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Season Preview: Safety

After a quick preview of the special teams, we have now moved on to previewing the defense starting at the back and working our way up. The secondary figures to be improved this year (well, it can't go down from last season) and two new starters figure to ignite that improvement.

Last Season
Last year's performance from the secondary, namely the safeties, is one all Kansas fans would prefer to forget. We ranked last in the Big 12 in passing defense, giving up an astronomical 274.2 yards a game. Yuck. While strong safety had a consistnet starter in sophomore Justin Thornton, he had plenty of different names starting beside him. From Sadiq Muhammed to Darrell Stuckey and back again. While Thornton excelled in the running game and the Muhammed/Stuckey combination had decent numbers, consistent missed assignments kept the group from even being an average one. While another year of experience will help, our safeties will only get better with better reads and less mental lapses. The physical talent is definately there.

Returning Players
Everyone and their brother seems to be returning at the safety position, giving the whole unit a boost in experience. Besides last season's starters, we also have Tang Bacheyie, Brian Seymour and Sadiq Muhammed. Of those three, only Tang figures to receive significant playing time.

No, not the drink. Tang Bacheyie...

Incoming Players
Despite an abundance of defensive backs in the 2007 draft, they all play on the outisde besides one. Patrick Resby is the lone help coming in, the only new face that fits into the equation. And just how the JUCO transfer fits in is yet to be determined, whether he will be the primary reserve at one of or both positions and earn a couple spot starts or be at the end of a long list of possibilities. I think we will hear his name called quite a bit, initially on special teams and most likely down the line as a starter, after one of Bacheyie and Stuckey gets hurt and/or plays like crap.

Where Everyone Fits In
Well, I have hinted at my depth chart here and there but here it is all fleshed out. Despite bringing in only a JUCO transfer to revitalize the unit, everyone has another year of experience under their belt and is that much closer to realizing their potential. And while this still figures to be our weakpoint on defense, it will be better than it was last year. Hopefully.

Free Safety
1) Darrell Stuckey
2) Patrick Resby
3) Sadiq Muhammed

Strong Safety
1) Tang Bacheyie
2) Justin Thornton
3) Patrick Resby

Next Up: Aqib Talib and Cornerback