Byron Murphy, Washington CB

Few units face more pressure than Washington’s collection of cornerbacks. A defending conference champ and College Football Playoff participant loses both its starting corners, both of whom earned second-round picks in the NFL draft. The Huskies don’t seem too concerned, however, and redshirt freshman Byron Murphy is a big reason why. Murphy had an active spring, leading the team in interceptions and put himself in prime position to earn a starting role opposite Jordan Miller. While that may seem like a big leap from scout team to first team, keep in mind his scout team role pitted him against speedster and No. 9 overall draft pick John Ross every day. Now he and Miller will have to replace Sidney Jones and Kevin King, who helped the Huskies rank first in the Pac-12 in interceptions. Good thing Murphy has a knack for takeaways. “One thing I say about Byron, man, is he loves the ball, he gets the ball, he makes plays on the ball,” Miller said. “I feel like he’s a ball magnet.”

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