May 18, 2010

Secondary has strong spring

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A secondary that finished sixth in the conference in passing yards allowed
at 235 yards per game returns three of four starters. The new face, Brandon
Hardin, started three games at corner for the often injured Tim Clark and is
a monster at 6-foot-2, 219 pounds. The safety position is flush with talent
and returns it's two starters, Lance Mitchell and Cameron Collins
and familiar to the spotlight, Suaesi Tuimaunei turned in a great spring.
What plagued the Beavers last season was the inability to force turnovers from
their back four. OSU had just eight picks, ranking them last in the conference,
tied with Washington and Stanford.

With spring practice done, here's how the group progressed and their spring
grades revealed.


Entering Spring: B-

James Dockery returns and with him brings confidence, knowledge of
the system, and he is a vocal leader for the defense. Dockery was solid in 2009,
but got caught napping and was beat deep quite a few times.

Dockery did have two of the team's eight interceptions and eight pass break
ups. "Doc" played very well throughout the spring, often matched up
against James Rodgers. Anyone will tell you James is hard to defend,
and Doc did about as good of a job as one could.

James' love for the game and natural athletic ability should make for a successful
senior season. Dockery's biggest attribute is his ability to fall off into zone
coverage and read the quarterback and undercut the corner route, multiple times
he came out of nowhere to steal what looked to be a completion.

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