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Upgrade/Downgrade - Cornerbacks

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We continue today by moving into the secondary, where Mark Banker and Keith Heyward have some big shoes to fill. At safety, which we will discuss tomorrow, Al Afalava and Greg Laybourn are gone. At cornerback, it's Keenan Lewis and Brandon Hughes, two players who had a combined 90 starts at Oregon State-- 43 for Hughes and 47 for Lewis.

Tim Clark, who started six games last season, shouldn't have many problems filling in the everyday starter role as a senior. He got plenty of time last season, and just needs to tune up his skills in fall camp in order to avoid some of the mental lapses in coverage that we saw last season.

The other cornerback position looks to be occupied by James Dockery, but Brandon Hardin and Patrick Henderson may also compete for a starting job. Dockery returns from injury for his junior season, and needs to continue improve if he wants to avoid being "picked on" by Pac-10 quarterbacks.

The Beavers last ran into a similar situation in 2005, when the secondary was decimated by graduation. The circumstances won't be as dire in 2009, but Banker will have to replace some starters who have been hoarding the playing time (for good reason) for the past three or four years.

Last Year:

Brandon Hughes

#36 / Cornerback / Oregon St. Beavers

5-11

178

senior

Keenan Lewis

#6 / Cornerback / Oregon St. Beavers

6-1

196

senior

This Year:

Tim Clark

#21 / Cornerback / Oregon St. Beavers

6-0

170

senior

James Dockery

#4 / Safety / Oregon St. Beavers

6-1

175

junior

Vote! And because this one should be rather easy and one-sided, I would like to hear your thoughts on the new roleplayers in the secondary.

--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)