Fall Camp Preview: Cornerbacks

Jenkins ready to lead?

Fresno State has had a cornerback drafted on the first day in each of the last two NFL Drafts. This year's unit is a huge question mark. Only one starter returns. In addition, the depth chart is filled in experience. The newcomers should fill in the holes during fall camp.

Sr. Damon Jenkins (5-11, 196) was an all-state standout from national high school power De La Salle (Concord). He had to sit out his first year to fulfill academic requirements as a non-qualifier. Despite his many accolades, he did not emerge as a force until last year. He recorded three of the team's five interceptions.

Jenkins missed part of spring because of an injury but looks healthy this summer. Although he is a returning starter, his job cannot be considered safe. He is more mature heading into camp this season and the newcomers will be looking for a leader. He cannot take it easy this year.

So. A.J. Jefferson (6-1, 180) was the top performer in the secondary during spring. No other player made as many plays in practice or the spring game. He is arguably the team's fastest player and is rangy. He heads into camp as a starter and he does not look like he will lose his job anytime soon.

Jr. Sharrod Davis (5-11, 180) was a top cornerback coming out high school in 2004. He signed with Oregon and transferred to Grossmont Junior College last year. Unable to return to the Pac-10 because of transfer rules, Fresno State landed a top-notch talent ready to play. He is expected to battle for a starting spot in camp.

So. Damion Owens (6-0, 185) was a huge disappointment last season to say the least. He was expected to challenge for a starting role last year but did not deliver. He is progressing but is not likely to challenge for a starting spot in camp this year.

Sr. Will Harding (6-1, 200) brings good size to the position. He is RB Anthony Harding's older brother and walked on last season. He adds much needed depth but must stave off the talented newcomers.

True freshman Jermaine Thomas (5-11, 170) chose Fresno State over scholarship offers from Washington State and Nebraska. He has great speed and instincts. He should see many reps during camp in nickel and dime packages.

True freshman Jevon Stallworth (5-11, 180) worked out with the team this summer. He has a nose for the ball and comes from great bloodlines. True freshman Isaiah Green (5-9, 170) is a speedster and worked this summer with the team as well. He is raw but has speed that cannot be coached. Both are capable of playing as true freshmen.

Sophomore walk-ons Jason Blackmon (5-10, 170) and Dorian Penn (6-0, 195) have been in the program a few years but are not expected to make a huge impact in camp.


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