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Newcomers are working their way up WSU's defensive depth chart

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Improving youngsters seeing more playing time

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

There have been some changes to WSU’s defensive two-deeps this week. Most of the players earning promotions are newcomers to the program who are starting to get acclimated to the rigors of Pac-12 football. Hopefully these players can bring the playmaking ability that defensive coordinator Alex Grinch covets.

True freshman Logan Tago was very impressive against Rutgers this Saturday and is now the backup nickelback to Issac Dotson. This is a continuation of overall youth movement in the defensive secondary which has JC transfer Shalom Luani as the starting strong safety, with true freshman Hunter Dale and sophomore transfer Kirkland Parker as the backups at free and strong respectively. Darrien Molton continues to impress as a true freshman at cornerback while sophomores Marcellus Pippins and Charleston White duke it out on the other side. This is the most impressive young secondary that WSU has had in quite a while.

First-year players are starting to assert themselves in the front seven as well. Juco transfer defensive end Jeremiah Mitchell has worked his way up to the backup spot at that position. Mitchell was a four star recruit and was expected to make an impact, so it’s good to see him making some progress. Freshman Chandler Leniu and sophomore Frankie Luvu continue to lurk in the two-deeps as well. If the run defense doesn’t improve we may see more of these two youngsters.

It seems to me that it’s a good sign that these kids are moving up. It shows that more talent is coming into the program, with these young players winning out in competition, rather than out of desperation

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