Spring Battles to Watch - Secondary

Last season the Husky defensive backs were much more aggressive with the way they played the game. Gone were the 10-yard cushions on third-and-three and in its place was a much more physical, in your face group. This spring, the Huskies will have to find a replacement for their best cover-man and they also need to find someone to play the safety spot next to Sean Parker...

Defensive Backs
S Sean Parker Sr 5-10, 190
S Will Shamburger RS Sr 6-0, 185
CB Tre Watson RS Sr 5-9, 183
CB Greg Ducre Sr 5-10, 177
CB Travell Dixon RS Jr 6-1, 190
CB Marcus Peters RS So 5-11, 194
CB Cleveland Wallace RS Fr 5-11, 165
S Brandon Beaver RS Fr 6-0, 181
S Darien Washington RS Fr 5-10, 162
S Trevor Walker Fr 5-11, 180

Experience is lacking at safety: As you can see, there isn't a lot of experience at the safety spot as just Parker is an established player. Shamburger showed some flashes last season, but for the most part, his play was inconsistent at best, so the Huskies were definitely looking for someone to at least challenge him for playing time. That led to the move of Beaver to safety during bowl prep. Washington and Walker will get plenty of reps this spring to see where they are as far as being ready for full-time work, but fans should be cautioned that neither will likely be ready to contribute much right away.

Some interesting pieces at corner: Even though the corner spot loses its best player, Desmond Trufant, to graduation, the coaches have to be pretty happy with what they have to work with. They have both experience and talent at the position.

Peters started the final eight games outside last season while Ducre has seen plenty of playing time since arriving in 2010. Watson started the first four games of the season, showing some abilities in man-to-man and making plays when he was given the chance.

The coaches brought in Dixon, who was a JC All-American that signed with Alabama before eventually transferring to Washington, late and were very excited by his play during practice and they also have Wallace who they feel can be very special as a cover-corner in time.

Dawgs need an enforcer: Parker really brings the lumber when he plays, especially in run-support, but other than him, the Huskies really haven't proven to be the physical, punishing secondary that Keith Heyward and Justin Wilcox are looking for. This year, the Huskies need to find some heavy-hitters who can also cover man-to-man when asked to do so. The best candidates for that are Dixon and Peters with players like Walker and Enewally capable of doing so down the road when they get some experience.

UW is looking for a few good (cover) men: Steve Sarkisian and Wilcox have made it clear that they way to defeat the spread-option teams is to have cover-men that can play man-to-man on the outside receivers, allowing the safeties and linebackers to play the run. If the Huskies can figure out how to lock up things outside, they stand a better chance of stopping the run and a lot of that will depend on how Peters and Ducre, along with Dixon, Watson and Wallace, improve this season.

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