SATURDAY, AUGUST 27, 2011
JU Football Season Outlook: The Secondary
Fourth in a series Unit coach: Danny Verpaele
Overview: One of the most improved units on the team, the secondary is loaded with talent and is gaining experience. The four starters, CBs Colby Walden, who might be the fastest player on the team, and Andre Addison and safeties Leonard Smith and Lacy McDougald don’t want to get too comfortable because there are plenty of players behind them. Swingman Chandler McKinnon, only a sophomore, can play either position. Sophomore Ed Foley and senior Darren Johnson, one of the most physical players the Dolphins have, and Andy Sainvil are itching for time at safety. Senior Maurice Manning and newcomers Antonio McRae and Jean Bertrand are expected to see plenty of backup action at corner and coaches like the idea that every day is competition day for both groups and nobody in the secondary is afraid to hit.
Key Returners: CB Colby Walden, CB Andre Addison, CB Maurice Manning, S Leonard Smith, S Lacy McDougald, CB-S Chandler McKinnon, S Darren Johnson
Key Losses: None.
Promising Newcomers: CBs Antonio McRae, Jean Bertrand, Chandler McKinnon and S Curt Norris.
Unit Strengths: A lot of depth. Coaches believe they are four-deep at safety and can go five or six deep at corner.
Unit Weaknesses: Improved unit, but has some growing to do. Verpaele says the secondary is “not where it needs to be, but we’re getting there.’’
Coach’s Quote: “They know they need to get better, but they are working at it. They come to work every day and that’s the thing I like most about them.’’ – Danny Verpaele
-- Jim Nasella