Physical CB Will Tempt Bolts at No. 40

After trading Antonio Cromartie to the Jets and moving Steve Gregory back to safety, the Chargers are reshaping their entire cornerback corps. That process will continue on draft day and this second-round prospect could be part of the new equation.

If Wake Forest cornerback Brandon Ghee winds up moving to San Diego, he'll have no trouble getting acclimated to his new surroundings.

His father, Wayne, served in the Army for 22 years. That meant moving every two or three years. In fact, Ghee was born in Germany and spent a total of nine years there between stints back in the United States. Among other places, he's lived in Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee.

"It taught me how to adapt," Ghee told Scout.com. "That's all I know is to move around. I don't know how it is to go to the same high school and know the same people. To me, it's great to move around and meet new people. It brought me closer to my family. It was me and my brother and my parents. That's why we're so tight-knit."

Ghee is considered a second-round prospect and is a possibility to wind up with the Chargers with the No. 40 overall selection. At 6-foot tall, Ghee has the height the Chargers desire, and his 40-yard time of 4.45 seconds was tops among the cornerbacks at the Scouting Combine. He turned heads at Wake's Pro Day with a 20-yard shuttle time of 3.98 seconds that showed his exceptional short-range quickness.


CB Brandon Ghee
Michael Conroy/AP
"My speed and I think I know the game better than most," Ghee said when asked what separates him from a deep group of cornerbacks. "We ran every coverage at Wake Forest. I know the game. I'm taller than almost every corner and I'm faster than all the corners, and I proved that at the Combine. I have the athletic ability to play any position, including safety."

Despite his physical attributes, Ghee never blossomed into a playmaking corner during his three years as a starter. He picked off just one pass in his career, with eight pass breakups in 2009, seven in 2008 and 10 in 2007. He's at his best against big receivers — which the Chiefs feature in the AFC West, and the Ravens, Dolphins and Texans boast among the AFC contenders — and his four forced fumbles in 2008 speak to his physical nature.

"I love to hit," said Ghee, whose favorite player was Ronnie Lott. "Covering's a great skill but I'm not scared to stick my head in the running game and get a few pops."

That fondness for putting a licking on a receiver or charging forward to tackle a running back leads some insiders to believe Ghee's best spot might ultimately be safety, but Ghee said the teams he's talked to have said he'd line up at cornerback.

Ghee played only three seasons for the Demon Deacons. After redshirting in 2005, he was forced to sit out 2006 because of academic problems. Ghee learned from the mistake, though, and graduated with a degree in communications with a minor in theology.

"It taught me to grow up," he said. "Everything's not handed to you. You go through life and you're usually the most talented on each team. You go through high school, and you're the most talented. You get to college, and you've got to work for something. It taught me to not just focus on one thing. I had to focus on school. I just wanted to play early and I lost track of what's important, and academics were important. I got on track and I did graduate in December. I'm real proud of that."

Ghee's brother, Patrick, also played in the secondary at Wake Forest. An undrafted free agent in 2007, Patrick Ghee spent time with Washington, Seattle and Carolina but never stuck on an NFL roster.

Like most siblings, they were competitive.

"Basketball, football, Super Nintendo, Sega, chess," Brandon Ghee said. "We played it all and we competed at everything. That's what made us better. It was a friendly rivalry. We got into a few fights about things, but who doesn't get into a few fights?"

Ghee has a chess trophy in his room and says he tries to be "the best at everything."

Will he be the best cornerback in this draft?

"I've got to prove it," he said. "People are saying, ‘What round are you going in?' I just want to play football. I just want to get into a Mini Camp and try to get a starting position. That's my goal."



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