Best of the Bunch-Defensive Backs
Written by Curt Popejoy on 07/17/2012
I think there is something mystifying about defensive backs. I also think for the most part it's smoke and mirrors. When the NFL starts giving fans access to the all-22 camera angle for games this year, you are going to get a chance to see that coverages in the NFL, and along those lines college football aren't as complex as we are led to believe. Having said that, there are still some tremendous talent in college football this season and some groups that can make plays even without complicated schemes and assignments that require an exceptional football IQ. The 4 groups I have chosen for this list are comprised of exceptional athletes and groups that work well together. And with all due respect to a guy like David Amerson who's the best cornerback in the country he's not enough to put his group on this list. One note, the Georgia Bulldogs would be on this list, if not for the off field problems and potential suspensions they are facing.
4. Oklahoma-I am sure I will get called a homer for this, but if you look at this group, it's very deep and very talented. Deep and talented enough that former starting FS Tony Jefferson is being allowed to move to SLB, and the secondary won't skip a beat. Remaining in the secondary are returning starters Demontre Hurst at CB, Javon Harris at FS and Aaron Colvin at SS. Junior Gabe Lynn will plug in at the other CB, with multi-taskers Kass Everett and Quientin Hayes playing all over. That's the nice thing about this OU secondary is they have guys with starts at multiple positions which offers them flexibility. What has been a unit of weakness looks to be one of strength this season.
3. USC-There's never a doubt that the Trojans will always have tremendous athletes. This year is no different. FS TJ McDonald is the top safety in the draft, and they return 4 other players with starts last season including 2 seniors Jawanza Starling and Isiah Wiley, and 2 Juniors Nickell Robey and Torin Harris. The Trojans are going through some transition on the defensive line, and that means this group is going to be counted on to play well early and I have no doubt they will.
2. LSU-It didn't seem right not to include an SEC team among this group. We all know who the Honey Badger is, and I will be frank, as a college corner, Tyrann Mathieu is a good player. Doesn't mean he'll be a great pro, but he plays every week at a high level. But for me, the real star of this group is FS Eric Reid. Replacing first round pick Morris Claiborne at CB is Tharold Simon, who might be better than Mathieu already. Heck, he might end up better than Claiborne when it's all said and done. I'll also make a prediction that Jalen Collins and David Jenkins might push Mathieu to a nickle/dime role on defense and put his focus more on the return game and allow him to play more of a center field role. Yep, they are that deep.
1. Texas-It pains me to put the Longhorns this high, but when your starting tandem of corners, Sophomore Quandre Diggs and Junior Carrington Byndom are both first round prospects in the draft and established as game changers. You mix in Senior SS Kenny Vaccaro and you have the best 1-3 in college football. If Sophomore Sheroid Evans is as good as advertised at FS and Leroy Scott and Adrian Phillips provide the dept, this might be the most complete 1-6 in the country. The differences between the LSU Tigers and the Longhorns but in the end the University of Texas secondary are the BEST OF THE BUNCH!
Last Edited: 07/17/2012