Washington State appears to be in a better position heading into fall camp than it has been in a while. The Cougars are coming of a bowl season, have a senior starting quarterback, are deep in a few areas and have a solid freshman class coming in. That doesn't mean everything is sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, however. There are still plenty of reasons for concern.
The offensive line will break in three new starters, all three of which will have very limited, if any, college playing experience. The Cougars will be relying on a new kicker and have major questions at punter. The secondary will have at least two new starters and could start four players with a combined three years of experience.
If I had to narrow my concerns to one, it would be the secondary. I think there is enough talent on the depth chart at offensive line that some combination will work out. The specialists are a concern, but I don't see that being as big of an issue as the secondary. The Cougars have struggled to develop cornerback depth in recent seasons and it could really come back and bite them this year. Daquawn Brown is a solid piece at one cornerback spot. He's only a true sophomore and while he had some issues at times last year, he also showed plenty of promise. The issue is the other three spots.
Tracy Clark, Charleston White and Marcellus Pippins were next three cornerbacks on the spring depth chart. Clark is a senior, but has limited playing experience. White is a redshirt freshman while Pippins is a true freshman who enrolled in January. There are a few other talented true freshman coming in, but no matter who starts your No. 2 corner is going to begin the season with very little, if any, experience. As far as nickel and dime packages? Welcome to college football young man, trial by fire.
At safety Taylor Taliulu is current at the top of the free safety depth chart. He's the most experienced player in the secondary, but had his share of up-and-downs during his first two seasons. He played his way out of playing time at points during the last two years. Isaac Dotson and Darius Lemora are both promising at strong safety, but again very limited or no experience. The group has the potential to develop into a very solid unit, but for now, it seems like teams would do WSU a favor by running the ball.
The secondary is my biggest concern heading into fall camp, what is yours?