JHoo’s Summer Reading ’09: Safeties

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Corey Mosley returns after starting alongside Byron Glaspy for most of 2008.

Finally, we get to the end of summer and thus the end of the line for summer reading. So in honor of this being the concluding column, let me get right to the conclusion: I am pretty excited about the prospects for UVa at the safety position going into 2009.

Are there question marks? Sure … and we will discuss those. But for all the questions that admittedly exist, there is something about the talents at the position – and the attitudes – that really make me think things might click in a big way this year.

The Starters

While at first blush they might not seem like a perfect pairing, it appears that Corey Mosley and Rodney McLeod are likely to be the starters in 2009. Personally, I think the match will work better than many expect.

Admittedly, both Mosley and McLeod are on the small side for an ACC safety, McLeod measuring right around 5’10” and Mosley being “listed” at 5’10” (that distinction being one that matters). But while both are on the smaller side – ironically, we are likely to start two cornerbacks bigger than the two safeties we start – the two safeties actually have fairly complementary skill sets.

Take Mosley, for example, the returning starter from 2008. Despite the fact that he is fairly short in stature, Mosley has a powerful build – with more than 200 pounds on his frame – and a desire to mix it up physically with receivers, blockers, and backs. While Mosley often had to sit back a little in 2008 because he was paired with Byron Glaspy, a safety that played effectively in the box, Mosley’s natural instincts are to crash the box and play aggressively on runs outside the tackles, something at which he was solid in 2008 and will be even better in the future as he gets a better feel for when he can charge forward without being victimized with play