April 10, 2007

Inside the defense: depth chart battles

The fourth week of spring drills begins today at Skelly Stadium, and battles for positions on the depth chart continue, as coaches evaluate the talent. While nothing will be set in stone until fall camp, it is apparent who has risen to the top at each spot on the field and who has a good shot at being in the starting line-up when the season begins.

The following is a look at the defense.

CORNERBACK

Returning starter Roy Roberts, a 5-foot-11 and 205-pound junior, has looked strong at field corner. He started every game last season, recording 43 tackles, six pass breakups and one interception. At boundary corner, 5-foot-9 and 155-pound redshirt freshman Charles Davis has been a "bright spot", according to TU head coach Todd Graham. Davis has all the makings of a great cornerback.

The second team corners at this point are redshirt freshman Kenny Sims and senior Terrance Thomas. Sims began the spring working out with the safeties, but has shown well at corner. Thomas looks to make an impact during his final year of eligibility.

Another cornerback worth mentioning is Drew Cuffee. The 5-foot-9 and 177-pound redshirt freshman has been noticed by the coaches and will have a chance to work his way into some playing time in the fall.

FREE SAFETY

The battle for the free safety position has appeared to be a one-man race all spring. 6-foot-2 and 188-pound junior Randy Duncan has consistently lined up with the first team, and for good reason. He is much like the talented Bobby Blackshire, who exhausted his eligibility last year. Duncan is big, physical and works hard on every play.

Duncan played in all 12 games during his freshman season in 2004, starting two. He sat out the 2005 season and was limited to part-time duty in just nine games last year due to injury.

Working behind Duncan has been 5-foot-10 and 186-pound sophomore Josh Burris. He has loads of potential and has show flashes of great things to come.

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