5 Questions for Spring Practice: No. 3

With the loss of potential first round draft pick Tye Hill, the Tigers have questions at cornerback entering the start of spring practice.

#3 Who will step up at cornerback?
The question sounds simple enough, especially if Duane Coleman (partial qualifier) can solidify his last year of eligibility by graduating this May.

All indications are that Coleman should make the grade, however questions still persist on the opposite side of the field, where the Tigers will look for someone to replace potential first round draft pick Tye Hill.

As first reported by CUTigers.com last month, C.J. Gaddis will get first crack at the position, as he makes the transition from "cat" safety to cornerback.

That leaves Coleman (boundary), a former running back, and Gaddis (field), a former quarterback, as the starting cornerbacks for the 2006 season.

Behind Coleman will be Sergio Gilliam and redshirt freshman Ray Ray McElrathbey. Behind Gaddis will be sophomore Haydrian Lewis and redshirt freshman Chris Chancellor.

The main question within this entire group concerns experience.

Sure, Gilliam saw action in 490 plays last year but he is not exactly viewed as the strength of the secondary. In fact, don't be surprised to see Ray Ray McElrathbey, who has yet to play a down in college, jump Gilliam in two-deep depth chart this spring if he does not show significant improvement. Meanwhile Coleman, who made tremendous strides after switching over from offense mid-season, saw action on just 211 snaps on defense last year.

Another reserve, Chris Chancellor, has also yet to see the field, and Haydrian Lewis was in on just 138 snaps last season as true freshman.

In comparision, starter Tye Hill logged 717 snaps by himself.

The good news is there is plenty of talent at cornerback. The bad news is there isn't as much actual gameday experience.

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