Gopher Football Preview: Cornerback

The Gophers have their work cut out for them trying to replace departed cornerbacks Marcus Sherels and Traye Simmons. With cornerback as an area of concern, the Gophers have several players who can fill the void left by Sherels and Simmons.

Projected Starters:
The most experienced cornerback on the roster is 5-foot-9 senior, Ryan Collado. Collado has spent time at both safety and corner in his career with the Gophers. He showed great promise last year compiling 34 tackles, four tackles for a loss and two sacks. Collado's best game was against Iowa where he had nine tackles and two sacks. Collado will be called upon to use his big-game experience to lead the younger Gopher corners.

The other projected started at cornerback is sophomore Michael Carter. The 5-foot-11 corner is the cousin of Gopher great Tyrone Carter. As a freshman, Carter got some valuable playing experience against teams like Purdue, Penn State and Ohio State. On the season, Carter had 11 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. This season the youngster will be called on to be a solid defender on the outside.

Projected Top Reserves:
The Gopher's main cornerback reserve will most likely be junior, Johnny Johnson. Johnson, a 5-foot-9 corner from Chicago, Illinois. Most of Johnson's playing time comes on special teams so he seen only limited time at corner. Despite a lack of quality statistics, Johnson has shown great passion and could see the field more often this season on passing downs.

Incoming Freshman:
One incoming freshman who shows real promise is Tyrone Bouie from Seminole, Florida. Tyrone is a larger corner standing 6 feet tall and uses this to play more aggressively on defense. Bouie is a good athlete who can both stop the run and cover the pass. Look for Bouie to redshirt for the 2010 season.

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