Johnthan Banks and Darius Slay anchored a very talented and experienced cornerbacks group last season.
This season, the Mississippi State cornerbacks don’t have Banks or Slay this season. Both players have moved on to the National Football League.
New cornerbacks coach Deshea Townsend takes over one of the more raw position groups on the field for the Bulldogs.
His guys were under great leadership a year ago with Banks and Slay. Now the leadership is gone and it’s his job to continue it.
“The good thing is, those guys set great examples,” Townsend said of Banks and Slay. “Those guys showed them how to work. They come to practice knowing that the only way to get better is to work. Banks and Slay set that example. It’s my job to really make sure they continue to do that.”
Junior Jamerson Love has the most experience of the returning cornerbacks. He played in 12 games in his sophomore year and drew two starts. He played in all 13 games in his freshman season.
He has one career interceptions and three pass break ups.
He has taken it upon himself to fill the shoes of Banks and Slay in the leadership department.
“I’m trying to take on the role that those guys did, leading the secondary,” Love said. “I think I’m doing a heck of a job of it right now. I’m just making sure the young guys are doing everything the right way, going at this SEC tempo and getting ready for the season.
“I go out there every day with the mindset to get better. I work on my technique. I know I can’t be a John Banks, I can only be me, play the style that I play and just get better every day.”
Sophomore Taveze Calhoun appeared in all 13 games last season. He tallied 24 total tackles and forced one fumble in his first year with the Bulldogs.
Townsend has leaned on Love and Calhoun to be the leaders and set the tone in practice.
Unofficial depth chart:
CB – Jamerson Love, Jr., Cedric Jiles, So.
CB – Justin Cox, Jr., Taveze Calhoun, So.
Sophomore Will Redmond, freshman Kivon Coman, freshman Tolando Cleveland and former Starkville High School standout and freshman Gabe Myles make up the rest of the cornerbacks.