Hicks vs. Iowa

COLTEN BARTHOLOMEW [email protected]

On the roster: Donte Burton (RS Soph.), Dean Engram (RS Fr.), Deron Harrell (RS Jr.), Faion Hicks (RS Jr.), Max Lofy (Fr.), Semar Melvin (RS Fr.), Alexander Smith (RS Soph.), Caesar Williams (RS Sr.)

Incoming: Al Ashford III, Ricardo Hallman

Departing: Rachad Wildgoose (NFL), possibly Williams (NFL)

Projected starters: Hicks, Melvin

There are rightfully major concerns about this group going into 2021.

After playing well for the most part against Indiana, the corners struggled against Iowa, Minnesota and Wake Forest to end the season. Hicks (above) will be back and likely be a starter for a third season, and while the rest the group has experience, their level of play hasn’t been high.

Leonhard’s aggressive pressures leave the corners on islands often and they didn’t respond well to those one-on-one challenges, with penalties in the secondary being a key issue this year.

There will be a lot of competition for reps in this group — any step up in play from the younger group would be welcome.