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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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February 11, 2008 11:44 AM

Breaking down the defensive backs

Posted by Bob Condotta

We'll continue our series today looking at the Huskies by position as they prepare for spring ball.

In this installment, we'll preview the secondary.

RETURNING STARTERS: 3 (free safety Darrin Harris/Jason Wells, each seniors; strong safety Mesphin Forrester, Sr.; cornerback Byron Davenport, Sr.).

STARTERS LOST: 1 (cornerback Roy Lewis).

KEY RESERVES LOST: None.

KEY RESERVES RETURNING: Cornerbacks Vonzell McDowell, So., Matt Mosley, So. and Jordan Murchison, Sr.; safeties Nate Williams, So., Jay Angotti, Jr., Victor Aiyewa, So.

ALSO ON THE ROSTER: Scholarship players: CB Marquis Persley, RFr., S Quinton Richardson, RFr. Walk-ons: CB Desmond Davis, Sr., SS LonZell Hill, So., DB Mick Connors, So.

POSSIBLE NEWCOMERS: None coming for the spring other than Connors, a walk-on (other walk-ons could arrive later, as well). UW signed five players listed as either cornerbacks or safeties and Husky secondary coach J.D. Williams has said at least one, cornerback Adam Long, will almost certainly play next season, on special teams, if nothing else.

A two-deep heading into spring could look like this (remember, Wells out for the spring):

CB Byron Davenport, Sr.
Matt Mosley, So.

CB Jordan Murchison, Sr.
Vonzell McDowell Jr., So.

FS Darrin Harris, Sr.
Nate Williams, So.

SS Mesphin Forrester, Sr.
Jay Angotti Sr./Victor Aiyewa, So.

COMMENT: On paper, this has a chance to be a vastly improved group with every key player back except one --- Lewis. The position won't be at full health in the spring with Wells still out while recovering from knee surgery. Assuming Wells comes back healthy, however, the Huskies could have a trio of seniors with significant starting experience at the two safety spots in the fall, with some foritification from some promising newcomers. Cornerback remains a little dicier with the loss of Lewis, who was on the field for just about every play last season and was a three-year starter. Davenport improved as last season went on and assuming he can avoid nagging injuries that plagued him at times, should be primed for a good senior season. McDowell and Mosley each got a lot of experience last season and Murchison got his feet wet a little. If Murchison were to win the other starting job UW could start four seniors in the secondary. Williams really sang the praises of Persley last season and he'll be one to watch in the spring at cornerback, as well, and it will be interesting to see where Richardson settles. The X-factor of the spring is new DC Ed Donatell, whose primary position experience throughout his career has been the secondary. He is sure to have lots of ideas about how to improve this position.

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