It's been a very interesting off season in relation to the defensive backfield. Coach Heyward bolted north for more purple pastures, and OSU replaced him with NFL veteran Rod Perry. Corners Mishawn Cummings, Sean Martin and Malcolm Marable have been suspended for off the field incidents and safety Josh LaGrone has again left the program. This on the heels of promising freshman safety Dax Dilbeck leaving the program last season.
While the numbers looked decent at first glance (2nd in Pac-12 with 214 ypg), as we dig deeper OSU finished tied for 11th with UCLA with 28 scores given up through the air. Their 7.4 yards per completion was 6th in the conference and pass efficiency defense ranked them 9th in the Pac-12.
Returners Jordan Poyer and Rashaad Reynolds highlight a very talented, but relatively young defensive backfield.
OUTLOOK:Jordan has become one of the best shut down corners in the Pac-12 if not the nation. Named to the Pac-12 2nd team as a junior, NFL Draft Analyst Mel Kiper has ranked Jordan as his #2 senior corner in the class of 2013. Poyer's instincts separate him from others and make up for his lack of 4.3 speed. Poyer is poised for a fantastic senior season and should make life easier for the left side of the defense. Poyer led the team in interceptions (4) and break ups (12) in 2011.