They were roommates as freshmen in the University of Washington dorms and they remain friendly, yet intense, rivals on the field now.
Receiver Kasen Williams and cornerback Marcus Peters line up opposite each other on nearly every play in Washington practices. And after nearly every play, they jog together to the sideline or back to the line of scrimmage, offering a critique of the other’s route or coverage technique.
“We do that every play, every series,” Peters said. “We just want each other to be great. I expect great things out of Kasen, and he expects great things out of me.”
It’s a unique bond at positions where big personalities and big egos often clash. Not so for Williams and Peters.
“We’re here to help each other,” said Williams, a junior who led UW with 77 catches for 878 yards and six touchdowns in 2012. “I know for a fact that he’s going to see other receivers in the Pac-12 like me this year, and I’m going to see other long, lanky corners like him.
“So for us to be able to communicate with each other, as far as, ‘This is what you just did that I keyed on,’ and ‘This is what I did that helped me get past you,’ that’s real important for both of us. It creates a competitive nature between us and everybody plays better when there’s good competition.”
Make no mistake: There is some good-natured trash talking when either one-ups the other.
Peters, a 5-foot-11, 194-pound redshirt sophomore, said he wants to bring a physical element to the field not always associated with the position. What he does bring is a cool, not-so-quiet confidence that is often associated with top cornerbacks (see Sherman, Richard).
“I just bring a different little attitude toward the game,” said Peters, who started the final eight games of last season and finished tied for the team lead with three interceptions.
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