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Next Bronco Up: Cornerbacks

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NCAA Football: Boise State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

This week we are taking a look at the cornerbacks. We lost a few, but not to graduation.

Graduated/Left

Michael Young - 6’ 211 lbs - left, 4 total tackles, 2 solo. Placed on indefinite suspension.

Reid Harrison-Ducros - 5’10 180 lbs - transferred to Duquesne, 23 total tackles, 20 solo, 1 TFL.

Current

Tyler Horton - Senior - 5’11 185 lbs, 44 total tackles, 26 solo, 2 INT, 3 TFL, 2 fumbles caused/recovered. All-MW First Team.

Avery Williams - RS Sophomore - 5’9 193lbs 231 lbs, 40 total tackles, 31 solo, 2 INT, 8 passes defended, 2 punt return TDs. All-MW Second Team.

Robert Lewis - RS Sophomore - 5’10 178 lbs, no stats.

Jalen Walker - RS Sophomore - 6’ 177 lbs, 2 total tackles, 1 solo.

Jermani Brown - RS Freshman - 5’9 168 lbs, coming off red shirt season.

Marques Evans - RS Freshman - 5’11 178 lbs, coming off red shirt season.

Incoming

Chris Mitchell - 6’ 190 lbs, 50 total tackles, 35 solo, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumbles recovered and 7 passes defended.

Tyric LeBeauf - 6’2 178 lbs, 47 total tackles, 32 solo, 1 sack, 1 TFL and 4 interceptions.

First off, it’s pretty crazy to me that RHD left. He was solid on the 2-deep, and while he had some competition, it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility to get more playing time. Especially leaving before the season was even finished — head scratcher.

I think, based on the above listing, it’s pretty obvious that Avery Williams and Tyler Horton are your starters. I don’t see anyone supplanting them. Horton had a solid season, and while his stats aren’t eye-popping, it’s because opposing QBs knew better than to throw his direction. And yet, he still had 2 INTs, 3 TFL and a couple fumbles caused. He had a solid season and I expect him to close out his time as a Bronco just as solid.

Avery, I think, surprised everyone last year. Starting his career as a walk-on, earning a scholarship, but being a starter in 2 years is crazy. No one knew much about him, but I think he made his presence known against Troy with his punt return touchdown and man-handling of would-be tacklers. I expect Horton and Williams to be a lock-down duo.

Based on Jalen’s play at the end of the season, I would expect to see him on the field quite a bit this year on the 2-deep. He didn’t get a ton of action, but he looked really good in his limited time.

Lewis might has the opportunity to get on the field this year, but I was surprised we didn’t see him in a back-up role last season. The BSU website states he did not see action. Hopefully Lewis can earn himself some playing time coming out of fall camp.

Jermani got a lot of hype coming in and ended up red shirting, which I think surprised some people. He made some noise during spring ball, so I could see him sliding into one of back-up roles.

I didn’t hear much about Evans during spring ball, but the opportunity is there with the departure of RHD. He definitely has the size to step in and play a role.

Mitchell I think has the ability to come in and play right away. There was a lot of hype surrounding him coming in, passing on offers from Notre Dame, Washington State and Iowa State to name a few. Of LeBeauf and Mitchell, I think Mitchell burns his red shirt.

LeBeauf is more than capable of playing as well, but I don’t think we would burn two red shirts at the same position. Tyric had offers from Arizona, Colorado, Washington State and Rutgers, to name a few, so he is no slouch either. The competition this fall will be awesome!

Williams and Horton are locked, but I think Walker, at this point, is the only one I think for sure plays back-up. Any one of the other players has the opportunity this fall to step in and earn the time.

That’s it for this week, tune in next week for safeties! GO BRONCOS!