Bearcats Football 2013; Projected Defensive Back Depth Chart

Jonathan Ernst

Cincinnati will enter the 2013 season opener against Purdue with a lot of talent in the back end of the defense, and just as many questions. This is a group that has two players with starting experience, and a whole bunch a guys who have played as situational reserves.

Starters

LC -- Deven Drane; LS -- Arryn Chenault; RS -- Andre Jones; RC -- Trenier Orr; NB -- Adrian Witty

This is, perhaps the most talented starting unit since the 2008 group. Drane is a legitimate NFL prospect, Chenault was revelatory in his first season as a full time starter. I wouldn't be shocked to see him make a leap similar to the one that Aaron Webster made from his junior season to his senior. Orr was very impressive in his red shirt freshman season, and I love Adrian Witty as the nickel. This is my guess on who starts the Purdue game, but there is a ton a flexibility with this group. Drane has played field and boundary corner, not to mention nickel and a few snaps at safety. Chenault can play either safety spot, Orr could slide to nickel and Witty has played safety and corner, though his best spot is probably nickel, where he can put his sternum breaking physicality to more frequent use. This is a really talented group of starters, but there is no escaping the youth, which puts a premium on down to down consistency.

Back Ups

LC -- Howard Wilder; LS -- Kevin Brown; RS -- Marcus Foster; RC -- LEVITICUS PAYNE*; NB -- Darren Doston

This is my hunch for the back ups. The worrisome thing is that only two of these guys have game experience. Kevin Brown and LVITICUS PAYNE were the only freshmen DB's to play last year, the rest of these guys have never played FBS football before. That is less of a concern for Doston and Wilder who played in the talent rich JUCO leagues in California, but there is still a big step up from that level to FBS football. Keep an eye on Braxton Lane too, he is new to safety, but he has phenomenal speed and range.

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