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Washington DE Josh Shirley transfers to UNLV, eligible immediately

UNLV picks up a key transfer in defensive end Josh Shirley of Washington.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

UNLV picked up a gift on Friday when Washington defensive end Josh Shirley elected to finish his final year of eligibility at UNLV. Shirley has already graduated from Washington making him eligible right away. The Rebels defensive line lost three starting tackles off of last years team, so getting Shirley to be able to step in right away will add some more depth.

Shirley's production at Washington decreased over the past few years as his sacks fell from 8.5, to 6.5 to just three over each of the past three seasons. There is a lot of potential, or at least was, with Shirley because at one point in his college career he was considered a possible first-round pick.

There is plenty of talent within Shirley and if is even close to those NFL projections then he might be able to step in right away and be one of the best defenders for UNLV. However, UNLV has seen its share of transfers from big time programs who come in and just flop, or are just average contributors at best.

"It's good to have him in camp and moving forward," Hauck told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "Our people did a good job of getting it done. Our grad school had to admit him, and we appreciate that. That's the spirit of cooperation on the campus. It's good to have him out here."

The reason for the transfer away from Washington is that Shirley was to be stuck behind Hau'oli Kikaha who recorded 13 sacks and considered one of the best defensive lineman in the country.

This is Shirley's third college, he started his career out at UCLA but left for Washington after he was arrested with two others on suspicion of stealing a purse, and he never played a down with the Bruins. That is the only legal issue that Shirely has been involved with.

Per NCAA rules, Shirley will not be able to practice until Sunday and will be able to be in full pads on Tuesday's practice. This addition to the defensive line is a huge gift for the Rebels, because the defensive coaches were going to have to shuffle around the defensive front due to the loss of so much talent from last year.