(Idaho will have some experience to replace with the loss of Aaron Grymes)
Welcome to the first of our series on spring football positional previews, with spring practices about a month away from getting underway.
We’ll start on defense and work our way in (this way we can end the entire series with quarterbacks).
Today — Cornerbacks.
Departing players: Aaron Grymes, Tracey Carter*, A.J. Annelus, Dion Bass*
Returning: Christian Whitehead (Sr.), Solomon Dixon (RSSo.), Jake Hennessy (RFr.), Jayshawn Jordan (So.), Rodseth Bennet (Sr.)
Coming in for spring – None
Arriving in fall - Armond Hawkins (Fr.), Desmond Banks (Fr.), Delency Parham (Jr.)
* = Not confirmed
With Tracey Carter not listed on the official roster it’s not sure what his status will be on the team in 2013, so we’ll operate as if he’s not coming back. That would mean Idaho will enter 2013 without either of its outside starters from 2012. Returning for spring ball though will be Solomon Dixon, who played well in limited time as an outside corner, and Jayshawn Jordan who played extensively in the nickel last season.
The biggest issue (no pun intended) with Idaho’s returning slate of corners is the height factor. Dixon and Jordan both register at 5-9 — Senior Christian Whitehead registers at 5-10. Dixon and Jordan might ultimately project better as inside corners.
In the fall is where things could get interesting. Junior college transfer Delency Parham and true freshmen Desmond Banks (6-3, 190) and Armond Hawkins (5-10, 175) arrive in Moscow. Hawkins was one of Idaho’s more highly touted recruits in the class of 2013, having to fend off Nevada at the last minute to get his signature. Considering his size, if he were to play right away it might be more on a nickel and dime package basis, but Idaho coach Paul Petrino said he is a “definite cover corner” which speaks to his potential to become an outside corner. It’s likely he’ll be able to push Jordan, Dixon and Whitehead for spots on the depth chart.
Parham was certainly recruited to come in and compete for a starting spot right away. He’s got decent frame at 5-11, 180 pounds and presents the athleticism to cover starting receivers.
Banks is really intriguing though. At 6-3 Petrino said he projects at either corner or safety. Idaho could certainly use his height and physicality right away at the corner spot, but depth at safety could also be an issue.
Update – Feb. 22 – 4:15 p.m.
Another name to keep an eye on is Jordan Grabski. The true freshman from Brandenton, Fla.
signed with Idaho to play receiver is listed as a defensive back but may project out at safety.
Way-Too-Early depth chart projection for Spring
1. Solomon Dixon – RSo.
2. Jayshawn Jordan – So.
3. Christian Whitehead – Sr.
4. Jake Hennessy – RFr.