Conference Preview: Cornerbacks

No position on the Texas roster had as little experience as the Longhorn cornerback spot.

Think about it: the elder statesmen of the group include true sophomores Carrington Byndom and Adrian Phillips, both of whom played mostly special teams a year ago, and Phillips was actually a safety before getting moved down due to a lack of bodies at the position.

In fact, there isn't a single junior or senior on roster at cornerback, making Byndom and Phillips — co-starters with true freshmen Quandre Diggs — some of the youngest position leaders on the team, if not in the country. All three players have been fantastic, with safety Blake Gideon adding that they might be the best unit on the team right now.

Phillips is the do-it-all, a versatile player who plays some cornerback, some safety and some nickel back. He'll probably drop back to safety again next year, but for now he's listed on the depth chart at corner, where he's leading the team in interceptions with two and is second on the team in tackles for loss with three.

Byndom has been the best cover man of the group. He also has three tackles for loss and has picked off a pass, showing great athleticism and range in his pass coverage. Diggs — aptly named 'Quandre the Giant' (for his play, not his small stature) — has an interception of his own and leads the team both in passes defensed and passes broken up.

The most impressive part of this group, according to defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, is the way that they're willing to come up and tackle. And that's a trend shown by the fact that three of the team's five forced fumbles have come from the trio, who each have one forced fumble apiece.

Quick Hit Analysis: This is a group that hasn't truly been tested yet. Still, they've made life dangerous for opposing quarterbacks and receivers and have played way, way above their experience levels. When adding in how strong they've been across all levels of the game, this might be the best group on the defense right now.

Grade: A

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