And because there's so much talent, it has made for some good competition at one of the cornerback spots, while the other side is locked down.
Sophomore Crezdon Butler and redshirt freshman Byron Maxwell are in the midst of what has become an epic battle for the starting cornerback job opposite of redshirt sophomore Chris Chancellor, who has been nothing short of stellar since the end of last season.
"Chancellor does a lot of things right," said defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator Vic Koenning. "He is good at a bunch of his skills and he understands all the little nuances. I think he's a guy that's going to surprise people a lot, but I'm not going to be surprised. I think he's going to be a guy that really develops into a really good player there."
However, with Chancellor in complete control of the one spot, that leaves most of the attention focused on the other corner to see who is ultimately going to grab the starting job.
As of now, Butler, who tied for the team lead with three interceptions last year in spot duty, has a slight advantage over Maxwell for the starting position. However, that's only because Maxwell has missed some time recently due to a slight concussion, Koenning said.
"Byron gets rusty in one day," Koenning said. "He's like a car down at the beach, you turn around and there's rust on it. But he's got a lot of talent and does a lot of good things. He's a playmaker when he does things right.
"We've just got to get him back to where he was before he got dinged up, because he was just starting to get back to where he was at the end of spring."
Regardless of who starts, it's a very safe bet that both will play extensively depending on certain matchups wok best.
These are going to be fun battles to watch for the next few years.
WHO'S HOT: Tailback C.J. Spiller, who appeared and was interviewed on ESPN's College Football Live Wednesday afternoon. The season hasn't even started and he's already getting plenty of pub and hype.
WHO'S NOT: Redshirt senior offensive right tackle Christian Capote, who was already in some sort of a mini battle just to keep his starting job and is now down with a shoulder injury. If he's gone for any period of time, he could lose his job if his replacement does well.
QUICK HITS: Freshman defensive back Coty Sensabaugh left school Wednesday morning and will be gone through Saturday due to a death in the family. … Freshman defensive lineman Miguel Chavis returned for him on-again-off-again hip flexor for the morning practice. … Star tailback James Davis didn't practice Wednesday night due to a bad shoulder. However, the media was informed that it was nothing serious and that he should return before too long. … Head coach Tommy Bowden said Wednesday morning's practice was the best of the fall camp thus far because the offense responded after a very poor showing Tuesday, which in turn made the defense fight back. … Cory Lambert is getting the reps with the first team offense at right tackle as Christian Capote is out with a shoulder injury. … Bowden said defensive end Jamie Cumbie and offensive lineman Landon Walker could return to practice Monday. Both had minor surgeries a couple weeks back. … Bowden said Chris McDuffie is back as the starting left guard, with Brandon Pilgrim now serving as the backup to Thomas Austin at right guard. Jamarcus Grant is now the backup to McDuffie.
Wednesday Insider Notebook
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