An offseason tradition like no other, we take a look at the roster eligibility of each position. For clarification purposes, each red block is a year of eligibility available and a black block represents a redshirt year available.
|Octavious Morgan||6-0/200||Junior||Defensive Back|
|Quincy Addison||6-1/185||Freshman||Defensive Back|
|John Davis||6-1/180||Freshman||Defensive Back|
|Adrian Frye||6-1/175||Freshman||Defensive Back|
|Jah’Shawn Johnson||5-10/180||Junior||Defensive Back|
|Vaughnte Dorsey||5-11/200||Junior||Defensive Back|
|Payton Hendrix||6-2/210||Junior||Defensive Back|
|Jaylon Lane||6-2/180||Junior||Defensive Back|
|Matthew Rugal||6-2/185||Junior||Defensive Back|
|Justus Parker||6-0/185||Junior||Defensive Back|
|Kisean Allen||5-11/172||Junior||Defensive Back|
|Adaryan Jones||6-0/170||Junior||Defensive Back|
|Damarcus Fields||6-0/185||RS Freshman||Defensive Back|
|D.J. Polite Bray||6-0/195||Senior||Defensive Back|
|Christian Taylor||6-2/210||Sophomore||Defensive Back|
|Willie Sykes||6-0/180||Sophomore||Defensive Back|
|Desmon Smith||6-2/190||Sophomore||Defensive Back|
|Douglas Coleman||6-1/175||Sophomore||Defensive Back|
|Kevin Moore||6-1/195||Sophomore||Defensive Back|
|Cade Erwin||5-11/185||Sophomore||Defensive Back|
Really this position group is in pretty good shape for the next few years. It is junior heavy, largely because of the three JUCO players from the 2017 class and also as a result of some players like Hendrix, Johnson, Allen and some walk-ons.
I do expect this group to improve significantly in 2017. There is a good mix of players who played as true freshmen, a mix of JUCO players that we hope can contribute to the depth immediately. And maybe that should be the one take-away from 2017, which is that Gibbs felt that the players that were part of this mix weren’t really even good enough to get snaps in front of two true freshmen. In fact, with Kisean Allen getting a ton of snaps at safety alongside Johnson, this meant that a walk-on deserved snaps ahead of these other guys. The addition of the JUCO players with an equal number of high school players bodes well for the immediate future as well as long-term. This is how you recruit a position group.
If I had to just spit-ball a two-deep, I think I’d go with Coleman, Lane, Morgan and Fields at cornerback (in no particular order), Dorsey, Johnson, Smith and Allen at safety and Moore and Sykes at the nickel backs. I think I can live with this and be happy with it. I’d love to see guys like Taylor and Hendrix step up. There’s still time.