Army spring review: Field Cornerback

Army spring review: Field Cornerback

Army recently completed its first spring practice under new head coach Jeff Monken. ArmySports.com will now review every position, listing the starter, backup and third string player. In this edition we look at the field cornerbacks.

FIELD CORNERBACK

Starter: Josh Jenkins So.
Back up: Lamar Johnson-Harris Sr.
Third String: Isaac Winters Sr.
Josh Jenkins had a great camp and impressed the new staff. ArmySports.com mentioned last season in the R-day report that plebe Josh Jenkins had the potential to be an impact defender for the Black Knights. He didn't disappoint as he played in twelve games and started eleven. Jenkins (6-0, 191) is very quick with excellent feet. He has the ability to redirect smoothly in coverage and a burst to make plays on the ball. Josh has very good balance, body control and coordination. Jenkins has fine man coverage skills. He can really drive and break on the ball, a skill which all the other Army cornerbacks lack. He is a good tackler and surprisingly physical for his size. Jenkins is a terrific athlete, a playmaker and matched up well athletically when on the field. In 2013 Jenkins made 34 tackles, two interceptions, eight passes defensed, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. Jenkins hit the freshman wall the last month of the season as he seemed to wear down a bit. This spring he looked like he filled out his frame as his gained 15 solid pounds. Jenkins had four tackles in the Black & Gold game. He sacked A.J. Schurr and forced a fumble which he recovered for the Gold team late in the game helped secure a 20-14 victory for his team.

Senior cornerback Lamar Johnson-Harris (5-9, 175) has experienced an odd playing career at West Point. He saw most of his playing time as a plebe when he started nine games at boundary cornerback and played in eleven games. The former staff had to throw Johnson-Harris in the deep end of the pool before he was ready to play as a starting boundary cornerback in 2011. Army's defensive coordinators had to often change the coverage scheme to help him by using cover four and rolling coverages to his side. He missed tackles, took poor angles and was simply outrun on a number of occasions. As a sophomore Johnson-Harris missed spring practice with a leg injury and when he returned in the fall he played exclusively on the 2012 JV team. In 2013 he was a backup who appeared in eight games and recorded just one tackle. This spring he saw some extended playing time when Chris Carnegie was out. He posted three tackles in the spring game for the Gold team. Johnson-Harris is a short but muscular cornerback with very average feet who lacks deep recovery speed. Lamar struggles in man coverage against quality receivers. The move to field cornerback has been a better fit for him. He's a little undersized for the run support duties of the boundary cornerback. Johnson-Harris isn't the most talented cornerback but he is a feisty player who will battle and compete.

Senior Isaac Winters (5-9, 180) has played on the JV team the last three years and hasn't seen any varsity action. He is an Army brat who was born in Germany when his father was stationed there. Winters has decent straight line speed but needs to improve his coverage skills to be an FBS cornerback, in my opinion. He seems a little stiff, doesn't change of direction quickly out of his backpedal and often fails to track the ball well in the air. He is a wrap-up tackler who misses too many tackles in the open field. Winters had been bypassed by some more athletic cornerbacks last year but attrition at the position has moved him up to third string.

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