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2013 BCS Champ. Position Breakdown - DBs

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 7, 2013


As a primer, check out the position-by-position breakdown of the 2013 BCS Championship.

2013 BCS Champ. Breakdown

Alabama vs. Notre Dame - DBs

- CFN 2009 BCS Championship Breakdown - Florida vs. Oklahoma   
- CFN 2010 BCS Championship Breakdown - Alabama vs. Texas
- CFN 2011 BCS Championship Breakdown - Auburn vs. Oregon
- CFN 2012 BCS Championship Breakdown - Alabama vs. LSU   

CFN 2013 BCS CHAMPIONSHIP POSITION BREAKDOWN
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs
- Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defensive Lines | Linebackers
- Secondaries | Special Teams | Coaches

- BCS Championship Preview
- BCS Champ. Preview, Part 2 - Players to Watch, How To Win, & Pick

Alabama: There might be a massive turnover of stars in the secondary, but the production didn’t exactly fall off the map finishing second in the nation and sixth in pass efficiency defense. The transition wasn’t problem mostly thanks to junior Dee Milliner, one of the team’s star recruits as almost everyone’s No. 1 corner prospect a few years ago and a spot starter before taking off full-time. One of the team’s biggest hitting defensive backs, the 6-1, 199-pounder can play anywhere in the secondary but is a great cover-corner making two picks with 51 tackles and a whopping 18 broken up passes. If he chooses to leave early, he’ll likely be the first corner taken off the 2013 draft board.

Milliner was a lock to start the season, but the other side was a question mark. Star JUCO transfer Deion Belue settled the spot with two picks and 36 tackles. The 5-11, 178-pounder from NE Mississippi CC was supposed to be a part of the mix a few years ago but ended up going the JUCO route earning All-America honors. Ultra-athletic, he’s a rock of a defender on the outside.

Senior Robert Lester joined Milliner as one of the team’s only returning starters in the secondary and finished the regular season with 42 tackles and four picks. At 6-2 and 210 pounds he has the prototype size at strong safety, and while his stats might not be eye-popping, he’s a leader in the secondary. Also in the rotation is sophomore Vinnie Sunseri, a 6-0, 215-pound big hitter who was one of the team’s leading tacklers with 52 tackles and two picks.

Working at the other safety is a combination. 6-1, 203-pound sophomore Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix for was the No. 1 ranked safety prospect last season with the hitting ability to be like another linebacker at times. He’s an explosive athlete who could become a whale of a nickel and dime defender at the next level, but was just fine this season making four picks – including two in the final two games – to go along with 30 tackles. He combines with 6-1, 208-pound junior Nick Perry, who rose up after years of doing little as a reserve making 37 tackles with a sack.

Notre Dame: Easily the team’s biggest surprise, the loss of Harrison Smith to the Minnesota Vikings and with some big losses to injuries, the secondary was supposed to be a problem. It wasn’t exactly tested by a slew of top passers, especially after missing Matt Barkley in the USC game and Kevin Hogan in the Stanford squeaker, but Oklahoma’s Landry Jones was able to throw for 356 yards Pitt’s Tino Sunseri was solid.

6-0, 185-pound junior Bennett Jackson came up with a huge season at one corner after moving over from wide receiver two years ago. Thrown to the wolves on the outside, he more than held his own making four picks – with two against Purdue – and coming up with a whopping 61 tackles. With tremendous athleticism and speed, it should be his job to handle Amari Cooper and the speedier Tide targets.

True freshman KeiVarae Russell has been a find on the other side, getting into the mix right away and making 50 tackles with two picks with a key one against Michigan and an important play against USC. At 5-11 and 182 pounds he has good size to go along with the quickness and moxie to play like a seasoned veteran.

Stepping in for Smith as the team’s leading safety was Zeke Motta, who made a total of 90 tackles in his previous two seasons and came up with 61 this year. The 6-2, 215-pound senior has good size and great hitting ability with linebacker-like talent against the run and with enough athleticism to get all over the field, but he doesn’t do much when the ball is in the air.

6-1, 200-pound sophomore Matthias Farley came up with only one pick, but it was a big one against Stanford. He held up well against the run making 43 tackles and was used from time to time to get behind the line. An emerging star, this could quickly turn into his secondary next season.

ADVANTAGE: Even, but it could be tipped in either direction for completely different reasons. Notre Dame’s secondary is still a bit of a question mark considering it hasn’t been tested or pushed outside of the Oklahoma win. The numbers are great – giving up fewer than 200 yards per game and ranking 13th in the nation in pass efficiency defense. Meanwhile, Alabama finished second in the nation in pass defense and sixth in pass efficiency defense, but was picked apart by Aaron Murray, Johnny Manziel and Zach Mettenberger. Alabama has more talent, but its secondary has to prove itself all over again after the last month of the season.

CFN 2013 BCS CHAMPIONSHIP POSITION BREAKDOWN
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs
- Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defensive Lines | Linebackers
- Secondaries | Special Teams | Coaches