His unexpected presence there likely speaks to both the Cougs' lack of depth at the corner spot and to Nwachukwu's rather large upside.
A full analysis follows the depth chart:
**  MIKE GRAISE (6-3, 214, #Jr.)
93 *  Kevin Kooyman (6-5, 236, So.)
[Tr] Jesse Feagin (6-3, 255, Jr.)
92 **  A'I AHMU (6-1, 289, Jr.)
99 *  Bryan Tarkington (6-4, 320, #Sr.)
9 **  LANCE BROADUS (6-2, 219, Sr.)
[Tr] Oga Faumui (6-2, 285, Jr.)
45 *  Andy Mattingly (6-4, 229, So.)
[Tr] Wyman Alexander (6-2, 245, Jr.)
50 *  Brady Emmons (5-10, 211, #So.)
44 *  Alex Hamill (6-0, 222, #Jr.)
[dnp] Chima Nwachukwu (5-10, 192, Fr.)
10 **  Ryan Kensok (5-8, 164, #Jr.)
47 [dnp] Jason Walters (5-9, 171, So.)
[Tr] Terry Mixon (6-1, 190, Jr.)
25 [dnp] Cornorris Atkins (6-2, 189, Fr.)
26 *  Xavier Hicks (6-0, 196, #So.)
[Tr] Devin Giles (5-11, 170, So.)
28 *  Brian Williams (6-1, 167, #Sr.)
32  Reid Forrest (6-2, 175, So.)
SE 86 *  CHARLES DILLON (6-0, 190, Sr.)
15 **  Benny Ward (6-3, 186, Jr.)
3 *  Finas Rabb III (6-6, 190, Sr.)
81 [dnp] Greg Walker (6-4, 180, #Fr.)
67 [dnp] Joe Eppele (6-7, 277, #Fr.)
52 [dnp] Nick Cantlon (6-5, 274, #Jr.)
72 *  Derek Hunter (6-3, 280, Jr.)
64 [dnp] Jimmy Magee (6-3, 285, #So.)
79 [dnp] Brian Danaher (6-2, 257, #Fr.)
78 [dnp] Zach Enyeart (6-1, 254, #Fr.)
71 [dnp] Grady Maxwell (6-2, 325, #Fr.)
72 [dnp] Chris Prummer (6-1, 236, #Fr.)
54  Jacob McKinney (6-3, 278, #Jr.)
56 [dnp] Jeff Bowen (6-2, 259, #Jr.)
76 [dnp] Micah Hannam (6-4, 292, #Fr.)
75  Scott Friberg (6-4, 290, #So.)
48 *  Ben Woodard (6-5, 249, #Jr.)
80 [Tr] Devin Frischknecht (6-3, 250, Jr.)
46 *  Tony Thompson (6-2, 237, #So.)
87 [dnp] Keith Rosenberg (5-10, 194, #Fr.)
22 **  Michael Willis (6-2, 213, Jr.)
17  Gary Rogers (6-7, 234, #Jr.)
18  Cole Morgan (6-2, 198, #So.)
12 [dnp] Kevin Lopina (6-3, 229, #So.)
34 *  Chris Ivory (5-11, 213, So.)
20 *  Kevin McCall (5-11, 218, #Sr.)
30 [dnp] Marcus Richmond (6-1, 200, #Fr.)
84 *  Scott Selby (6-5, 231, #Jr.)
88 [dnp] Anthony Houston (6-3, 190, #Fr.)
27 *** Loren Langley (5-8, 151, Sr.)
COUGAR SPECIAL TEAMS
KO: 19 R. Abdollmohammadi (6-0, 228, #Sr.)
FIELD GOALS: 19 R. Abdollmohammadi (6-0, 228, #Sr.)
LONG SNAPS: 46 Tony Thompson (6-2, 237, #So.)
59 Peter Hill (6-1, 233, #Jr.)
HOLDER: 17 Gary Rogers (6-7, 234, #Jr.)
P-RETURNS: 5 Michael Bumpus (6-0, 195, Sr.)
KO-RETURN: 6 Charles Dillon (6-0, 190, Sr.)
4 Brandon Gibson (6-1, 204, Jr.)
Offense - TBA
Defense - TBA
[ ] = Number of 2006 starts.
* = Varsity letters earned
# = Has redshirted
| Chima Nwachukwu, plus the d-ends, offensive line, linebackers and more|
Nwachukwu will be starting his WSU career early, enrolling for summer school in June and taking part in voluntary summer workouts, further enhancing his chances to earn turns this year.|
The 5-10, 192-pound Nwachukwu out of Allen, Texas, has been oft-mentioned by Doba as among those in the class most capable of earning early playing time. It's no wonder -- his coaches at powerhouse Allen High told CF.C last year that the lad's work against the state's top receiving talent, including a pair of 4-star recruits who signed with Texas, was nothing less than superb.
The cornerback position is one of the few positions conducive to a true freshman, albeit a special one, coming in and earning playing time and/or even a starting position. Nwachukwu might be one of those special players. From a long term perspective, his prospects look similarly bright -- Jason David did not start a game as true frosh and he certainly did okay. Marcus Trufant did start for the Cougs in seven games in 1999 and in that year, similar to how '07 looks, the Cougs were thin at corner.
MORE NOTABLE NOTES:
Terry Mixon won't arrive at WSU until the fall and until he does, it wouldn't make sense to anoint him as a starter, but he certainly has the potential. He is listed as a the backup to fifth-year senior Christian Bass at strong safety with Cornorris Atkins the No. 3.
Devin Giles is listed as the No. 2 corner on the left side behind B.T. Walker, while tight end Devin Frischknecht is the No. 3 tight end behind starter Jed Collins and Ben Woodard.
A few players might be listed further down the depth chart than expected, usually due to injury and having had to sit out portions of the spring. Corner Brian Williams, for example, is listed third on the depth chart at corner after missing the final two scrimmages.
Still, if Williams, who showed promise in the first part of the '06 season comes out in fall camp and blows up, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him rocketing up the chart before the opener at Wisconsin. He was the first corner off the bench most of last year.
For other players, their injury situation might be reflected on the depth chart differently. The availability of Fevaea'i Ahmu (foot) and Aaron Johnson (back) for next season has yet to be determined and may not be resolved until sometime during the fall camp session. Both are listed as co-starters at right tackle.
Other players, in addition to the incoming freshmen, aren't listed at all -- DeMaundray Woolridge, Derrell Hutsona are not on the depth chart. Nor is DeWayne Patterson.
Patterson, a senior safety, did participate in spring ball but in the current academic year, he remains ineligible and until final grades come out, and that could also mean final grades for the summer sessions, Patterson will remain a question mark as do Hutsona and Woolridge. The latest word on the trio from Bill Doba came during spring ball, when he said the three have some work to do in the classroom before their eligibility can be determined.
Another JC player, whom Doba has said has some work to do in order to make it in, is Wyman Alexander. He is listed as second on the depth chart behind starting MLB Greg Trent.
So does that mean there's some reading between the lines to be done here? Again, probably not. More likely is that Alexander is listed at No. 2 because of his vast potential. But it doesn't necessarily mean he's any more likely -- or any less likely -- to make it in.
The bottom line is this post-spring ball depth chart is a guide -- it's a good guide -- but it's also most decidedly written in pencil. The final depth chart prior to Wisconsin will likely see movement and look decidedly different in some spots.
Still, and while keeping it in context, it's a very interesting first look at how the Cougs line up coming out of spring ball.