The Washington Huskies are coming off their most successful season in the last decade and will be looking to build off that in the first year under new head coach Chris Petersen. While the Dawgs have some questions to sort through on offense after losing a lot of production from the 2013 squad. That puts the pressure on the defense which should continue to improve thanks in part to the talents of cornerback Marcus Peters who will emerge as the top cover-man in the Pac-12 in 2014.
As a sophomore last season, Peters was one of the most productive corners in the conference. He finished the year tied for first in passes defended (14) and had the second most interceptions (5) of any returning player to the Pac-12 this season. In his two years in the UW defense, he’s racked up eight interceptions and 25 total pass breakups, quickly becoming a lock-down defender in the Washington secondary.
Now a junior, Peters will be a leader on a defense that is stocked with talent at every level. His lock-down ability in the secondary will only be helped by the pass-rushing of defensive end Hao’oli Kikaha, the leading returning sack-man from 2013 in the Pac-12, and playmaking of linebacker Shaq Thompson, among others. Having talent on every level like the Huskies do will allow Peters to focus on what he does best and shut down opposing receivers.
There’s no doubt that Washington is a team in the middle of a major transition in 2014 with a new head coach and a lot of turnover on offense. But thanks to the return of key defensive talent and the continued growth of Peters as a premier pass defender, UW has a chance to take another step forward this fall.