Taking a Shot at a Three-Deep: The Secondary

It’s time to start thinking depth charts.

Spring practice has sprung and it’s time to start considering a depth chart. This is totally unofficial and since I didn’t see a second of spring, may be completely wrong. I did listen to every press conference and have tried to use a bit of logic in figuring this out.

Cornerback Safety Safety Cornerback
DaMarcus Fields Marquis Waters Eric Monroe Adrian Frye
6-0/200 | SR 6-1/200 | SR 5-11/205 | SR 6-0/190 | SR
Rayshad Williams Malik Dunlap Reggie Pearson Dadrion Taylor-Demerson
6-2/190 | JR 6-3/215 | JR 5-10/180 | SO 5-11/190 | JR
Jonathan Davis Cam White Nate Floyd Kobee Minor
6-1/170 | RS FR 6-1/200 | JR 6-0/175 | RS FR 5-11/180 | RS FR

A few thoughts and/or explanations:

  • I think that this will be pretty fluid even after the first game.
  • I think that the near-guaranteed starters are Waters and Fields. Derek Jones and other coaches talked about them more than anyone else this spring. I feel pretty good about that.
  • Depending on how Frye plays, I think his spot is subject to being taken by Williams, but I think the staff likes Taylor-Demerson too and he’s been a part of this for a good while.
  • If Reggie Pearson is as good as he was at Wisconsin, then I’d bet $5 that he beats out Monroe. Monroe was uneven at best last year.
  • Since Dunlap was injured all spring, recovering from off-season surgery, I’m guessing that he’ll be in the mix at safety. I think that he played cornerback at NC State, but goodness that would be a huge cornerback and wonder if he’ll transition to a linebacker spot at some point. I also wonder if Dunlap could eventually be an “Isaiah Simmons” type of player. Simmons was an all-world defender for Clemson a couple of years ago and played linebacker, safety, etc., and was drafted 8th overall by the Cardinals in the 2020 NFL Draft. First of all, that’s a totally unfair comparison, but a guy that can cover tight ends, can play the run, has some range, can rush the passer, or basically be a very versatile defender.
  • Minor, Floyd, and Davis are all youngsters and learning. Jones said that they missed a ton of time last year because they were roommates and if one had to quarantine they all had to quarantine. They’ll be in the mix and hope they get some time.
  • There are other scholarship players not even listed, as this is a pretty deep group. With 5 secondary players essentially playing all of the time, you sort of need all sorts of players.
  • This secondary is old. Older players and an entire group of seniors could start? That’s a real probability.

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