One of the strongest positions on defense becomes one of the weakest at inside linebacker, and one of the weakest becomes a strength at corner in 2019. The question was never about the talent. It was more about the experience. Jim Leonhard had bodies, but almost none of them had played college football. The two best corners from 2018 are guys that took their first collegiate snaps in 2018. The future is bright at cornerback.
Wildgoose is a true freshman and my favorite corner on the team. He drew the assignment of covering Rondale Moore against Purdue and had two pass breakups on the day. While Moore had a good performance, he did so in spite of Wildgoose’s great coverage. Sometimes there just isn’t much you can do with a player like Moore. Wildgoose will continue to draw tough assignments in the future for Wisconsin and I have faith he’ll do a good job with them.
Hicks redshirted in 2017 and saw his first action in 2018 as well. He had three pass breakups in the regular season, an interception, and played consistently well all year. Hicks wasn’t great, but that’s to be expected in his first year of playing college football. He held his own and showed signs that he can be trusted as a contributor moving forward. There is beauty in having to go through an entire season with young corners like Hicks. Now Hicks has more experience than some upperclassmen do.
The only other cornerback with an interception this season was Cone, who had two. His ball hawking skills are still something I like about him and he’s going to be a veteran in the defensive backfield next year. His size may mean he’s more suited for covering the slot, but that’s a valuable piece to have nonetheless.
Caesar Williams and Deron Harrell are two other corners who have seen significant playing time this year and will surely be in play for snaps next year. As the college game moves more toward the air having more corners is better. Look for Donte Burton and Travian Blaylock to find their way onto the playing field too. Of all the names in this paragraph. Only Williams wasn’t a freshman this year. As I said, the future is very bright for this group.