Even our defensive backfield looks deeper than I was giving it credit for when you look at this:
CORNERBACKWhen you look at that, you see two CBs that have meaningful playing time, plus one that beat out the others as a walk on (granting that might be a bug as much as a feature), plus one that has great potential after playing in a similar defense in junior college. The safeties are deep but green and there is no way around that.
It was a bold statement this past week from Jeremy Pruitt that he had one DB playing "winning football," and it was Damian Swann. A quiet, thoughtful kind of guy, Swann has never been a fiery, outspoken leader. But he's clearly the lead dog in this pack. The Star position has been manned nicely to this point by the combo of J.J. Green and freshman Malkom Parrish, who has impressed and made some plays already. Sheldon Dawson has gotten some looks at Star as well while moving recently to safety in position drills.
The spot opposite Swann seems to still be up in the air. JUCO signee Shattle Fenteng was impressive the first couple of days there before a minor arm/shoulder injury took him out of practice the rest of the week. Assuming Fenteng is back, the next week looks big for him. Others like Shaquille Jones and Devin Bowman have been applauded at times in this role, and you've also got highly impressive walk-on Aaron Davis now at safety who could easily return to cornerback if needed.
It has been difficult to get a read on this competition so far. There appear to be at least four or five realistic contenders in Davis, Corey Moore, Quincy Mauger, freshman Dominick Sanders and walk-on Lucas Redd (he was starting to end spring, and you shouldn't doubt that Pruitt would do it).
Richt has basically said that Davis will have a role somewhere in the secondary. So he should probably be viewed as a front-runner here, while Sanders is getting plenty of opportunities to show what he can do. Others like Tramel Terry and Reggie Wilkerson are at safety now and battling hard, though it may be a little too soon to expect too much.
Therein lies the problem. We play at least four teams, including two in our first two games, that will look to exploit our young defensive backfield, and have the players and coaching to do so.
I swear I'm not writing a puff piece to alay my fears. I'm just recognizing that there is potential here. I'm hopeful coaching is the missing piece to moving our pass defense from wretched to competent.