It took most of a decade to rebuild the cornerback position at Washington. The lack of proficient CB play stretches back into the days of Rick Neuheisel. Suddenly last season things began to come together at the position with the additions of Desmond Trufant and Adam Long to the starting lineup. Both were impressive most of the year as they grew into the position as freshman.
Surprisingly both players were lightly recruitied. The old staff brought in Long and were impressed by his overall speed. He sat out his first year but by midseason in his redshirt year he had moved into the starting lineup. His play was solid enough that he has dislaced two year starter Quinton Richardson.
Desmond Trufant has NFL first round draft choice in his bloodlines. He missed half of camp last season while making up a class but still was able to earn a starting job on talent alone. Trufant has the potential to be one of the best CB's in the programs history and we should see a big boost in production this season after a full off season of strength training.
Long looked better at times than Trufant last season. Opposing coaches noticed it too and started avoiding Long and picking on Trufant. The extra year of experience was probably a factor in that. Adam needs to hold off Quinton Richardson this spring who is trying to regain his starting job.
Backing up Long and Trufant will be Sr Vonzell McDowell and Jr Quinton Richardson. McDowell is on the smallest side but provides experienced depth and an extra hand in the secondary when needed. Richardson lost his starting job last season to Long after suffering an ankle injury which slowed him down considerably. The coaches want him to play more aggresively so this spring he needs to step it up quite a bit.
So Anthony Boyles moved over to CB from WR late last season. The coaches like his athletic ability and he showed well in practice last season. He needs to make a move this spring to get a decent shot at the rotation. He has great size so if he shows he can cover he may be the guy called upon to shut down taller receivers.
So Anthony Gobern didn't see much action last season and he needs to show he deserves a spot on the roster this spring. Jr Marquise Persley has been moved over to safety. He hasn't seen the field much so this is a very important spring for him. So Justin Glenn who was a starting safety till he broke his leg against Notre Dame is a kid that could move back to CB if needed.
Gregory Ducre shows up this fall and is expected to compete for immediate playing time. Overall Washington looks good at CB now and in the future. They still need more bodies and talent back there to fill in the depth but that should be taken care of in the next couple of classes. If the starters can stay healthy Washington may have one of the better tandems in the Pac 10 in 2010.