Starters: Josh Jackson #14 Jr.
Back ups: Waverly Washington #21 (last year #30) Jr.
Player to Watch: James Whittington #10 So.
Josh Jackson ended the year at field corner which is the most demanding position in the flex defense. Jackson is currently the fastest cornerback on the team. He missed time this spring but has established himself as the starter. Jackson has good speed but is a little bit of a long strider and lacks the ideal hips and footwork of a top cornerback at this point of his career. He has the talent to improve. Josh plays with great confidence and is a willing hitter. He finished the year with 33 tackles, three passes defensed and an interception he returned 38 yards against SMU in the bowl game.
Junior Waverly Washington played really well this spring and benefited from the additional repetitions he received. Sophomore James Whittington moved himself in the depth chart mix. The prep school has a number of cornerbacks who should impact the depth chart this year.
Starters: Antuan Aaron #3 Sr.
Back ups: Richard King #2 Sr.
Player to Watch: Casey Hughes #6 So.
Antuan Aaron missed the beginning of spring practice but returned to play well. Aaron had a nice sophomore season but last year he missed the opener with a groin pull. It seemed to cost him half a step that he couldn't afford to lose. Aaron then hurt his hamstring and lost his starting spot and confidence. Late this spring he seemed to be back in top form.
Richard King was held out most of spring with a nagging injury. King struggled with bigger receivers and at tracking the ball in the air at times last season. He does possess surprising speed and decent cover skills. King has a nose for the ball and picked off four passes last season.
Casey Hughes really impressed this spring at cornerback. Hughes (6-1, 185) had initially been recruited as a defensive back but played wide receiver at the prep school and for the JV team last year.
Buried on the depth chart at receiver, Hughes asked to be switched to defense. He impressed the staff this spring. Coach Smeland told me he might look at Casey at the rover position this summer.