Bob Condotta of the Times is reporting some bad news.
A quick note to let you know that Tyrone Willingham announced today that walk-on cornerback Cory Nicol has quit the team. This could be a severe blow to the team's cornerback depth as he was contending for a starting role.
A quick look at the depth chart shows that this really is going to hurt Washington in the long, and short term. Roy Lewis, and Vonzell McDowell will be the starters, backing them up will be RS Matt Mosley, and true frosh Marquise Persley. Byron Davenport was penciled in as a starter in the pre season, but he has missed most of camp so far. Davenport looked better over the weekend, and expect him to play if physically able against Syracuse. Jordan Murchison is still in limbo due to legal problems. Walk on Desmond Davis will also be in the mix.
Nicol was penciled in for a lot of playing time, and a scholarship this year, so the move catches everyone by surprise. Obviously there is more to this story than him just giving up, so we will bring you the news on it as soon as it becomes available.
"It's terribly unfortunate,'' Roy Lewis said. "I felt Cory was happy and that he had a home here. He definitely came in and made some plays and proved that he could play. He was definitely in a spot to contribute to the team immediately. I don't know the reasoning behind it. Everything seemed really good, his morale seemed really good. I came to practice one day (Saturday) and he just wasn't there. We don't know the details of it, we just know he's no longer with us.''
KJR's Softy is on campus today doing a Kickoff Luncheon Show so expect him to talk to the coaches and get some more information on the situation if it is available.
EJ Savannah on today's Softy Show said that he had no idea why Nicol quit, and he personally tried to contact him after the fact, and was unsuccesful. "Real weird,'' he said. "Just like 'wow.' He was going to be playing and they were probably going to put him on scholarship and everything.''
Nate Williams said he is the backup to Roy Lewis in both the nickel and dime defenses, indicating that he could play a big role in pass defense this season, and likely more so with Nicol gone.
Williams, and McDowell are going to play huge roles with the team this year, and that could open the door for Persley, and Aieywa to see action earlier than expected. Remember UW isn't devoid of talent in the defensive backfield, what they lack is experienced depth, and that depth just may get wome experience pretty quickly this year.
Don't compare this situation to the one that Willingham faced the first year when he simply ran out of bodies when Handy, and Freeman failed to qualify after starting camp. The Huskies have young players to fall back on this time. We had a great recruiting class, and they are going to show their stripes early this year.
Molly Yanity of the PI has this quote from Willingham
"Always that late a stage in the process you are surprised," Willingham said. "The first thing you want to do is make sure that the young man is all right physically and mentally that everything is OK and there are no family issues involved ... he seems to be of sound state of mind."