Two Spots In Secondary Are Locked Up
Who Wins The Other Cornerback Spot Opposite Ajayi?
Youth And Experience Brings Hope That CSU Secondary Gets Better In 2019.
Consensus goes that Colorado State’s defense can only get better. Part of that belief is based on the fact that they were so bad last season that they have nowhere to go but up. The other part of that belief is that so many young players played in 2018 that they are well-worn veterans going into 2019. The defensive backfield very much lives up to this premise.
Sophomore cornerback Rashad Ajayi lives up to the hype. He has good size for a corner (5’10”, 185lbs) and made 12 starts in 2018 as a true freshman. There is no telling how good Ajayi could be.
He led the team a year ago with six pass breakups. Now he has one season under his belt which should give defensive coordinator John Jancek the confidence to put him on an island more freeing up a safety to blitz the quarterback and help out the front seven.
Another reason to believe that the Rams D will improve from a season ago is that their #3 tacklers from a year ago, senior strong safety Jamel Hicks, returns. Hicks can do a lot and hopefully won’t be asked to do as much this year as he now has some experience on the corners.
But like all things with Colorado State, there are the unknowns. Can JUCO transfer cornerback Andre Neal beat out redshirt senior Braylin Scott for the other corner position or does Scott move to safety? Will sophomore safety Quinn Brinnon be the center fielder of the defense? Which one of the numerous freshman will step up and contribute? Bottom line is, we’re not going to know much about the other corner and safety position until the first game at Mile High Stadium against Colorado but needless to say there are plenty of options.
The defensive backfield is only as good as the pass rush. Colorado State front seven gets pressure on the quarterback and can stop the run, then the young defensive backfield will have a chance. If they can’t then some of the corners and safeties are going to be hung out to dry and things could get ugly but then again, they were pretty ugly last year so in all likelihood things will get better.