What to watch: Defensive backs bring experience

Published 4:37 pm Friday, August 5, 2016

The Bearcats’ defense will have plenty of speed and strength on the perimeter this season, according to defensive coordinator Brian Hill.

“We have a chance at the perimeter to be pretty good,” Hill said. “Four starters are back, but only two are playing the same position as last year. We are kind of young and inexperienced inside, but we will have some rotation to help with that.”

Senior Lerone Broadnax will be filling the shoes of last season’s safety Elijah Tyler. Broadnax was a linebacker in 2015 and led the team in tackles with 112.

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“He is the best fit,” Hill said. “He has the highest experience level, and he works extremely hard. He’s one of the best kids I’ve ever coached.”

Hill said Broadnax doesn’t match the speed Tyler had, but is a strong tackler.

At the corner position, Vonderious Campbell returns to his spot, with newcomer Brandon Register earning a starting spot as well.

“(Campbell) is very fast,” Hill said. “He has one of the best backpedals I’ve ever coached before. He is able to stay in it for a long time. Having a year of experience (is big).”

Younger players gunning for the cornerback spots are sophomore Alex Baker and senior Lance Cosby.

“Baker is kind of the next guy coming up,” Hill said. “He still has some learning to do, but he has to get some experience under his belt. He competes hard and plays hard, though.”

The Bearcats return to action next Friday for a Fan Day event at Centennial Field, starting at 6 p.m. The team will warm up and scrimmage in uniform, giving fans a chance to see what Bainbridge has been practicing this summer.

Another scrimmage will be held at Godby (Florida) on Thursday, Aug. 18, at 6 p.m., before the home opener against Lee County Friday, Aug. 26, at 7:30 p.m.

Check back on Wednesday for a running backs preview.