Breakdown: Defensive Backs

In the next part of our 'Breakdown" series we take a look at the Defensive Backs.

Last Season The defensive back position was the most inexperienced group on the defensive side of the ball. The lone senior was strong safety Johnnie Jones. Mike Jenkins was a sophomore along with Trae Williams, and starting free safety Carlton Williams was only a freshman. However, one characteristic this position did show was consistency. Each player started every game with the exception of Trae Williams who did not start against West Virginia.

One glaring deficiency was the ability to make the big play when the defense really needed it. Sure they played solid, but they didn't go the extra mile to turn a game around. Although D'Juan Brown did make one game changing play when he came up with an interception that he returned for a touchdown late in the game against Cincinnati. That play changed the momentum and basically won the game for USF, it's the type of play that the Bulls could have used in the Connecticut game as well.


D'Juan Brown's interception return for a TD.

Who's Returning
The Bulls return everybody except Johnnie Jones and D'Juan Brown. They also get back Danny Verpaele, who received a redshirt last season due to an ankle injury. Next season there will most likely be three juniors starting in the defensive backfield. With a year more of on-field experience this group should not only be better than last year, but should be the game changers that USF desperately needed last year.


Verpaele returns this season from injury.

Incoming Freshman
There are not many new comers to next year mostly due to the fact that there are sixteen returning players and only four starting spots. Dylan Douglas and Jerrel Young are both sleepers in this year's recruiting class. Much has been said already about Young, but there is still not a lot known about Douglas. The Bulls feel he will be a great corner in their system. He may have been overlooked because of his teammate Jamal Harvey. Don't expect either to see any significant playing time next year. However Young could be a starter by his sophomore year.


Young could be the next impact player on D.


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