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WSU Defensive Backs: Past, Present and Future

The Cougars were once known for their talented defensive backs. Now? There is nowhere to go but up.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Cougar fans, and happy Sunday. With the news breaking last night of Tyler Bruggman's apparent transfer, which Mark covered, I thought back to Signing Day 2013. Remember when word began to leak that Bruggman was possibly having second thoughts about signing with WSU, due to a last-ditch effort by Arizona State to sign him? The panic level among most of us reached DEFCON 1.

When Bruggman ended up signing, the sense of relief was palpable. We had our quarterback of the future, and all was well. Now he's gone without ever having taken a snap. Recruiting! As we all know, Bruggman's departure makes the depth chart at quarterback perilously thin. Hopefully the Cougs will be able to jump on the non-conference opponents and get Luke Falk some quality reps. That brings to mind another position group.

Torrey Hunter, John Rushing, Singor Mobley, Brian Walker, Lamont Thompson, Dee Moronkola, Billy Newman, Marcus Trufant, Jason David, Erik Coleman, Virgil Williams, Karl Paymah, the Abdullah brothers, Eric Frampton, Deone Bucannon. All of those players either had good-to-great careers at WSU or, while not necessarily starring as Cougars, went on to NFL careers. That puts into perspective how far WSU's roster talent has dipped over the last five to ten years. Save for Deone Bucannon, every one of those players was gone after 2007.

Those names came to mind as I was reading through ESPN's Pac-12 Blog, in which they rank each team's position groups. The cornerbacks came in 11th place (Thanks Cal), but the safeties came in dead last. These rankings are depressing for a school that turned out so many productive defensive backs over the years. It is clear that Mike Leach and Co. are putting an emphasis on recruiting corners and safeties. WSU signed five in the 2014 class, and three of the seven verbal committments for 2015 will play defensive back.

Daquawn Brown has potential to be a lockdown corner, and Isaac Dotson has shown some good athleticism. Who knows? Maybe Patrick Porter and Deion Singleton are the next Trufant and Coleman. For now though, it looks like patience will be a virtue. The young defensive backs are sure to get a baptism by fire, especially with the likes of Mariota, Mannion, Kelly, et al. on the schedule.


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