In addition to his coverage skills he is also excellent at wrapping up the competition. He made 43 tackles, including three for loss, while breaking up eight passes. If the sophomore has another standout season he will leave early for the NFL.
|Browner already has several preseason honors.|
Alongside Browner is six-foot, 172-pound senior Aric Williams. Williams is in a similar situation that Terrell Roberts was in with Dennis Weathersby in 2002. Roberts was thrown at the most and overlooked most of the time due to Weathersby’s reputation. Roberts excelled in the underdog role and Williams should do the same. Williams has a great work ethic, attitude, and an improving technique. He led the team with 12 pass deflections while adding 39 tackles and four interceptions.
Baking up Browner is sophomore Kellen Marshall who missed the entire 2003 season with a torn ligament in his ankle. Marshall is 100-percent and will be a valuable member of the special team’s squad in addition to providing Browner with a breather.
Redshirt freshman Gerard Lawson follows Williams on the chart. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound player had a good spring practice, but still needs more time in the system. He is physical and needs to be for a player of his size. He defended receivers around his height range well, but had trouble with the taller ones. More practice and game experience will improve his skills greatly.
Backing up the cornerbacks is a pair of hard hitting safeties who have a nose for the ball. Senior Mitch Meeuwsen has battled injuries throughout his collegiate career but has still put up great numbers and garnered national attention. For two years in a row several preseason publications have called Meeuwsen one of the most underrated players in the conference.
He grabbed a co-team high six picks last year and will be one of the leaders on the “D.” He made 52 tackles, good for fourth on the team, while adding four pass breakups in 13 games.
Sophomore Sabby Piscitelli played in 13 contests last year in a reserve role at safety while primarily playing on special teams. Piscitelli is confident, fast and loves to hit. He is one of the more vocal players on the team and will provide the Beavers with that swagger that fans have grown to love, and hate. With Meeuwsen and him in the backfield, receivers will definitely locate them before going over the middle.
|Piscitelli will accompany Meeuwsen at the safety position.|
Backing up Piscitelli is junior Harvey Whiten who has a similar playing style to that of Piscitelli. Whiten is one of the faster players on the team, if not the fastest, and one of the most ruthless hitters. Whiten was sidelined briefly after a concussion and a brutal hit, but returned late in the season and delivered a few show stoppers himself.
Redshirt freshman Eric Anderson was a late signee last season, and had a good fall camp. He also impressed coaches on the scout team all the way through the season. He is a dependable backup to Meeuwsen and will get better with playeing time.
The Beavers have on of the most talented defensive backfields in school history. Browner and Meeuwsen are locks for post season honors while Piscitelli certainly has the talent and the attitude to be a Pac-10 second or third teamer. The experience in the secondary will anchor the orange and black and give the Beavers a chance at winning the first few games of the season if the offense struggles to put points on the board.
Offensive Line | Receivers | Quarterbacks | Tight-Ends | Special Teams | Running Backs | Defensive Line