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Washington’s Spring Standouts – Ephesians Prysock

As college football continues to progress, it’s brought with it a new emphasis on taller and longer players at the cornerback position. Potent passing attacks have evolved through the years and become the norm across the nation. Defenses prioritize length on the outside, and Washington is keeping with the transition. Ephesians Prysock is one of those cornerbacks. He’s listed at 6’4”, and his height advantage and athleticism are significant parts of his game. 

From Arizona to Washington

Prysock was on the field for 838 snaps as a sophomore last season for the Wildcats, starting all 13 games. He registered seven pass breakups, 61 tackles, and an interception. Prysock also played in 10 games as a true freshman in 2022 with three starts. The cornerback was named an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention following his performance last season.

When Jedd Fisch took the job at Washington this offseason, he brought cornerback coach John Richardson with him. Richardson was on the Wildcats’ staff for just one season in 2023, but Prysock’s relationship with him was instrumental. He told us that his decision to transfer was an easy one – just follow Richardson to Seattle. He said there wasn’t much else that went into the decision, “These were the guys that I’d committed to, and I rock with these guys.” While Prysock didn’t commit to Richardson out of high school, he’d committed to what Richardson and Fisch were building at Arizona. That now translates to Washington. Prysock said that the coaching staff feels like a family. He added that the culture here is the same as what he experienced with them at Arizona. 

Ephesians Prysock’s Game

Besides his length, one of the first things you notice about Prysock is how well he moves for his size. At 6’-4” and 190 pounds, he has good hip mobility and quickness against wide receivers on the outside. Prysock can get himself turned and adjusted efficiently while keeping his momentum with the receiver’s route, maintaining tight coverage. Prysock’s length also allows him to extend his body to get his hands on the football over the middle. 

The cornerback made a handful of impressive plays throughout April in practice. In the Spring Game, Prysock hauled in an interception in the corner of the end zone. The pass looked to be a miscommunication between quarterback and receiver, but Prysock’s adjustment was what stood out about this play. He was in press coverage against Denzel Boston on the goal line, lined up in the slot. When the football went off-target, Prysock twisted his body, separated from the receiver, and ran down the pass, hauling it in with a toe-drag for a touchback. This kind of mobility for a 6’-4” cornerback separates his game from others. 

Patience in Press Technique

I asked Prysock about what he’d been working on during the Spring to help take his game up further. He said, “Being more patient at the line of scrimmage in my press technique.” 

One of the keys to playing press-man coverage as a cornerback is making the initial read on the wide receiver’s release. In press coverage, the receiver and the cornerback line up with only a yard or two of separation. On the snap, this initial read is critical for the cornerback. It can be the difference between getting beaten on a route or getting a pass breakup. While you want to be aggressive, you have to be patient. 

We saw Prysock line up with this technique quite a bit this Spring. He often did so against a talented wide receiver in Boston. On many occasions, the two were in physical battles on vertical routes to the sideline and the end zone. They also battled over the middle on mesh concept routes. Whether it be Prysock with a pass breakup or Boston with a reception, they won their share of battles.
Most importantly, it allowed Prysock consistent reps against one of the best on the roster. Prysock’s mindset in improving one of the critical pass defense concepts in his game will allow him to take another step forward this fall. Fisch and staff have said they believe Prysock to be a defender at the next level, and we’ve seen the cornerback taking the steps necessary to continue elevating his game.

Photo Credit: Nick Lemkau Last Word On College Football 2024

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