I’m combining Anthony Carpenter and Damante Horton because we just talked about latter a short while ago, but the two upperclass corners have similar expectations this upcoming season. They also face similar challenges. One thing’s for sure, having a veteran defensive backfield step up for 2013 would be much better than trying to break in the freshmen, even if they do possess good athleticism. Good college defenses always seem to hinge on bringing back experience.
CB #4 Anthony Carpenter
Both had subpar years in 2012, but the Los Angeles product Carpenter was the more productive of the two by far. In fact while Horton dropped off, the now fellow redshirt senior Carpenter raised his game to take over the spot. He made a career high 34 tackles on the year and had his first interception come against Cal in the middle of the season. He was also rock solid against Arizona State and Washington to end the year and possesses the best size the Cougs will have at CB in 2013 at 6’0″, 196 lbs.
The challenge for Carpenter will be raising the bar once again in his play. He’s done that to this point in his career, moving his way up from special teams in 2010 and 2011 to starting half of the schedule in 2012. With that in mind, there’s simply no reason to believe that he won’t get every opportunity to compete and start in 2013. But he still missed too many plays that he could have made last season (see photo, right)
He brings a little bit of savvy and the most power from the corner position as far as physical play goes, he’s beginning to diagnose plays decently well and he is always near his man in coverage. What he’ll need to work on is getting out of his breaks a quicker and closing the gap to be able to make a play on the ball more often.
CB #6 Damante Horton
From Oakland, Horton’s struggles last year have been well documented by us here at ACU. I tend to think that he is primed for a bounce-back year, especially after seeing him play well over Spring and in the final scrimmage.
The challenge for him will be not only bouncing back, but mastering the 3-4 scheme and improving on his 2011 season. With true freshman Daquawn Brown stepping onto campus and the redshirt freshman combo of Rahmel Dockery and Alex Jackson chomping at the bit, Horton’s in for a battle with some pretty good young talent, so he’ll have to bring it in the Fall. That is, if he plans on being a contributor in his final season.