Position Analysis: Safety
The Players: 29 Chris Humes (6-1, 210 RJr), 21 Cody Brown (6-2, 205 Jr.), 20 Allen “Bo” Sentimore (6-0, 181, Jr.), 12 Charles Grant (5-11, 187 So.), 8 Chauncey Mason (5-9, 190 Fr.), 25 Steven Montgomery (5-11, 212 Gr.), 35 Mark Johnson (6-2, 182 RSo.), 27 Money Hunter (6-1, 210 Jr.).
The Breakdown: Free Safety Allen Sentimore, Money Hunter, Chauncey Mason. Strong safety, Cody Brown or Chris Humes.
The Numbers: With Sterling Young graduating, the only remaining members of the safety group with starting experience are Chris Humes, who missed all but a game and a half of time last year with injury, and Money Hunter, who will split time at safety and the nickel position. Humes is back and while his limited time only saw him garner 8 tackles, his sophomore season, he dragged down 55, with 3.5 for a loss as well as fumble forced and a fumble recovered. Last season Mark Johnson grab 3 tackles, mostly on special teams, while Charles Grant picked up 7 tackles.
The Analysis: Humes looks to have fully recovered from his injury and is possibly even more athletic than before, Hunter played through last year with a shoulder injury, and after off-season surgery, seems to be at full strength, but the coaches took to the trail and brought in two midyear JUCO safeties in Cody Brown and Allen “Bo” Sentimore.
Brown came from Independence Community College where he played mostly cornerback and Sentimore came from East Mississippi Community College where he grabbed 16 interceptions in two years. Also added to the mix was freshman Chauncey Mason. Originally brought in for offense, the coaches tried to find a way to get him on the field quickly. He is the brother of former Auburn Tiger and current St. Louis Ram Tre Mason. Another newcomer to the defensive backfield is Steven Montgomery, a graduate transfer from Minnesota.
With so many new faces in the back of the defense, Humes will be counted on to provide leadership and set the tone. The talent looks to be in place, but having no game experience together could lead to miscommunication issues and giving up big plays, as witnessed at points last year. With the way the rotation seems to be going, the trio of Humes, Sentimore, and Brown may see the bulk of the snaps, and they need to gel quickly with two big tests right out of the gate.
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