"We don't worry about that," said Cornerbacks Coach Chris Thurmond. "They're always going to say (he's too short) if somebody catches the ball over the top of you, whether you're six foot or 5-7. The whole deal is to make plays."
It's not that size isn't important, because to a degree it obviously is.
But only to a degree.
Thurmond explained, "Obviously you'd like everybody to be 6-4, weigh 215 pounds and run a 4.40 forty. But everybody is not out there like that.
"Anthony has just got a great motor. He's got great heart and plays with great technique. He's just got to keep playing and keep getting better. That's what he's doing."
What Madison may lack in inches, he more than makes up for in effort and technique. "If you watch Anthony, what he does is he has such fast feet and great technique, that's how he can play," Thurmond said.
"We just got back from visiting the University of Texas this spring," Thurmond continued. "Their defensive backs aren't the great big guys. Pass defense is pressure and technique and position. That's what we're working on. But we don't ever say you can't play because you're not a certain height."
On the other hand, many fans look at Charlie Peprah's roster numbers and come to the opposite conclusion. Peprah is a legitimate 5-11, 195 pounds, and most just assume he's destined for safety.
Thurmond talked about his redshirt freshmen. "Charlie Peprah's done some good things as have Anthony Madison and Roman Harper. All the young kids on defense---there are a bunch of guys that look like they're going to help us. That's what spring practice is for to let them get the reps and see what they can do. Let them play. In all the base situations, so that's helping them a lot.
But is Peprah too muscular for cover corner? Or is there any such thing?
"Offenses are doing different things now," Thurmond said. "They're going to bigger receivers. Obviously Charlie is the prototype guy that you're looking for. He can get his hands on people and he can ‘stone' them at the line of scrimmage.
"With that height, weight and speed, you'd like for him to be able to match up."