had just 13 tackles and three sacks -- all against Illinois -- last season.

UNLV will be his third school. He signed with UCLA out of high school but was dismissed by then-coach Rick Neuheisel before he ever played a game in 2010. (The same incident also led to the dismissal of wide receiver Paul Richardson, who moved on to Colorado and was a second-round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks in May.)

"As practice goes on, I'm going to try to benefit and help the team out as much as I can," Shirley told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

If he is fully invested, Shirley can make an impact for UNLV, which returns both its starting ends from last season. Still, the Rebels' leading returning sack man had just two last season, so there is plenty of playing time available for Shirley, who at one time looked to be a sure draft pick. Now, that's in question.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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