Inspired by current NFL's, Gaines leads Huskies defense

SEATTLE -- The 6-2, 320 pound defensive lineman knows what it takes to succeed on the field.

"Wow hand placement and foot work," Huskies defensive line coach Ikaika Malloe said. "He's very detailed in where he puts his hands. When he studies film he looks to see what he can defeat, where does his technique apply, and then he actually executes practice like he would in a game."

Over the course of his career at Washington, Greg Gaines has played alongside some of the best. Danny Shelton, the First-Team All-American who was selected 12th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. Elijah Qualls, who went in the 6th round of the 2017 draft after finishing his final collegiate season with 38 tackles, five for loss. And Vita Vea. The 2017 "PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year" who was a first round draft pick last spring.

"It's definitely helped a lot," Huskies defensive lineman Greg Gaines said. "Like playing next to those guys in there makes my job easier when they're in there doing their job. Learning from Danny my freshman year really got me ahead of everyone else and yeah it was a great experience overall for sure."

"Well it teaches you a standard," Ikaika Malloe said. "You know there's a standard the defensive line will uphold before him with Danny then came vita. You know those guys have held up to that standard and now it's Greg's job to maintain that and teach that to younger players."

Through two games, Gaines already has seven tackles, three solo as well as two stops in the win over North Dakota. And he has high expectations for this defense, this team and himself on his final year on Montlake.

"I mean I feel more confident," Gaines said. "You know I've been doing this, this is my fourth year starting. So it's, I've played against the best. I can like hang with anybody, but it definitely helps to have a really high level of confidence. Just having fun too. It's my senior year. I just want to go all out and have a great time out there and leave everything i have on the field."

"There's no ceiling to it in my opinion," Ikaika Malloe said. "I think he's building every type of tools that he can. He can pass rush in terms of running, you see him running up and down the field now day and getting extra conditioning. So anything that he thinks he can make himself better at he's doing that off the field. You know people don't see it until they see it on Saturdays. I will say this about Greg, the things he's got and I think he's earned, he's done a great job off the field and on the field people get to see it."