One strength of the 2006 Sacramento State football team should be its defensive backfield, as five players who started at least three games last season are back this fall. The Hornets allowed 212.82 yards per game through the air last season.
Safeties Brett Shelton (6-1, 200, Jr.) and Brent Webber (6-0, 200, Jr.) leads the group heading into the third consecutive year that each has started. Shelton was an all-Big Sky selection for the second time last season--he's made 83 tackles each season. He is 23 tackles away from the Hornet career top ten.
Webber added 64 stops and two interceptions to earn honorable mention all-Big Sky. He also took one of the picks to the house last season.
Senior Kiel McDonald (5-11, 190) junior Jody Johnson (5-9, 175) and sophomore Durrell Oliver (6-0, 185) will compete for the starting corner positions. All three will see action on the 31st against the Broncos.
McDonald originally signed with the University of Arizona but decided he didn't want to play there after all and is now with Sacramento State. He had 17 tackles last year; he's not earned his degree and is enrolled in graduate school. Johnson started four games last year and recorded 29 tackles. Oliver started three games and registered 21 tackles and an interception.
Kevin Davis (5-10, 190, So.) can play anywhere in the secondary and he's back after recording 13 tackles in seven games last season. Richard Moore (5-8, 195, Sr.) has played in every game the past two seasons and provides additional help.
The newcomers to the Hornet defensive backfield include freshmen Craig King (6-2, 205) and Dorian Brown (6-1, 185).
The secondary will challenge the Bronco quarterbacks due to experience and intelligence. The Broncos would be much better targeting the run against a young crew of linebackers, at least initially.