University of Washington

Washington Huskies spring football preview: Defensive backs

Defensive back Myles Bryant works out at the University of Washington Huskies football training camp at Husky Stadium back in August. He may be thrust into a starting role against UCLA on Saturday.
Defensive back Myles Bryant works out at the University of Washington Huskies football training camp at Husky Stadium back in August. He may be thrust into a starting role against UCLA on Saturday. The Seattle Times

Washington will open spring football on April 3 and the month will culminate in the 2019 Fan Fest and Spring Preview on April 27.

To get you ready, we’re taking a position-by-position look at the Huskies heading into spring camp. Next up: Defensive backs, where UW has a lot of turnover but plenty of talent.

Who’s missing?

Starting cornerbacks Byron Murphy and Jordan Miller and starting safeties JoJo McIntosh and Taylor Rapp. Murphy and Rapp were both first-team All-Pac-12 selections and AP second-team All-Americans last season. They left early to enter the NFL Draft.

Familiar faces

Myles Bryant will return at nickelback with Elijah Molden behind him. Keith Taylor will likely take over one of the cornerback openings. He played in all 14 games last season and started against Cal and Stanford.

Brandon McKinney and Isaiah Gilchrist will be competing to fill the openings left by Rapp and McIntosh. McKinney played in all 14 games last season and all 13 games as a sophomore. He made his first career start in the Rose Bowl for the injured Rapp. Isaiah Gilchrist, a junior, played in three games last year.

Keep an eye on

At cornerback, a group of redshirt freshmen: Julius Irvin, Kyler Gordon and Dom Hampton. All three earned plenty of praise from defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake last season and should be competing for a starting position.

“Speed. They’re aggressive,” Lake said of the trio last season. “They’re exactly what we want and it’s going to be fun to watch those guys continue to blossom.”

Irvin could also potentially slide to safety where sophomore Alex Cook, who moved from wide receiver to safety during the offseason, and freshman Cameron Williams will be looking to make an impression. Williams is an early enrollee and will be with the Huskies for spring practice.

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