Washington State Football: Top 5 Impact Players in 2014

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Aug 31, 2013; Auburn, AL, USA; Washington State Cougars linebacker

Darryl Monroe

(13) tackles Auburn Tigers quarterback

Nick Marshall

(14) during the first half at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

2: Darryl Monroe

The new ‘true’ quarterback for this Cougar defense, Darryl Monroe is in need of a breakout season for this defense to help this team get where it wants and we can be sure he’ll be ready to deliver. With Deone Bucannon and the rest of the starting veteran DB’s having walked through the door of graduation along with tackle-machine Justin Sagote at WIL, D.M. becomes the most reliable asset that this defense has.

In 2013 Monroe played in all 13 games and recorded a total of 94 tackles, eight TFL’s and came up with two sacks. Those are great numbers, don’t get me wrong, but this kid needs to make an even bigger impact in 2014. I’m talking 100-plus tackles, 15 TFL, 3 sacks and two or three forced turnovers. He has to be that kind of a player for this team and he’s fully capable of those types of numbers.

He may be helped out by a bit of rotation in the middle as well, as the depth of the LB corps is good enough to really give Monroe a break from time-to-time throughout each game. The issue will be finding the courage to actually take him out of the football game, it won’t be an easy decision. If the coaching staff can manage that call and get him a few blows during games, he won’t get worn down as much as he has in the past while facing all of these ridiculously fast-paced offenses.