Our positional previews end with the UAB football secondary, which has come on strong in fall practice.
After the team’s most recent scrimmage, coach Clark spoke highly of the starting corners: “I really think in terms of units. I probably don’t brag on our first corners enough. I think both of those guys do a really good job (D.A. and Darious Williams). Both are really solid.”
So we’ll start with those two guys.
Darious Williams is a 5-foot-10, 180 pound redshirt senior who stuck around after the program was shutdown in 2014. He finished the 2014 season with 23 tackles and led the team with 6 pass break-ups. He will be the leader of this secondary.
D.A Williams is a redshirt junior out of St. Augustine, Fla. He played at Iowa Western along with three other current UAB teammates during the 2015 season. He looks to be the other starting cornerback for UAB to start the season.
One of his former teammates at Iowa Western, Mar’Sean Diggs, could possibly start at one of the safety spots. The 6-foot-2 junior had four interceptions in 2015 for Iowa Western.
Broderick Thomas will see time at both cornerback and safety. He had 56 tackles at Cisco College in 2015, as well as two interceptions. The 6-foot-1 junior will be a play-maker in the secondary.
Indiana transfer Will Dawkins could also see time at safety. The 5-foot-10 sophomore played in nine games as a redshirt freshman for Indiana back in 2015 before transferring to UAB.
Another Blazer that stuck around, junior Jordan Petty, will see the field at safety as well. He played in 10 games for UAB as a freshman, and then had 29 tackles and four pass break-ups in 11 games for UAB as a sophomore.
Diggs, Thomas, Dawkins and Petty all form a solid group of safeties for the UAB defense. There are nine other players listed at safety on the UAB roster, but I honestly can’t tell you much about them.
Going back to the cornerback position, Louisville transfer Duke Culver will see a lot of playing time. The 6-foot junior played in six game as a freshman for Louisville and was a 3-star recruit.
A couple of freshman from Trussville are in this group as well and could have an immediate impact in David Acfalle and Grayson Cash. Both are listed at 6-foot, 190 pounds and both were 2-star recruits out of high school where Cash was also a star running back.
Derrick Gregory, a senior from Brookwood, Ala., is also in the mix at cornerback. As is 6-foot junior Chigozie Onyekwere who played at L.A. Pierce College last year.
If you look at this group, I think you feel really comfortable with the top four guys I mentioned at safety, and the top three guys at cornerback. There is obviously a lot of depth behind those players, but it’s just hard to say how much you can trust them at this point without seeing them on the field.
Just like linebacker though, this is a very deep, talented and experienced group, which includes two players from the 2014 team. I think this group plays good from the start and just gets better as the season progresses.