Roster moves: Bursey, Brumfield to transfer

JUNIOR SLOTBACK Lorenzo Bursey and freshman linebacker Lamar Brumfield will be leaving WSU at semester's end, they told Bursey, the Cougars' No. 1 kick returner, missed most of spring workouts with a foot injury after moving back to the slot following a year at cornerback. His departure in particular creates some potentially interesting movement on the Cougar depth chart.

Lorenzo Bursey and Lamar Brumfield both said the parting is amicable, each saying they wanted to be closer to home in California. Bursey is from Long Beach and Brumfield from Carson.

"I appreciate everything the coaches did for me," said Bursey, who met with Bill Doba Friday.

With Bursey's departure, the No. 2 role at WSU's slotback is not immediately defined. It could be filled by a newcomer this fall -- such as Charles Dillon, Anthony Houston or Keith Rosenberg -- or the Cougs could shuffle some of the existing flankers and split ends.

The Cougs will also need to fill Bursey's spot on special teams as the No. 1 kickoff returner and backup punt returner. Benny Ward is listed as the depth chart's No. 2 deep man on kickoffs, with explosive Derrell Hutsona one of the top candidates to join him on the goal line this fall.

BURSEY AND BRUMFIELD have not explored college options to any degree, but said that UNLV would be attractive. Bursey, who also mentioned San Diego State as a possible destination, said not being able to play this spring due to injury was a key factor in his decision to transfer.

"I just wanted to go somewhere closer to the house," said Bursey. "I love all the players, but getting more playing time elsewhere is basically it. I actually got pretty comfortable at corner but now being moved to receiver...and I didn't have a chance to prove myself this spring, so I didn't really feel like I was going to be able to play much this season."

Brumfield (6-1, 223) said his decision was based on a desire to be closer to home and for personal reasons on which he declined to elaborate.

"It's a final decision," said Brumfield. "I just had off-the-field issues where I needed to be closer to home. It's nothing against Washington State or anything like that."

WITH A REDSHIRT year available to Bursey, the 5-8, 175-pounder said he would likely sit out the 2006 season and have 2-to-play-2 at a D-I school. Brumfield redshirted last season and currently has 4-to-play-4. Were he to go to another D-I school outside the Pac-10, he would sit out this season and have 3-for-3.

Bursey came to Pullman as a slotback and return man but spent his first season at WSU at defensive back, shoring up the Cougar CB depth. He also returned kickoffs, logging 446 return yards on 19 chances with an average of 23.5 yards. He had two punt returns for six yards.

In the offseason, Bursey moved back to receiver but a foot injury kept him off the field this spring. On the pre-spring depth chart, he was listed as the No. 2 behind Michael Bumpus. Brumfield was further down the pre-spring depth chart, behind fellow classmates Jason Stripling and Cory Evans, and senior Chris Baltzer. Brumfield was also competing for time with Alex Hamill and Brian Hall.

THE TWO OPEN spots could afford WSU the opportunity to fill other position needs rather than at WR and LB. The receiver position in '06 is arguably the most stacked with quality talent on the team, and LB will be a likely focus for the prep '07 signing class.

If the Cougs decide to add a player or two, they appear likely to come from the JC ranks. Or a walk on could earn a scholarship.

If the Cougs do go shopping for immediate depth, they may choose to go towards linemen -- and perhaps on both the offensive and defensive lines. Spring ball saw a rash of injuries to big men and although all are expected to be 100 percent by the time fall camp opens in August, the Cougs may want to add and develop depth sooner rather than later.

LOSSES FROM THE class of 2005 include, along with the pending departures of Bursey and Brumfield, cornerbacks James Bradley (academic casualty) and Shelton Danzy (pending transfer). Another corner who verballed, Nehemiah Mundy, didn't meet academic qualification requirements. Two other d-linemen from the '05 class are also not in the Cougar fold -- yet. Bryan Tarkington is expected to enroll at WSU in the next few weeks as part of the 2006 class after he completes final coursework. Joseph Townsend enrolled at Foothill College in January, recently telling CF.C he plans on joining WSU in time for the 2007 season.

CF.C Executive Editor Greg Witter contributed to this report

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