Spring Review: Cornerback

The Utes have top end talent, but overall depth may be an issue

The Utes have a lot of talent at the cornerback spot, but like the linebackers depth may be an issue. A good spring, especially out of the younger guys will pay dividens going forward, but Utah needs to find some back-end depth to spell the top guys when nicks and injuries pop-up during the season>

Davion Orphey had a good spring. Noting spectacular and was never the best corner on the field, but may have been the most consistent. Orphey doesn't have next-level skills and is sometimes limited in what he can do, but is a serviceable Pac 12 cornerback. Would have liked to see him make more plays on the ball and generate more interceptions.

Eric Rowe started out the spring at safety before moving over the cornerback at the half-way point. His first day was tremendous, locking down everyone he matched up with and looking like a natural. The growing pains came after that as Rowe struggled at times against the more experiences receivers in Anderson and Scott. Letting too many guys get behind him on deep balls was the biggest issue. Eric has the skills to play the position. How well he adapts over the summer along with the progress of Tevin Carter at safety will determine where he ends up at the start of the regular season.

Reggie Porter can ball. The kid from Louisiana was the pleasant surprise at the corner spot, consistently looking like Utah's best corner throughout the spring. His ball skills and awareness are as good as anyone on the team and he was able to lock down Dres Anderson when they were locked up together. No one else in the spring was able to say that. Porter should be Utah's best corner next season and has a pretty high ceiling. Ute fans should be excited.

Justin Thomas continued to improve after a good freshman season. He's the ideal fit at the nickel back spot with his physicality, and looked like he had a much better grasp on what was happening on the field. It's clear that Thomas isn't going to be a guy that picks off 6+ passes in a season, but his ability to play the run along with his speed to gallop with speedy receivers pretty much locks him into the nickel back starting spot.
Wykie Freeman struggled at times in the spring. He often looked unfocused and lazy in drills and in team work. Freeman has all the size and speed in the world to be an elite corner, but what I saw as a lack of hard work will not only keep him from that, but from earning much playing time in 2014.

At the back end of the depth chart Utah has a couple of good walk-ons in Talley and Johnson that can actually make an impact. They're Pac 12 quality walk-ons, something Utah doesn't have at many other positions on the team.

Spring Cornerback Position Rankings
1. Reggie Porter
2. Justin Thomas
3. Davion Orphey
4. Eric Rowe
5. Wykie Freeman
6. Mo Talley
7.Chandler Johnson

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