As we inch closer to the season opener, I'm breaking down each position group for the Tigers. Next up is the secondary.
What a difference a year makes! At this time last year, the secondary was the biggest weakness on the team, and it was exposed at Wake Forest, but now it's a real strength as we head into the 2023 season. All 4 starters return--5 including the nickel package--and there is depth as well. Corner Nate Wiggins is the perfect example of how much this unit has improved. He could not have had a worse game than the one he had at Wake, but he had the PBU in the end zone to win the game in overtime, and by the end of the season, he was Defensive MVP of the ACC Championship Game! At the other corner spot is the reliable redshirt senior, Sheridan Jones. Seniors RJ Mickens and Jalyn Phillips are the starters at strong safety and free safety, respectively, and junior Andrew Mukuba, who had a bit of a sophomore slump, is the starter at nickel. He is backed up by true freshman Khalil Barnes, who had a great spring game, including the game-winning pick-six. The backup corners are sophomores Toriano Pride and Jeadyn Lukus, who gained some good experience last season--especially Pride. Sophomore Sherrod Covil also gained some good experience last season and will back up Mickens at strong safety. Finally, redshirt freshman Kylon Griffin will back up free safety Jalyn Phillips.
This deep and talented group should give that nasty front seven plenty of time to get to the quarterback this season!
Stay tuned, as I continue to break down each position group up until kickoff.
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