Starters emerge in the secondary

PULLMAN -- Back in the spring Bill Doba said lack of depth in the defensive backfield was one of his prime concerns for the 2005 Cougars. After that concern went unanswered through the spring session, the team was still facing secondary questions coming into fall camp. But secondary coach Ken Greene says a clear starting four is apparent as of today, with the coaching staff also moving players around to try and solidify the depth behind those projected starters.

Greene said Alex Teems and Omowale Dada are atop the depth chart at cornerback, while Eric Frampton and Husain Abdullah are the starters at safety.

Meanwhile, one of the new recruiting class's most anticipated players, JC transfer DeWayne Patterson (6-2, 195), is still waiting for paperwork to officially become a member of the Cougars, but Greene said he is excited to see the big safety get on the field.

"He's a big, physical kid who can rock your world," Greene said. "I plan on him being very much involved in this two-deep very soon."

Michael Willis is already listed opposite Christian Bass, as the second team safeties. Both Willis and Patterson could make a run this August at one of the starting jobs, but as of right now, those belong to Frampton and Abdullah.

TWO CANDIDATES for secondary duty -- ostensibly because of depth concerns -- are Lorenzo Bursey and Courtney Williams, although for Williams it might be a year from now.

Williams, a whirlwind out of Los Angeles, was all set to join the WSU linebacking corps but upon his arrival, found out the coaches would try him as a safety, Greene said. Williams spent his senior track season, not surprisingly, sleeking down and is listed on the WSU roster at 6-foot-1, 193-pounds.

"Courtney Williams is a real pleasant surprise to me," Greene said. "He can run. Smooth. He's probably a year down the road but you don't know."

Williams earned recognition on signing day as reporters got a chance to read through his bio and noted the 400 meter time of 47.7, the fastest in the nation to that point in the track season. He will get his first opportunities in crimson to use that speed in the Cougar secondary.

MULTI-POSITION DYNAMO Lorenzo Bursey, who arrived early in Pullman and enrolled in summer classes along with Arkelon Hall, ended up working with the defensive backs during the summer's voluntary sessions because of a lack of bodies at corner. Doba's most-talked-about player on signing day, the plan was for Bursey to be a scoring threat for the Cougars working out of the slot, in the backfield and on special teams.

Talk of giving him a look at cornerback, which he played in high school, came up in the spring, but his value was thought to perhaps be greater on offense. So far, through two days of fall camp, he has worked as a defender, punt returner and kick off return man.

"He's got a lot of athletic ability -- he's got quickness, he's got speed," Greene said. "He's got the things you need to play (cornerback). We're going to continue to develop him and see how far we can bring him along."

Bursey hasn't played cornerback regularly since he started there while a junior in high school.

"I think I'd prefer to play offense," Bursey said. "I like to touch the ball (and) score."

Greene said the coaching staff will only keep Bursey on defense if they can use him this year.

"If we're not going to use him, there's no reason to keep a talented athlete on the bench," he said.

For more on Day 2,including info on a pair of wide receivers making noise, a pair of linemen going at it, the injury report and more on Lance Broadus, use this link.

Fall Camp: Day Two


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