WSU's Pippins talks family in chat with CF.C

PULLMAN - He picked off Washington State quarterbacks Luke Falk and Peyton Bender in the same scrimmage. On the sidelines during a drill, he paced back and forth, giving instructions to the second stringers. It seemed no matter what the activity was, second-year cornerback Marcellus Pippins turned heads this spring.

A member of the young but talented secondary, Pippins was quiet during the Crimson and Gray game last Saturday, making two solo tackles and assisting in two more. But when looking at the broader scope of spring ball now that it has concluded, Pippins still stands out.

At 5-foot-10 and 163 pounds, he is certainly not the biggest defensive back on the field, but try telling that to the receivers he hits or forces off their routes. And Pippins uses his quickness to capitalize on even the slightest errors by the quarterbacks.

That's no surprise, given who taught him the finer points of playing cornerback.

In high school, he was coached by one of the all-time great Cougars, former safety Lamont Thompson, who holds the Pac-10/12 record with 22 career interceptions. It was at El Cerrito High in Richmond, California where Pippins played receiver and cornerback. During his junior season, he caught 10 passes and intercepted seven.

At one time pledged to Utah, he flipped his commitment to WSU when the Utes switched his offer to a grayshirt option. Despite the switch, he didn’t get on the field last season until the final three games of his freshman season after Mike Leach opted to burn his redshirt.

With the final spring practice wrapped up on Tuesday, Pippins spoke with about his family, his goals for the upcoming season and more. What were your takeaways from the Crimson and Gray game?
Marcellus Pippins: Pretty much just running to the ball and getting my eyes right. Making sure to not make a bad play worse and get my man down.

CF.C: Who has impressed you most on both offense and defense this spring?
Pippins: Most impressive for offense would probably be Gabe Marks and most impressive for defense would have to be Hercules Mata’afa.

CF.C: You de-commited from Utah and came to WSU. What was that final selling point for you?
Pippins: It was the opportunity to play and there are a lot of people up here that I connected with when I came up here on my visit and it was just a great place to be.

CF.C: What is your first memory involving sports?
Pippins: My first memory was when I came back from an LA trip for my first football practice and I practiced in jeans and timberline boots.

CF.C: What was it like working with Lamont Thompson in high school?
Pippins: It was great. We worked hard and ran drills every day. He never had me quit and he just told me to keep my head up every time I made a bad play.

CF.C: What’s the best piece of advice that he gave you?
Pippins: Have amnesia on the field, because when you’re playing cornerback you can’t live on the last play. You have to have amnesia and go on to the next play.

CF.C: Who inspires you?
Pippins: My dad and my little brother, because everybody knows my dad where I’m from and I just wanted to grow up and be like him and beat everything that he did. My little brother inspires me because he is the funny guy and I try to be funny too. I want him to be like me and I want to be like him.

CF.C: What’s your favorite memory with either your brother or your dad?
Pippins: With my brother, it’s when we are just at home making goofy videos. Oh, and when we went to Las Vegas one time and we were making commercials, just random commercials on our way to Vegas.

CF.C: What are some of your goals for this upcoming season?
Pippins: Be a leader on the defense. Make sure I’m doing my job so that everyone behind me can follow and for the players coming in, get them squared away with our defense and get ready to go to another bowl game.

CF.C: Outside of football, what are some things that you like to do for fun?
Pippins: I like to play basketball, I like to run around and I like to be goofy with my friends and sleep.

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