10-Day Hoo Preview: Position Outlook, Secondary

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The secondary started to gel last season with four consecutive solid outings against FSU, UNC, Temple, and Georgia Tech but had troubles after losing Tony Franklin to suspension and Nate Lyles to injury. In fact, the unit never seemed to recover until the second half of the Minnesota game. But there was progress and fans should feel comfortable in the fact that there is significant depth and experience in the 2006 group. Even with the loss of Lyles and Franklin, the relative youth and inexperience, and a non-existent pass rush, the 6.7 yards per attempt given up in 2005 was the lowest number in Groh’s five seasons.

Can the Cavaliers raise their game even more in 2006? Let’s look at the secondary.

Cornerbacks

Marcus Hamilton (Sr., 5-11, 198)
Chris Gorham (Jr., 6-0, 193)
Mike Brown (So, 5-9, 180)
Chris Cook (So., 6-2, 204)
Vic Hall (Fr., 5-9, 184)

Marcus Hamilton finished third on the team in 2005 with 62 tackles.

Marcus Hamilton is one of the top cover corners in the conference, but it is possible that his production will drop off this season as opponents could simply refuse to throw his way. In a breakout 2005 season, Hamilton earned All-ACC Second Team honors while leading the team and the league with six interceptions (5th in the nation). He finished third on the team with 62 tackles as well. Hamilton is one of 56 players named to the preseason 2006 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List, awarded to the best defensive player in college football and was also included on the 2006 Lott Trophy Watch List, given to the top defensive back in the country.

He possesses natural athleticism, quick feet, agility, closing burst, and toughness. Plus, he reads pass or run quickly and has an excellent break to the ball. Hamilton is a tough defender that not only has

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