Leach says Caldwell likely to start

OVER THE LAST several practices, former running back turned defensive back Teondray Caldwell had been seeing action running with the 1s at strong safety. With Rutgers two days away, questions starting rising as to whether or not the junior had done enough to earn himself the starting nod against the Scarlet Knight. On Tuesday night, head man Mike Leach provided some clarity on the situation.

On Aug. 17 Caldwell was moved from running back to strong safety due to the emergence of redshirt freshman running backs Gerard Wicks and Jamal Morrow. And now, less than two weeks later, it appears as though the junior safety has played his way into the starting lineup.

During the 2014 debut of the US Bank Cougar Coaches show at Zeppos on Tuesday night, Leach was asked if Teondray Caldwell could start on Thursday against Rutgers.

“You know, it looks likely he will,” Leach told host Bud Nameck. “He’s looked good back there for us and done a good job. He plays with some aggression and he’s excited to be out there.”

DURING AN EARLIER CONFERENCE CALL on Tuesday morning, Leach said that Caldwell, Darius Lemora and Isaac Dotson are all in contention to see the field on Thursday, but that only two would likely play.

If the 5-10, 200-pound Caldwell does indeed start against the Scarlet Knights, that would mean Lemora and Dotson would be in line for back-up duties. As for Caldwell, Leach said Tuesday evening that he’s impressed since making the switch over to work with defensive coordinator Mike Breske.

“He does a good job in space,” Leach said. “He’s kind of a low center of gravity type guy and he’s an explosive guy. I think it will be exciting to watch.”

THE WSU SECONDARY as a whole is quite inexperienced, but the defensive line can really help that unit out, Leach said, tabbing the group the most improved from last season.

“We’ve got about 10 guys who can play for us,” Leach said of the group. “I think last year we had five. Rutgers up front is pretty big, so it will be interesting to see how they do."

“Our front seven can do a lot of things to help out our secondary,” Leach added. “Right now we don’t have a guy of Deone Bucannon’s stature, but we’re explosive. Our cornerbacks are quicker, we just have less experience. Our defensive line has to mitigate how much time their quarterback has to throw."

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