Thursday, August 22, 2013

The starting secondary in nine days

Blutarsky put it best when he said it's awfully ironic that our healthiest starter in the secondary is the one guy who won't be allowed to play against Clemson. Hope that painful irony has a shelf life of just nine more days.

But it isn't as bleak as what it seems. At least from what I'm hearing. So here's my predicted starters back there. Let's hope for a healthy week of preparation.

Strong safety - Tray Matthews. I expect we'll see him in green by Monday at the latest. That's barring any significant set back between now and then. Which is why he hasn't seen the practice field in some time. But despite that, coaches have seen enough of him in the spring and before he was injured to know what they have. He'll be ready, and that's a good thing. Because...

Free safety - Connor Norman. With Josh Harvey-Clemons suspended and Corey Moore still nursing a bum knee, Grantham and Lakatos can move Norman where they need him. He's the defensive equivalent of Aaron murray in that he knows the playbook and where everybody should be. We can gripe about him being a walk-on, not as big or not as fast, but we've been lucky to have him dating all the way back to Boise State as safety has been a thin line of availability at the start of the last three seasons.

Star - Damian Swann. Was really good to hear he was back in a green jersey yesterday. He'll be a good fill in here for JHC as well. I can see a scenario where perhaps a younger guy might get a look here given their progress this month, but I'd bet on Swann filling this role for the opener.

Boundary corner - Sheldon Dawson. In Grantham's system the boundary corner has more checks to make pre-snap and this was to be Swann's spot while Dawson held down the field corner side he was used to from last season. But I expect Dawson to move over to boundary for this game because of his familiarity and experience.

Field corner - Brendan Langley. And Shaq Wiggins. Both of these guys have hit the ground running and given our quarterbacks headaches all month. There's no way we don't see both of these playmakers on the field a lot, both a week from Saturday and especially as the season progresses.