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March 30, 2013

Spring Preview: Defensive Backs

MORE: Spring Camp HQ

The defensive backfield has a lot of young potential, but Jordan Poyer's graduation leaves a huge void to fill for the remaining cornerbacks. Steven Nelson, a junior college transfer who was one of the top available JuCo corners this cycle may make an immediate impact, but he will battle veteran Sean Martin who saw valuable game time last season.

Safety looks especially strong as the Beavers return Tyrequek Zimmerman and Ryan Murphy. Zimmerman will sit out of spring drills to recover from a toe injury, but several youngsters, including Kendall Hill, Cyril Noland-Lewis and Zack Robinson have drawn a great deal of praise from coaches this winter.

RETURNING CONTRIBUTORS & KEY LOSSES

Poyer is a huge loss for the defense and special teams. His productivity for the squad will be difficult for one person to replicate. Safety Anthony Watkins has also graduated.

Ryan Murphy (safety) and Rashaad Reynolds (cornerback) return as starters for the Beavers and Zimmerman saw plenty of time playing in reserve for Watkins.

QUESTION HEADING INTO CAMP

The biggest question is who will grab the starting cornerback spot opposite Reynolds. The answer may not be clear immediately as newcomer Steven Nelson was brought in for immediate impact, but Martin won't give up without a fight. The competition will make them both better.

PRESSURE IS ON

The pressure is on some of the veterans like Jovan Stevenson, Malcolm Marable and Mishawn Cummings. Both Stevenson and Marable may find that they fill Poyer's void on special teams as both can be electric in the return game. Cummings has yet to make noise and remains fifth on the depth chart heading into spring.

PRE-CAMP DEPTH CHART
LEFT CORNERBACK
1. Sean Martin RS SR Career stats: 55 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 FF, 2 FR, 2 INT
2. Steven Nelson JR Transfer
3. Malcolm Marable RS JR Career stats: 5 tackles
4. Naji Patrick RS SO Career stats: none
5. Mishawn Cummings RS JR Career stats: none
STRONG SAFETY
1. Tyrequek Zimmerman JR Career stats: 71 tackles, 1 FF
2. Cyril Noland-Lewis RS FR Redshirted
3. Zack Robinson RS FR Redshirted
4. Micah Audiss RS SO Career stats: none
FREE SAFETY
1. Ryan Murphy RS JR Career stats: 96 tackles, 3 TFL, 3 INT
2. Kendall Hill RS FR Redshirted
3. Steven Christian RS SR Career stats: 5 tackles, 1 FF
4. AJ Hedgecock RS FR Redshirted
RIGHT CORNERBACK
1. Rashaad Reynolds RS SR Career stats: 157 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 FF, 1 FR, 4 INT
2. Jovan Stevenson RS SR Career stats: 3 tackles,
3. Larry Scott RS SO Career stats: none
4. Tyler Hasty RS FR Redshirted





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