When you lose the Jim Thorpe Award winner at cornerback, and your other corner gets picked ahead of him in the NFL Draft - you can put a big fat question mark around that position. But for a team with so much talent, MSU managed only the 7th best passing defense in the SEC last year under DC Chris Wilson and CB coach Melvin Smith. Both coaches are gone and a new defensive mentality has been prepared in Starkville. The question is, how will the young talent that has been assembled perform?
Jamerson Love is the most experienced player coming back for State. He was used in nickel packages last year and even got 2 starts. He has 1 INT and 4 passed defended in his career.
Justin Cox come in highly recommended from EMCC. He was a 4-star and showed it as he quickly took the reigns as a starter in the spring.
Taveze Calhoun has done nothing but good things on the practice field during his time at State. He looks to have a much bigger impact this year.
Cedric Jiles got playing time as a true freshman but broke his wrist after just 3 games. He did get a redshirt, however.
Will Redmond is ultra talented but won't be available until after the LSU game. So he'll be a sophomore with zero playing experience when he's finally eligible against Bowling Green.
There are three true freshman on the roster who are more than likely going to redshirt. If I had to guess I'd say Kivon Coman might be the first on the field.
When you look at the names in bold, there is a lot of talent at corner. But will they be able to grow up quick or will their inexperience hurt? This group lost 9 INT in two big time defenders with Banks and Slay. If this group can at least limit youthful mistakes you'd have to consider it a success. But you never know, they may turn in some great plays and be an asset rather than a liability...they've got the talent.