Cort Dennison, middle linebacker for the Washington Huskies, knows his job on the team.
"As a senior, I have an obligation to lead the group," said Dennison, who is embracing his leadership role on the UW football team.
Having played now for three years, Dennison said he knows his job is to help the defense, especially the newer players.
Dennison, a senior from Salt Lake City, Utah, said his teammates are all young and talented, so he wants to be able to help them out and teach them to not think and play fast.
From his fellow linebackers, he said he wants to have them seeing things before the play happens.
Linebackers coach Mike Cox said there is good competition for the two open spots next to Dennison.
Without Mason Foster, Cox said they simply won't be counting on Foster, rather acknowledging a different personnel with strengths in different places this season.
"We're starting to develop some bodies, starting to develop some depth," said Cox.
As for specific players to fill in those spots, Dennison isn't being too picky.
"I like whoever can get the job done," said Dennison.
In regards to the defensive line as a whole, Dennison said it's "the best defensive line since I've been here," and the line has been working hard, looks fast and had a great offseason.
It doesn't hurt to have a consistent coaching staff, either.
"I've gone through three defensive coordinators now… it's a hard transition," said Dennison, but with continuity, "you know how to act."
Dennison has an idea on how to keep the momentum up from last season as well.
The trick is to "not get complacent with everything," said Dennison, continuing that the team must hold themselves to the standard of play they created for themselves in the last few games of the previous season.
Washington opens the season Sept. 3 against Eastern Washington.
Dennison is ready to "come out and compete…if we play hard, good things are bound to happen."