The Washington State football season is just 3 days away and I will be breaking down each position every day. I have already covered running backs, quarterbacks, defensive line, and linebackers and today I will be doing safety.
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Washington State took their biggest blow of the year with losing strong safety Deone Bucannon to the 2014 NFL Draft. Bucannon led the team in tackles last season with 114. Strong safety is going to look really different for the Cougars this year including switching a running back to defense. At free safety the Cougars will look the same despite losing Casey Locker.
At SS the Cougars will have Darius Lemora starting with former running back Teondray Caldwell as his backup. Lemora, who is a redshirt freshman, has yet to see the field for the Cougars but the coaching staff has had a lot of confidence in him. Caldwell was in line to be the Cougar backup after having a great season at running back last year but after switching over to defense and impressing the coaches both Caldwell and the coaching staff believe his best fit is at SS.
Many people assumed that Sulaiman Hameed would take the backup spot but he is not even listed on the depth chart. It would not surprise me to see Hameed running backup along with Caldwell at some point during the season.
At free safety the Cougars will have Taylor Taliulu, who was also the starting FS for the first 10 games last season where he recorded 54 tackles. The Cougars lost Casey Locker who had been in and out of the starting spot but will replace him with Isaac Dotson. Dotson was mainly seen on special teams last season but did appear in a few games for the Cougars.
The Cougars are young at the safety position but will have the talent to excel and make a difference in the games. It would not surprise me to see a lot of changing early on in the season before they all figure out what positions they will be at for the rest of the season.
The safeties and the rest of the Cougars look to start the season off great when they take on Rutgers on Thursday at Century Link Field in Seattle, Washington.