Spring Q&A with Raleigh Hokie

1: Do you expect the shifts in our secondary to be permanent?  In my mind it would be ideal if Boye Aromire and Michael Cole step up and we can move at least one of Jarrett/Bonner back to corner to help with depth.

Raleigh Hokie: Admittedly, I was one of the skeptics when I heard about the moves leading up to spring practice.  I was surprised by Antone Exum ’s move to corner.  And I was more surprised by the decision to take two returning corners (Jarrett and Bonner) and move them to rover and free safety.

Will they stick?  I think the moves are all part of the overall equation to “create flexible pieces to solve the secondary puzzle”.   The coaches have stated the primary objective is to build depth at all four secondary spots by giving these players experience at multiple positions.  So, corner and safety depth is created simply by letting the best players gain experience at both positions.  Now, Detrick Bonner and Antone Exum have experience at both boundary corner and rover.  Kyshoen Jarrett has experience at free safety and field corner.  Kyle Fuller can play either corner spot and inside in the nickel.  The result is the defense gets the best players on the field together and they can slide to other spots if there are injuries, or as game situations warrant.

But that is not the complete solution.  More depth is needed.  Donaldven Manning has shown enough this spring to see the field in the fall.  He will have to be slotted somewhere in the 2-deep at corner.  Aromire and Cole will be slotted in the 2-deep at the rover and safety spots, and both will have to be ready to play.  If Jarrett or Bonner has to move down to corner in an injury situation, then it will be Boye Aromire or Michael Cole or Theron Norman that will have to step up.  I’m not sure the coaches are ready for that scenario to play out right now, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to.  They are improving with each practice and are getting valuable experience by lining up the majority of the time against the first team offense.   Cole has been injured and his action has been limited this spring, but he was back on the field for the scrimmage on Saturday.