Think back to the days when we had the Lawyer Milloy's, Tim Peoples, Chris O'Connor's, and Shane Pahokoa's enforcing things back at the safety position. It has been a long time since we had a dominant safety isn't it?
I guess it all ended with Curtis Williams, and Hakim Akbar in 2000. They were the last great tandem we had back there. We haven't had a big time player at the position in almost eight years!
In 2007 the knee injury suffered by Jason Wells changed the Husky defense last season even though Darrin Harris played extremely well in his stead. For some reason after he went down the Husky defense was never quite the same. Luckily for Washington he returns for his senior season next year and while he won't be in the same class as a Milloy, or Peoples his presence will help this young unit.
Mesphin Forrester, and Harris also return, but Nate Williams needs to beat these two guys out this Spring if we are going to see any improvement in this unit. with a year of experience, and year to get stronger Williams could move into the starting role in 2008.
Victor Aiyewa is another kid that could make a move for a lot of time this Spring. The kid is going to be quite the player before he is through at Washington, all he lacks is experience. Quinton Richardson will also bring a physical presence to the position, but he could also find himself being moved to LB in the future. The Huskies also filled a lot of holes here on the recruiting trail with Johri Fogerson, Vince Taylor, and Greg Walker.
Mesphin Forrester, and Darin Harris have played a lot of football at UW during their careers but if this unit is going to improve the young players need to push them to the wayside. Forrester is a cornerback in a safeties body. He has decent hands, but he misses plays, is out of position alot, and bites on play action. Harris is a little small, but he provides a lot of leadership and depth. Both of these guys would make fine nickle, and dime back, but someone else has to emerge to take over the spot next to Wells in 2008
Wells is a player the coaches just love, but he has a long road to return back to his pre injury form. He is going to miss Spring practice and might still be gimpy when Fall camp opens. when healthy Wells is a decent safety, and one of the leaders of the Husky defense.
Calling Nate Williams, Quinton Richardson, and Victor Aiyewa!
I think the most interesting battle will happen this Spring with Wells in rehab. I would love to see two of the second year players emerge on top as an indication that the older guys are really getting pushed. Williams has the most experience, but all these kids are ready to have an upgraded level of participation next season.
Calling Johri Fogerson, Vince Taylor, and Greg Walker!
You expect these kids to red shirt, but I liked Fogerson a lot every time I saw him play, the kid has a bit of nasty when he hits. I think Johri can be a player. Taylor is a superb athlete with good speed, and size. Vince could play on either side of the ball. Walker is known for laying the lumber during his HS career near San Diego. I haven't seen any film of him yet. Together I think they make up a nice group of recruits.
I know what Forrester, and Harris can do, and it isn't enough to win consistently based on what I saw last year. I want to see what the young guys can do because I believe the next great safety tandem will emerge from these two classes.