Harbison pleased with the progress

SENECA - Of the four position coaches on the defensive side of the ball, secondary coach Charlie Harbison has the most experienced group of players.

Though last year's top performer, Coty Sensabaugh, is now with the Tennessee Titans, the defensive backfield is led an experienced group of seniors.

The trio of Rashard Hall, Jonathan Meeks and Xavier Brewer has combined to play over 4,000 snaps over the last three seasons.

Earlier this month, Harbison spoke with members of the media at the Dabo Swinney media golf outing about where he sees his defensive backs this fall.

Here's what he had to say:

After the spring, how do you see things shaking out at cornerback?
Harbison: The way the spring ended, it was [Martin] Jenkins and [Bashaud] Breeland. That's how it ended. We'll have to start over again and see how things happen in fall camp -- see who's made a lot of headway. We've got to get Cortez [Davis] coming around. That's it at corner.

As far as the safeties, Hall was dinged up. He didn't go through spring. You've got Meeks and Brewer. Then you've got [Robert] Smith and [Garry] Peters. We'll get started again with Hall coming back. We'll see how things shake up. We've got some options there. Brewer can do a lot of different things like [Marcus] Gilchrist did when he played here.

Will Brewer's role be a little bit of everything?
Harbison: Actually, he'll get locked into a position, but when we go to different personnel, he could go to different places. I'm not just going to have him singled out. He'll be a guy -- like how we used Gilchrist in the past. He's flexible.

Blanks exited spring as the starter at the nickel back position.
What are your thoughts on [Travis] Blanks after the spring? How do you see him fitting into your rotation this fall?
Harbison: Blanks did a great job this spring. He showed that he can handle the situation out there on the field. He hasn't been out there with the lights on, but I feel like Blanks will really be a positive for us.

How did Cortez progress during the spring?
Harbison: Cortez, he's got some work to do. I like his body. I like his size. He's got the ability. I've got to get him to focus on the little techniques and details. He'll get that. When you've got young guys, sometimes, for whatever reason, guys progress a little faster than others. I'm expecting a good camp when we start up. But he did make some headway in the new system. I feel good about that, because I like his size and what he brings, being able to rotate in there.

What's it been like working with Brent Venables these past few months? What's he brought to the defensive side of the ball?
Harbison: It's been good. He brought some zone, a lot of different things. The energy level, he's upbeat. I like the way he mingles with the kids, his delivery. Everything's been good, but it isn't like it hasn't been good…he's a younger guy. He's got a lot of energy about him. I like that. I like what he's bringing, in addition to what we've done before.

Not that you weren't energized before, but do you personally feel more energized when you see what's going on?
Harbison: Yes and no. You can go back and forth. He's a positive force. He's a blessing. We'll just move forward. Like I was speaking earlier, I like how he sees things, and how he'll deliver things to the kids.

Do you feel like Rashard Hall will be ready for the season?
Harbison: I do. Actually, I was speaking to him. He said he was feeling good. That's good for me. I can't get out there and watch those guys [during the summer]. I communicated with him and he said he's feeling good.

What does it mean having a senior guy like him around?
Harbison: It means a lot. He probably played the most out of all of them, because he played as a redshirt freshman. Then, you've got Meeks and Brewer -- Brewer's played a lot. Those three guys have some snaps under them and played in some big games. They've played in two ACC Championship games. That's a positive for us, to be able to be a leader in the back.

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