2012 football position by position: secondary
As we near the start of the football season, it’s time to take a detailed position-by-position look at the 2012 EMU football team. This is our time to refresh our memory about returning players, and learn a little about the new faces.
Last year the defensive backs were the most frustrating squad to watch. One minute they’d be completely shutting down an opponent, and the next minute receivers would be getting ridiculous separation. (See: Central Michigan, Ball State.)
Lost: Latarrius Thomas, Willie Williams, Martavius Cardwell, Nate Wilson.
Latarrius Thomas was the most athletically gifted, which is why he’s the only one on an NFL roster (though he’s right on the bubble for the 53-man roster, so he may be cut by Friday), but Willie Williams also started all 12 games, and each of the starting safeties accounted for nearly 10% of the team’s tackles. Williams also had 8 tackles for loss last year, third on the team behind Justin Cudworth and Brad Ohrman. Martavius Cardwell played sparingly last year, but had been a significant contributor in prior seasons.
Expected starters: Marlon Pollard (corner), redshirt junior; Marcell Rose (corner), senior; Kevin Johnson (safety), sophomore; Donald Coleman (safety), redshirt junior.
Donald Coleman, a graduate of Orchard Lake Saint Mary’s, transferred to EMU from North Carolina State. He graduated from high school early and enrolled in the spring of 2009, redshirted as a freshman, and graduated after just three and a half years (three years of athletic eligibility, thanks to that early enrollment), so he’s immediately eligible to play for the Eagles under the “Russell Wilson rule” (oddly enough, another NC State early graduate), which Sports Illustrated called “the best rule in college sports” — and who am I to disagree? — and will have two years of eligibility in Ypsilanti.
Marlon Pollard, who transferred from UCLA two years ago, started 11 games in 2011, while Marcell Rose started all 12 on the other corner. Kevin Johnson was listed as a backup behind Latarrius Thomas last year, and played infrequently.
Depth: Darius Scott, sophomore; Pudge Cotton, sophomore; Kris Strange, redshirt freshman; Dominique Rouse, sophomore; Corey Manns, senior; Mycal Swaim, junior; Kirkland Bryant, freshman; Jalen Williams, redshirt freshman; Oliver Kathalay, redshirt sophomore; Alex Bellfy, senior; Kenyarda Bates, redshirt junior.
Scott, Rouse, Cotton, and Manns are the top backups here.
Read what Hustle Belt has to say about all the MAC secondaries, where they rate EMU 9/13, which I think is a bit on the low side.