The two-time ACC defensive back of the week led the ACC in passes defensed with 15. It won’t be much of a surprise if more game-changing plays are in store.
Step Durham: Starting
Durham fought injuries last season, but the cornerback had a solid first season as a starter, finishing second on the team in pass breakups with six.
Corey Griffin: Starting
Griffin had one of the best seasons of any player on the team, a strong tackler who excels in run support.
A.J. Gray: Starting
In his first season as a starter, Gray didn’t make as many impact plays as expected, but he is a star on the rise.
Jaytlin Askew: Depth
Askew, a freshman who enrolled early, turned down scholarship offers from Auburn, Clemson and Florida State to play cornerback for the Jackets.
Gentry Bonds: Depth
An early enrollee, the freshman Bonds will get his feet wet in the spring, giving him a big leg up on playing time at backup cornerback next season.
Christian Campbell: Depth
He has the athletic ability, but needs practice time at safety after switching from quarterback last spring. Unfortunately, he’ll miss spring practice after having surgery, Johnson said.
Jarrett Cole: Depth
Cole redshirted last season and would do well to gain from spring practice with a talented group of defensive backs coming in this summer.
Jalen Johnson: Depth
He will miss the spring after having surgery, according to Johnson. The safety has been a contributor on special teams.
Shaun Kagawa: Depth
He has been an impact player on special teams since his freshman season and will try to fight for more time on defense.
Ajani Kerr: Depth
The transfers of cornerbacks of Meiko Dotson and Dorian Walker have given Kerr a chance to get on the field more quickly, and he has the ability to do it.
Lamont Simmons: Depth
After having sat out the previous two seasons (redshirt at USC and transfer), Simmons made a strong impression as a backup last season at cornerback. He’ll push Lance Austin and Step Durham hard.
Incoming freshmen: Tariq Carpenter, Kaleb Oliver, Avery Showell, Tre Swilling, Dameon Williams.