Hoo Preview ’09: Defensive Backs

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In addition to starting at corner, Chris Cook could be on the kickoff return unit this season as well.

In many ways, it’s fitting to wrap up the position outlooks for The Sabre’s “Hoo Preview” with the secondary. After all, this unit has a lot of talent, a lot of versatility, a lot of exciting playmakers and a lot of depth. From the confident cover skills of Ras-I Dowling to the rocking hits of Corey Mosley and beyond, the Cavaliers have plenty of substance to go with a healthy dose of swagger among the defensive backs.

All of that could make the secondary the leading unit for the UVa defense in 2009. If the front seven can produce a pass rush, in fact, the DBs could become the playmaking difference makers for a team trying to disprove pundits’ predictions of a fifth place finish in the ACC’s Coastal Division. After all, some observers think this year’s secondary is the best collective group since the 1990s.

Why all the excitement?

Anthony Poindexter has a lot of talent to work with during his first year coaching the secondary.

It begins with a pair of experienced starters at cornerback. That’s where Chris Cook , back from a one year academic suspension, and Ras-I Dowling line up. Cook (19) and Dowling (9) have combined for nearly 30 starts in the Cavaliers’ secondary.

Looking first at the senior in the group, the Hoos have a tall and physical corner (6’2″, 210) in Cook, who now wears jersey No. 2. With 751 plays under his belt, Cook has plenty of experience to fall back on as he works his way through the rust of a year off. He plays the position with a physical edge,