Safeties coach Tommy Thigpen may not have many experienced athletes at his position this season, but he has talented ones like Erique Florence who could be a significant contributor his true freshman season...[details]
Notes: Saw very limited action in three games in 2006 but did not record any stats. Started 11-of-12 games played at strong safety in '07, recording 65 tackles, six pass breakups and zero interceptions with 1½ tackles for loss, half a sack and two forced fumbles. Did not play against Tennessee Tech while nursing a sore hip and AC sprain in his right shoulder. Was the team's leading tackler in '08 when he started all 12 games at strong safety and logged 75-3-1 with 1½ tackles for loss. Played through a bruised left shoulder against Tennessee. In '09, started the first nine games, managing 52-1-0 with 3½ tackles for loss and two forced fumbles before cracking the fifth vertebra and tearing neck ligaments against Mississippi. Returned to start all 14 games at strong safety for the '10 national champions and logged 69-4-3 with 1½ tackles for loss. Played for three different defensive coordinators.
Positives: Good size. Secure tackler who strikes with some explosion on contact and can snap defenders back. Aggressive run defender - drops downhill quickly and shows some burst to close when he sees it. Plays hard. Experienced and mentally tough.
Negatives: Tightly wound and does not explode out of breaks. Exposed in space. Speed and range are just average. Marginal cover skills and does not make many plays on the ball. Questionable eyes - can be slow to diagnose. Durability is a concern.
Summary: Good-sized, competitive, downhill run defender with coverage limitations but has good football character and tackling ability and could earn a spot as a box safety and special-teams contributor.