DJ Williams was a big hire for Willingham's staff, and he has been able to attract talent during his limited tenure. He also had to battle a definite lack of experience, depth, and talent as the Huskies have struggled to rebuild their defensive backfield since Willingham arrived on the scene.
Simply put until the 2007, and 2008 recruiting classes Washington has done a poor job filling the holes that needed to be filled. Willingham was severely burned by going the JC route in search of a quicker fix.
Roy Lewis was one of the best corners in the league last year, his graduation this year will leave a large void in this unit for 2008. Byron Davenport struggled with leg injuries last season but he should be very solid for his final year in 2008. Flanking him on the other side will be either Matt Mosley, Vonzell McDowell, Marquise Persley, or Jordan Murchison.
McDowell started against Syracuse and did a decent job early, but as the season went on his inexperience, confidence, and lack of strength began to show. He faded out of the lineup around mid season. Murchison has the talent, but missed half the season because of off field problems. With those problems resolved he could be a key piece next season. Marquise Persley redshirted last season but impressed the coaches enough on the scout team to be in the mix for a starting job this Spring. Mosley had plenty of playing time last year and had mixed results. He is still learning the position, but I liked the way he came up to the ball last year, it showed agression.
Washington brings in lots of help to supplement the existing cast this Fall. Adam Long, Justin Glenn, and Anthony Gobern will all get long looks in Fall camp to see if they can break into the rotation. Adam Long is a kid they are taking a long look at, no pun intended.
The consensus is looking up for this unit because for the first time in almost a decade simply because they have enough numbers, and depth to work with. Experience is another matter, but talent and speed have returned to the position. Byron Davenport is the key to this unit. He has the most experience, and will be counted on to make an impact. I thought he played well when he was healthy. I think Matt Mosley goes into Spring as the other starter, but as I said earlier, the other spot is up for grabs. what the heck, both spots are probably up for grabs coming off last years performance.
Coach Donatell is known for his attacking defenses, so if we are all lucky the ten yard cushion is a thing of the past. To be succesful in the Pac Ten you have to play a good man defense. You need corners that can come up and make hit while still being able to stick to their coverage assignments like a glove.