Depth Chart Thoughts: Cornerback

A rundown of thoughts about each position on the Illinois roster, starting with cornerback.

Training camp is winding down. Game week is nearly upon us. Pretty soon, Illinois will be going through walkthroughs and making a final approach on the game plan in prep for the season opener against Southern Illinois.

With just over a week left before kickoff, follow along with my thoughts on each position on the depth chart.

First up, cornerback.

Initial word that comes to mind. Young. Whoa, really young.

Second word: Inexperienced. Whoa, really not experienced.

Third word: Athletic. Yeah, there's some talent here.

How I see the pecking order:
Eaton Spence
V'Angelo Bentley
Darius Mosely
Jaylen Dunlap
Dillan Cazley/Jevaris Little/Nick North

As for the two starters, I think Spence is the safer play than Bentley, but Bentley has more potential for big plays. In other words, I don't think Spence will hurt you as much, but Bentley can really help you. Does that makes sense?

I see Spence has a more solid player, a better tackler and a guy with above average ball skills. He's also had an extra year in college, so that helps.

Bentley is a little smaller, not as sure of a tackler, but he has playmaker written all over him. That's why you're probably going to see him returning punts and/or kicks this season, too.

Behind the starters, Darius Mosely is a star in the making. I've said it enough, so I'll keep it simple -- the kid could make plays on offense or defense or special teams. Besides maybe Aaron Bailey, Mosely has the most upside of any of the kids in the 2013 freshman class.

Dunlap has been the pleasant surprise of fall camp. I don't think his ceiling is as high as Mosely, but Dunlap has a long frame, long arms and great football instincts.

Mosely will be in for the nickel, Dunlap for the dime and Cazley, a solid player in the making, will be pushing to see time as the fifth wheel.

Brief breakdown:
Player to count on: Spence
The potential love/hate relationship: Bentley
Player to watch: Mosely
Could make a play out of nowhere when you least expect it: Dunlap

Final thought: The group is young, but exciting. Cliche yeah, but this could be a roller coaster ride. Probably going to be some really high highs and some really low lows. It would help if the defensive line can figure out how to pressure the quarterback, but that's not in the control of the corners. While the group has talent, you may need to be patient with them as they grow and learn. They're jumping into the deep end. At their position, it's sink or swim. I expect the youth to lead to mistakes, but also a hungry attitude in response to those mistakes.

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