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Starting from scratch


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POSTED: Monday, August 24, 2009

New? Certainly. Improved? Well, it'll take some time to make that determination.

The secondary was hit particularly hard by graduation last season. Losing nine scholarship players depleted the top two levels of the depth chart.

Cornerback Jeramy Bryant saw action in three games before an injury led to a medical hardship, and is the only defensive back on the roster with a Division I interception.

Despite his moniker, Tank Hopkins isn't an imposing presence, but he doesn't shy away from playing a physical style. Lametrius Davis was a two-time all-conference cornerback in junior college and ranks among the fastest of the Warriors. Both transfers enrolled in the spring semester to get a head start on the adjustment process.

               

     

 

DEFENSIVE BACKS

        » Returnees: Mana Silva, Spencer Smith, Richard Torres
       

» Quick Hit: Young group must grow up quickly

       

» Key Stat: Nine scholarship players completed their eligibility last year

       

 

       

Redshirt freshman Lewis Walker has the tools to be a factor at cornerback, perhaps sooner rather than later.

There is no shortage of contenders for the safety spots, though experience is lacking. Mana Silva and Spencer Smith were mainstays on special teams, while Kenny Estes' opportunities have been limited by injuries.

Aaron Brown, yet another JC transfer, combines a linebacker's physique with nimble feet to immediately take a prominent place in the competition.

Richard Torres' mastery of technique and willingness to make or take a big hit makes up for his diminutive stature. He began camp running second at free safety and could also contribute as a nickel back.

               

     

 

CHART | Click to Enlarge

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WHAT'S NEW IN THIS VERSION:

Chris Tormey, a former head coach at Nevada and assistant at Washington, was brought in to help with the safeties while Rich Miano concentrates on the cornerbacks.

Along with the transfers, the Warriors signed talented freshmen in Kahuku graduates Aulola Tonga and Kamalani Alo and Las Vegas product Mike Wadsworth.

BUGS:

Some of the kinks will be worked out only through the heat of game experience. So enduring some early-season growing pains might be inevitable.

REQUIREMENTS:

Developing the Three Cs—confidence, consistency and chemistry—is the foundation in building an effective secondary. Head coach Greg McMackin was bothered by the frequency of big plays last year and cutting down on downfield gains will be an emphasis.

               

     

 

COACH'S REVIEW

        EXPERIENCE NEEDED

        By Coach Rich Miano

        “;It's an unproven group, but with a lot of the intangibles in terms of work ethic, focus, and ability. It's just a matter of these guys early in the season getting their feet wet, feeling confident and living up to their potential.”;