2016 Johns Hopkins Football Preview - Defensive Backs
BALTIMORE, MD – In the fourth of a seven-part series breaking down the 2016 Johns Hopkins football team, HopkinsSports.com takes a look at the Blue Jay defensive backs. While newcomers to the program may make an impact this season, the breakdown includes only returning players.
Who’s Gone: Two key losses in the secondary in cornerbacks Curtis Antrum and Charlie Kassis. While the Blue Jays regularly rotated four cornerbacks last season, Antrum and Kassis did combine to start 18 games last season – there is no substitute for experience.
Everybody’s All-American: Senior Jack Toner returns for his final season as the Blue Jays’ starting safety and easily ranks as one of the top players at the position in school history. A Preseason All-America pick by The Sporting News, Lindy’s College Football and D3football.com, Toner punched up 51 tackles, six interceptions and nine pass breakups last season and counts career totals of 133 tackles, 10 interceptions and 18 pass breakups to his credit. A Second Team D3football.com All-American and a Second Team CoSIDA Academic All-American last season, Toner’s presence in the secondary alone makes this a special unit.
Depth at Corner: Despite the loss of Antrum and Kassis, the Blue Jays have the luxury of returning senior Marcus Spearman and junior Michael Munday, who were the other two key components to last season’s four-man rotation at cornerback.
Spearman has the size (6-0 • 200) to match up with some of the bigger receivers the Blue Jays will see this season, while Munday had 29 tackles, a team-high 10 pass breakups and three interceptions last season. For a team that officially doesn’t return a starting cornerback, Johns Hopkins may have one of the best tandems in the Centennial Conference.
A trio of sophomores – Michael Curry, Michael Kearns and Grant Mosser – all figure to see time at corner, a position that is likely the deepest on the team. As freshmen the three combined to play in 28 games a year ago and they’ve shown the ability to take on even greater roles this season.
When There’s a WILL: Johns Hopkins’ unique defensive alignment includes a WILL that morphs between being a linebacker and a defensive back and there is no shortage of talented players locked in here.
Senior Dan Johnson, who can also play the ZIP linebacker, was a Second Team All-Centennial selection last season after totaling 61 tackles and four interceptions. His versatility provides defensive coordinator Mickey Rehring with a variety of options in different situations.
Sophomores Addison Quinones and Ian Lodge also figure to see extensive time at the WILL. Quinones played in 11 games last season and led all Blue Jay freshmen with 45 tackles, while Lodge appears poised for a breakout season after a strong spring and summer camp.
15 – Consecutive years in which Johns Hopkins has produced at least one All-Centennial Conference defensive back. In 11 of those 15 years the Blue Jays produced multiple All-Centennial DBs.
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