During the change of coach, the much-hyped Texas running back Emeka Megwa never looked long for the University of Washington football program. He was injured and a no-show for every spring workout. And now he’s gone.
Over the weekend, the former 4-star runner was removed from the Husky roster, along with second inboard runner Jordan Lolohea and junior defensive tackle Draco Bynum, signifying their starts.
Chris Fetters first reported these moves and a UW spokesperson confirmed them.
Arguably Jimmy Lake’s biggest recruit (when he credits Sam Huard to the Petersen regime), the 6-foot, 213-pound Megwa showed up in Seattle last September as a big deal but as damaged merchandise, presumably with a knee injury. .
Returning from Fort Worth, he picked the Huskies over Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas and Arizona State, and CBS Sports broadcast his decision live to a national audience. He has amassed nearly 40 overall offers, including from Notre Dame, Oklahoma, LSU, Georgia, Ohio State, Texas, Texas A&M and Florida.
After getting hurt in the preseason after moving to a new high school in Timber Creek, Megwa graduated early and moved to Montlake. It was said that she arrived early to use UW medical facilities and get back to health.
However, Lake denied encouraging Megwa to make that decision, suggesting that was all the young runner was doing.
The big back was clearly a weight room devotee, posting a picture of himself well muscled before spring football started.
Megwa played three seasons for Nolan Catholic High in Fort Worth and rushed for more than 3,000 yards and 45 touchdowns. He participated in a state championship of private schools in 2020 and was selected in the first team for all states and all districts. He ran for 1,786 yards and 27 touchdowns alone in his second year in 2019.
Lake and his UW coaching staff were particularly vague whenever asked about Megwa’s progress, with the former running back coaching Keith Bhonapha only saying the newcomer was grabbing balls during practice.
Teammates later confirmed that Megwa was unable to train, had a second surgery last spring and had returned home.
While every other injured Husky showed up for spring football as a spectator, Megwa never joined.
Husky’s new trainer Kalen DeBoer only said last spring that Megwa wouldn’t play again until next season.
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Lolohea’s time with the American football team lasted two seasons after a two-year Mormon mission in Detroit. He was one of the oldest Huskies.
He appeared in 10 of Husky’s 12 games last fall as a backup edge rusher as he came out of the corner and recorded 9 tackles.
However, Lolohea appeared noticeably bogged down in the depth rankings during DeBoer’s spring soccer field, playing with the third unit more often, and his departure was predictable. He had changed his physique, losing 16 pounds before he started, presumably to improve his speed. He was not suited to what the new staff were trying to do.
The 6-foot-1, 249-pound Lolohea arrived at UW from East High in Salt Lake City, where he amassed 23 state leader bags for the 14-0 4A state champion Leopards in 2016.
At one time, the Huskies had five players signed or committed from Utah’s largest city, including four from East High. That UW recruiting pipeline has been cooled down a bit. Only the second defensive lineman Voi Tunuufi remains.
Defensive linemen Taki Taimani and Ben Roberts, both from the east, are now in Oregon. Taimani moved out and Roberts reversed his commitment.
Former Husky linebacker MJ Tafisi, who played for Salt Lake City’s Alta High, has moved to Utah State.
Bynum, a 6-foot-4, 282-pound defensive tackle from Wilsonville, Oregon, has played in just seven games in four seasons, including the 2019 Las Vegas Bowl. He has had only one tackle in his career. Although he was a well-known strongman, winning weightlifting contests in high school, he wasn’t athletic enough to make a leap in the Husky depth rankings.
The UW missed both Bynum and Noa Ngalu, defensive linemen who have each left the program since the end of spring rehearsals.
The Huskies have brought out 16 scholarship players since Lake was replaced by DeBoer.
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