2006 VU position overview: Cornerbacks

The cornerback position is a crucial segment of any team's passing defense. Andrew Pace, who provided solid play at the position, is graduated and must be replaced. The Commodores have plenty of returning experience and talented newcomers to choose from.

LOSSES

Andrew Pace.

THE SKINNY

The Commodores lose veteran starter Andrew Pace but return quality talent at cornerback. Several players return with extensive starting experience to pick up where Pace left off. A great crop of incoming defensive backs will insure future speed and athletisism at this position.

THE MEN

Josh Allen (5-9, 184 SO): Allen was a success story during the 2005 season when he started 8 games at cornerback. He finished with an impressive 42 tackles and 5 passes broken up. Allen finished spring practice as one of the starting cornerbacks.

Joel Caldwell (6-1, 184 FR*): Caldwell, who was redshirted during 2005, impressed the coaching staff during the spring and should see significant action during the fall. As a senior in high school, netted 62 total tackles, two interceptions and five defensed passes. Recent injury during preseason practice casts a shadow of doubt on whether or not he'll be able to play in 2006.

Sean Dixon (6-0, 186 SR): Dixon brings a wealth of experience to the secondary. The Florida native has seen action in almost every game during his career and has 31 total career tackles. Dixon's leadership will be important to the success of this unit.

Jared Fagan (5-9, 180 SO): Fagan will forever remembered by Commodore fans for this game ending interception in the victory over Tennessee. Fagan started saw action in every game and started the Wake Forest game. After spring drills Fagan was listed as the #1 starter at one of the cornerback positions.

Darlron Spead (5-10, 180 FR*): Spead was redshirted during 2005 and finished spring drills listed as Josh Allen's backup. Look for Spead to see quality action during the 2006 season.

THE FUTURE

Marquez Hall (5-9, 160 FR): Speedster who posted 70 tackles, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries as a senior in high school. Earned All-Area and All-Metro honors.

D.J. Moore (5-10, 175 FR): Moore had 39 tackles and six interceptions on defense. On offense, Moore had 48 receptions for 896 yards. Played in Carolina All-Star Game. State high jump champion.

Alan Strong (5-10, 170 FR): Speedster who has been timed at 4.3 in the forty. As senior, posted 45 tackles, 1 interception and 6 defensed passes.

REMARKS

While Pace will be missed, the future looks great for Vanderbilt's young cornerbacks. Solid talent with experience returns. The incoming freshmen ensure a bright future for the Commodores.

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