August 30, 2010

Cornerbacks preview

For the most part Mississippi State's cornerbacks were young and inexperienced last season.

The Bulldogs took their lumps in the secondary some but also emerged with some big plays throughout the season as well. The unit helped lead the Southeastern Conference in interceptions but finished 11th in the league against the pass.

The secondary features two Freshman All-SEC players returning and should provide more stability in 2010.

"They are a year older and they understand a little bit more about the position," said cornerbacks coach Melvin Smith. "There is a new coordinator so we changed their techniques. They are football guys and guys I really like. They are gym rats and love the game. They are really the kind of guys you want."

Sophomore Corey Broomfield returns after a breakout redshirt freshman season. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder played in all 12 games and earned three starting calls. He finished with 19 tackles and tied a school record with six interceptions, two of which he took back for touchdowns.

Broomfield missed contact drills this spring due to offseason shoulder surgery but has been back to full strength this fall.

"He's looked good," Smith said. "He's a student of the game and loves the game. He's a leader even though he's a redshirt sophomore. He's put on about 10-pounds and is really developing well. He's one of our better football players."

The other young star that emerged in the secondary in 2009 was Johnthan Banks. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder moved from corner midway through the season and made seven starts at safety. He finished the season with 33 tackles, seven pass deflections and four interceptions, two of which were brought back for scores against Florida.

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