WSU Football: Projecting Spring Two-Deeps in the Secondary


Everybody has their own version of projections for the Spring depth charts, this week ACU is bringing you ours for Washington State. Keeping in mind that Spring can be and normally is a very fluid situation, these are our thoughts on who will finish the Spring sessions on top of the two-deeps and why. 

Oct 19, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; Washington State Cougars safety Taylor Taliulu (30) tackles Oregon Ducks running back Byron Marshall (9) at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The secondary at WSU has been down for far too long and every Cougar misses the days when the Lamont Thompson’s, Marcus Trufant’s and Jason David’s of the Palouse roamed the back-end. The Abdullah’s, Deone and perhaps even Damante Horton come to mind as difference maker’s in the most recent past, but the Cougs just haven’t been able to get a whole group to perform at a high level for an entire season.

In my estimation, this again won’t be the year that happens, but the Cougars do gain something in the secondary that they haven’t had in a while; team speed. Of course it won’t all be evident until Fall-ball hits full stride, but I think we will see a marked difference even with what’s on campus for the Spring practices. Here are the projections:

CB 1 (Field): Daquawn Brown, Markell Sanders

CB 2 (Boundary): Charleston White, Marcellus Pippins

SS: Darius Lemora, David Bucannon

FS: Taylor Taliulu, Isaac Dotson

While I think Pippins will come in and show immediate flash and speed at corner, White was a pleasant surprise last season in practice and in-particular in the ultra-competitive Thursday Night Football sessions that Mike Leach puts on. White should be able to show enough consistency to hold Pippins off for at least the Spring semester and into the Fall.

Meanwhile I think Daquawn’s size, physicality, attitude and risky maneuvers in attacking the football actually fits as a better boundary corner, but he is the best option in the open field right now. Wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him moved and excelling in the Fall when more size can be infused to the field side (Kevin Griffin and Deion Singleton are each at least 6’1, 175 plus), but I think he finishes Spring as the No. 1 on that side due to his athleticism and experience.

Speaking of experience, I’d like to see Tracy Clark break out in a big way this Spring. If he wants to be in the discussion, he’ll need to make a move early in Spring practices as the most improved CB this season, probably to the boundary. But even with some experience on the other guys I just don’t think he packs enough impact on a play-to-play basis to be a serious contender. Markell Sanders rounds out the two-deeps at Field because of his size.

At safety, I’m excited to see what young Bucannon and Dotson can get done but all indications are that Darius Lemora is a flat out punishment-dealer who is ready for the lights of the big stage. Taylor Taliulu, though his play has been spotty, has staved off elimination in back to back seasons. Speaking of Taliulu, we should really hope that he figures it out this year as an “elder statesman” in this secondary, that would be a huge and slightly unexpected boost. I think Dotson gets plenty of reps though and could come on as a pleasant surprise if he can keep his consistency high. More than any other spot, I think the FS winner comes down to consistency over athleticism this Spring season.

In all four spots, expect to see a fluid movement in the Spring. The coaches will likely look for some combinations that play well together, as well as individual efforts.