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A look at the secondary

Brown, Kellem, Issac lead experienced group

August 3, 2010 · Athletic Communications

Headlines
Key Losses: CB Alex Suber and CB Marcus Udell.

Key Returnees: S Jeremy Kellem, S Kevin Brown, and CB Rod Issac. The threesome has combined for 79 career starts.

Battle to Watch (corner): A fun and competitive battle to watch will be between Arness Ikner, Malcolm Beyah, Marquise Dixon, and Kenneth Gilstrap. Ikner is the starter at RC but will get plenty of pressure from this group of athletic and talented players. All are about the team but are hungry to get on the field. It should be exciting.

Battle to Watch (safety): The unit basically has three starters (Kellem, Brown, and Crumpton in the nickel package) so the key will be finding a way to not play Kellem and Brown 90 plays per game. Substituting freely is critical so the progression of Guerra, Prudhomm, and Seamster will be under the microscope in the fall.

Spring Standout: The standout among the corners was Arness Ikner. The junior came with a purpose and showed maturity and dedication. He has an aura about him that is all business. For the safeties, Denzell Guerra and Derrick Crumpton get the nod. Guerra bought in to what it takes to play, and it showed in the spring. Crumpton added weight, and paid attention to details and has all the tools to be an exceptional player. He is like a third starter.

Coach Bibee on the safeties
"We have 53 starts between Jeremy (Kellem) and Kevin (Brown) at the safety spots, and Derrick (Crumpton) has played in 25 games so we have experience and guys who have been in the wars. Leadership and work ethic are there with this unit, which gives our younger guys great examples of what it takes to excel in our league. I am excited about what this group can accomplish in 2010."

Coach Ellis on the cornerbacks
"This unit has a lot of potential and talent, but the question will be how quickly they develop because there is some inexperience. Rod (Issac) is a great leader, and if they follow him they will be a great group. Last year, the bar was set, but I believe this bunch can be just as good."

Strong Safety
KEVIN BROWN
(Senior) - An experienced player who brings toughness to the position ... Came out of spring right on pace to have another good year ... Presents a force in the middle of the defense and rates as one of the most intimidating in the league ... Needs to keep working on technique and improve tackling.

DENZELL GUERRA (r-Sophomore) - The most pleasant surprise in the spring ... Work ethic is now at the point to where he can be a good player ... Has decided it is time to "win" in practice, his workouts, and in all drills ... Not pacing himself any more ... Needs to improve flexibility and quickness.

JUNO PRUDHOMM (Sophomore) - A very talented player with good size and athleticism ... Coaches were pleased with his effort in the spring ... Needs to improve on consistency.

Free Safety
JEREMY KELLEM (Senior) - A leader ... Smart, experienced player who makes plays ... On track for a solid senior season ... Works extremely hard ... Needs to keep improving on the finer details of the game.

DERRICK CRUMPTON (Junior) - Enjoyed an outstanding spring and has worked hard to make that next jump ... A physical player who has a bright future ... Needs to improve technique and conditioning.

SAMMY SEAMSTER (Sophomore) - Was not 100 percent in the spring following a knee injury but should be full speed in the fall ... Coaches like his size and speed ... Has shown flashes of physicality.

Left Cornerback
ROD ISSAC
(Senior) - Had a strong spring ... Has the potential and determination to be a dominant player ... Could be one of the top CB's in the country ... A great character guy who is dedicated and is a good ambassador for the program ... A tough and smart player.

MALCOLM BEYAH (Junior) - A very versatile player who made the move from receiver to CB during bowl practice last year ... Has good ball skills ... Developed a lot during the spring ... Needs work on his technique.

Right Cornerback
ARNESS IKNER
(Junior) - Pleasant surprise in the spring ... Plays with a chip on his shoulder, high intensity, and has a good understanding of the game ... Very fluid and compact ... Showed improvement from practice one of spring drills to practice 15 ... Needs to adjust to speed of the game at this level.

MARQUISE DIXON (r-Freshman) - Has matured a lot the past year, and his skills have shown improvement ... A good football player who is tough and hard-nosed ... Did a great job in the spring with run support and competing ... A wiry guy who needs to live in the weight room in the offseason.

KENNETH GILSTRAP (Sophomore) - Possesses God-given talent and has a burning desire to be the best ... Is loaded with speed and will be in the mix for playing time ... Did not compete in the spring while recovering from the knee injury he suffered during the season ... Needs to keep developing body.

Returners
*Bryan Armstrong r-So. CB
4 Malcolm Beyah Jr. CB
33 Kevin Brown Sr. S
24 Derrick Crumpton Jr. S
26 Marquise Dixon r-Fr. CB
18 Kenneth Gilstrap So. CB
31 Denzell Guerra r-So. S
*Robert Hogg r-So. CB
6 Rod Issac Sr. CB
20 Jeremy Kellem Sr. S
42 Juno Prudhomm So. S
8 Sammy Seamster So. S
36 *Stuart Taylor r-Sr. CB

Newcomers
7 Khari Burke Fr. CB
41 T. L. Edwards Jr. CB
5 Arness Ikner Jr. CB
1 Eric Russell Jr. CB
27 Chris Sharpe Fr. CB
*Nonscholarship

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