Lake Likes The Secondary Rotation

Jimmy Lake has an embarrassment of riches with a deep secondary at his disposal and he recently opened up about getting to play some of the younger players while also focusing on Idaho which lies ahead...

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On the top 10 ranking “Well, I mean I just heard about it. At this point it doesn’t really mean anything for us right now. All we’re worried about is our next opponent, who is the University of Idaho. They’re coming off a really big win against Montana State. They have some talented players on offense and that’s all we’re really concerning ourselves with right now.”

On the defensive backs against Rutgers “It felt really good. We got a lot of guys in there, got some valuable reps. The starters played really well. The backups played in, who could be starters. I really was impressed with those guys coming in, acting like starters. Brandon Beaver had a nice interception, wish he would have finished there a couple more yards for a touchdown. It was just really nice seeing those guys being on their keys and playing extremely hard.”

On Budda Baker being replaced by Brandon Beaver for a couple series in the first half “Just a rotational thing. We’re trying to – he (Budda Baker) had a package on offense. We’re really just trying to be smart with our guys. I have the luxury of having a lot of depth with the DBs, so if I’m able to save some legs here and there for a few plays, I’m definitely going to do that.”

Were you nervous to see Budda Baker carry the ball? “Not at all. Not at all. I’m more mad. We’re ripping him. He has negative one rushing right now for 2016. Hopefully he gets that into positive.”

On Taylor Rapp “We’ve been impressed with Taylor (Rapp) since spring football, just how fast he learned the defense in spring coming in as a true freshman. It just continued into training camp. He’s played a number of different positions in the secondary for us in practice. We think he’s going to be an excellent football player for us.”

Is Taylor Rapp going to get bigger? “Yeah, I think he’s going to get bigger. He’s already at the weight you almost want a safety to be at. He’s 205-206, fast, athletic, extremely tough, extremely bright. I’m very excited about his future and looking forward to watch him play some more this Saturday.”

Will you be able to continue rotating guys this much? “We’ll see. We’ll see how this thing goes. Idaho is going to be a tough outfit. They’re going to come in here and try to win the football game. We have to make sure all of our guys are ready to go. I’m sure we’re going to have a few rotations, but even as we get into league play, we’re going to do the same thing. It’s a long season. We know injuries are going to happen. All we’re doing right now is developing game rep. These guys are getting some game reps now, not just practice. So, when catastrophe does happen, because it’s going to happen at some point – someone is going to get injured – the backup will be ready to go and he’ll be a starter for us.”

Does the WSU loss open eyes and show teams can’t take games for granted? “No question. We played Eastern Washington a couple years ago; we know how that went down too. Any team on any given Saturday, as we know, can win. So we’re going to have to make sure we give these guys our focus and make sure we’re extremely ready to play Saturday.”

Anything you saw on film that you need to clean up? “Sure. There’s always a number of things to clean up. And we focus on Sunday, clean up a few things, and even continuing into today. There are always screws to tighten and buttons to button up and we’ll continue to do that all the way through the rest of the season.”

On Austin Joyner as a returner “Austin (Joyner) is pretty fast too. That’s going to be a fun deal to watch. Obviously John Ross is fast but we know Austin is fast as well and he’s used to having the ball in his hands from his high school days. It’s nice to have speed. We have two very speedy guys back there. And including Brandon Wellington; I think he had nine kickoff returns in high school his senior year, so he’s also a threat back there.”

Is Austin Joyner 100 percent? “He’s 100 percent, very normal. He’s still not even a year from his ACL surgery. For him to be out there playing full speed, that’s (the knee brace) more just a safety precaution. It probably feels more stable with that on there. And probably next year I’m sure it will be off. Right now, it’s just on there for precaution.”

Does the brace impact his speed or agility? “No. None whatsoever. Kevin King wore one last year, so not at all.”

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