Roster Snapshot: Cornerback

Impressive play by two freshmen and two junior college transfers could greatly improve this position.

The addition of two junior college mid-term enrollees significantly upgrades this position

Player Position Ht/Wt Year
Demarcus Fields Cornerback 6-0/185 RS Freshman
D.J. Polite-Bray Cornerback 6-0/195 Senior
R.J. Hester Cornerback 5-9/185 Senior
Desmon Smith Cornerback 6-2/190 Sophomore
Douglas Coleman Cornerback 6-1/175 Sophomore
Jaylon Lane Cornerback 6-1/177 Junior
Octavious Morgan Cornerback 6-0/205 Junior

Before December 14th, this was an incredibly thin position group and you understood why David Gibbs was/is going after so many freshmen cornerbacks.

ROSTER RECAP: The Graduates | The Juniors | Defensive Line | Linebackers | Safety

Douglas Coleman was a revelation, an absolute stud as a true freshman. He’s a fantastic athlete that uses his length and ability to cover just about any receiver. Really pretty amazing that he wasn’t recruited by hardly any Power Five teams. I could honestly see him starting for the next three years because I think he has that type of talent. Coleman ended up with 6 passes broken-up, which was second on the team. Desmon Smith isn’t quite the athlete that Coleman is, but he got a ton of time as a cornerback this year and although I think he’s limited from a speed standpoint the fact that he was competing out there as a true freshman says a little something. I could see him playing safety at some point, but he’s obviously needed at cornerback since there are only seven cornerbacks total. And yes, I realize there’s a handful of potential cornerbacks that will sign in February, but I still think Smith stays at cornerback through the spring and if the freshmen are up to par, then he can move to safety.

I honestly thought that Polite-Bray would end up being what Coleman is at cornerback, rangy and tough and didn’t let the opposing receiver get too far in front of him, but that hasn’t necessarily transpired.

Demarcus Fields was injured all year and I think he’s just as good of an athlete as Coleman and if I had to pick one guy that redshirted on defense that might really surprise next year, it would be Fields. I’m wrong about most everything else, but I loved his film coming out of high school and thought he’d be a natural.

The best news of the year was the commitments of Lane and Morgan. For me, they both look like they could come in and play immediately and they may need to do so. Considering that your options are Coleman and Smith with Polite-Bray and Fields maybe seeing some time, there just aren’t a ton of options.

There are four defensive backs coming from the high school ranks, although there are questions about whether or not Adam Beck is wavering with possibly Mississippi State. Still, Addison, Frye and Davis all fit the Douglas Coleman-Desmon Smith-Demarcus Fields type, which is over 6′ and can run. This is one of the things that I absolutely love about Spavital and Gibbs in how they recruit and the type of player they go after. I like having bigger defensive backs.


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