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37 days to Cougar Football: Pick your all-time WSU defense

We talked about the offense on Monday, now it's time to put together a historical defense.

Or maybe just pick this whole group
Or maybe just pick this whole group
WSU Athletic Communications

A day after discussing the best starting offensive 11 in you could build, we turn the attention to the defensive side of the ball. Although there wasn't a complete consensus on offense, there was some agreement. The Cougars haven't been great on defense in more than a decade, but historically it might be tough to narrow it down to 11.

Like yesterday, feel free to take a little bit of leeway and shuffle the positions around as needed and go as many teams deep as you'd like. The basic structure is fairly simple with DE, DE, DT, DT, CB, CB, S, S, LB, LB, LB the base of our All-WSU starting defense. I've spent entirely way too much time thinking about this. This is my best attempt.

DE - DeWayne Patterson

DE - D.Dd Acholonu

DT - Rien Long

DT - Leon Bender

LB - Mark Fields

LB - Will Derting

LB - Lee Blakeney

CB - Marcus Trufant

CB - Ken Greene

S - Lamont Thompson

S - Eric Coleman

There were a few hard cuts to make. I initially penciled in Mkristo Bruce at defensive end, but couldn't justify him instead of Acholonu or Patterson. Chad Eaton and Keith Millard just missed the cut at defensive tackle. Fields and Derting were my first two choices at linebacker. For my third, I opted for Lee Blakeney. He is the WSU career leader in tackles and by a wide margin. Plus, this story from hollyweirdcoug didn't hurt his case. I think James Darling would have been my No. 4, although I considered putting Travis Long at linebacker just to sneak him onto the list. The secondary is a real challenge. Trufant is an obvious selection. Thompson was also a must-pick for me. I bounced between Coleman, Deone Bucannon, Eric Frampton and the Abdullah brothers at the other safety spot before settling on Coleman. There are a number of solid No. 2 candidates at corner. I opted for Ken Greene after strongly considering James Hasty, Jason David and a few others.

Who makes up your All-WSU defense?