SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 24: Marvin Jones #1 of the California Golden Bears has the ball knocked away by Desmond Trufant #6 during the second quarter at Husky Stadium on September 24, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Additions: Brandon Beaver, Cleveland Wallace, Darien Washington
The test of a good cornerbacking crew is how often you hear their names called. If you're hearing about them often, then you're gonna be in pretty bad shape, because you're probably hearing about how they blew coverage. And, boy, it sure seems like we've been hearing about the UW corners an awful lot the last, oh, decade or so.
Desmond Trufant comes in as a four year starter with NFL aspirations and will be counted on to be the rock of the CB's. With receivers like Keenan Allen, Marquess Wilson, Robert Woods and Marquise Lee in the conference the young man will have his work cut out for him every week. If Truf is not on top of his game then the Huskies will be giving up a lot of big plays.
The probable starter opposite Trufant is Marcus Peters, who was last year's Brian Stapp Scout Team MVP, and to earn that honor going up against Jermaine Kearse, Devin Aguilar and Kasen Williams every day in practice speaks volumes about the ability that he already has, as well as his potential. The coaches love everything about Peters, and expect big things from him.
Behind the starters will be plenty of depth and experience. Greg Ducre, Anthony Gobern and Adam Long are all guys with a lot of good experience at this level, and while they may never be All-Conference type players, you can win games with them as your #3 and #4 guys, and starting some games if and when injuries set in. Adding to the depth is Tre Watson from Central Washington coming off of his redshirt year. He has less experience than the other three, but has excelled everywhere he has been and could be a nice surprise. There are enough guys with experience and talent that all three of the incoming frosh may redshirt, which is always what you like to see.
Trufant is one of those guys who has had his name called more than he should have the past few years -- especially for a guy being talked about as a pretty good NFL prospect -- but part of that is not due entirely to his failures. Corner is a position that, on its own, will almost always fail. You simply can't defend a Pac-12 caliber receiver for more than a few seconds on any sort of consistent basis, but because of the lack of pressure the defensive front 7 have been creating on opposing Quarterbacks, that's what UW corners have been asked to do for quite some time now. With Josh Shirley coming back, Hau'oli Jamora returning from injury, an improvement on the coaching front in Tosh Lupoi, as well as (hopefully) better designed defensive schemes, the Husky defense should (please, God) provide more pressure on opposing quarterbacks and allow the Corners to make more plays. But more importantly, it should allow them to get beat less often.
The verdict: Better
The Huskies appear to have the personnel to be pretty good at the Corner position. Not every team has 5 or 6 guys who you can say are worthy of playing time at this level, and in addition to a ton of bodies to play the position they've got a couple of guys who can be good, great or possibly (with the help of the front 7) elite.