WSU Spring Focus: CB position battle analysis

GIVEN HOW little game experience there is in the Cougar cornerback ranks, it's been one of the hot spots to watch this spring. How have they looked so far and how have the position battles played out on the islands? With spring ball approaching the midway point, we take an up-close look...

I spoke with Michael Shawn-Dugar, CF.C's man on the ground who has been keeping a close watch during all seven of WSU's spring practice sessions.

Running with the 1s this spring have primarily been Daquawn Brown at the field corner spot and Charleston White at the boundary corner position. Marcellus Pippins has also got some looks. Tracy Clark got some time with 1s yesterday.

Dugar says that from his chair, White and Brown have played the best to date. Brown has been the most consistent overall, while White has been the most consistent of the other three.

That doesn't mean the group has collectively played great, consistent ball, Dugar cautions.

AS CAN BE expected with first- and second-year players when it comes to Brown, White and Pippins, there has been a lot of peaks and valleys. Pippins one day had a huge pass break-up. The next play he got burned for a long TD pass. White will look rock-solid on Kristoff Williams one play, the next play Williams beats him handily for a score. (White has been going up against Kristoff a lot this spring, notes Dugar.)

With Brown, he's made the least amount of mistakes of any corner. But it would be inaccurate to say he's playing shut down corner out there, says Dugar. It should be noted Brown has had some impressive moments, including a pair of interceptions, one of those that came on a quick out was a thing of beauty – a play, Dugar says, that took a lot of guts.

With Clark, he simply hasn't yet done enough to, from Dugar's point of view, show he's far and away a better option than White or Pippins.

White has made fewer mistakes than Pippins, with the latter being coached up in drills or skelly to more quickly open up his hips, as one example.

IN THEIR defense, the Cougar receivers have looked very good this spring for the most part. But, cautions Dugar, that doesn't explain away everything when it comes to the inconsistent play at corner.

The good news is that it's spring, and the Cougs won't cross the halfway point of the spring session until Saturday. The reps and experience the group is getting invaluable when it comes to the learning curve of playing corner in the Pac-12, with eight more spring practices to come.

So, the bottom line.. Has much been decided in terms of position battles at corner thus far this spring? Nope. Brown and White would be Dugar's starters, with Pippins next off the bench followed by Clark. But is there also lots of room for improvement for all four of the corners? Indeed there is, says Dugar.

The corners as well as the rest of the Cougs will get more chances tomorrow to try and shine. Similar to Thursday's format, Washington State is expected go "live" for 40 plays during the team period (11-vs.-11) on Saturday. CF.C will have a full report following Day 8 out on the Palouse.

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