Spring Preview: Cornerbacks
This group has a lot of experience and a lot of potential. If you are a wide receiver they will stunt you, harass you, and take the ball from you.
Next up for preview: Cornerbacks
UAB has 9 corners listed on the spring roster. Three seniors, three sophomores, and three freshman. Six have seen live action as a Blazer. The tallest is C.D. Daniels standing at 6'2". The farthest from home is T'sai McDaniel who calls Austin, Texas home. Closest to home goes to Starling Thomas V from Birmingham, Alabama. Lets put these players on an island, where they are comfortable, and preview the Blazer corners.
#3 C.D. Daniels - 6'2" 185lbs - Senior
C.D. is one of the most seasoned corners on the roster and has played every year since joining the Blazers out of high school. C.D. has played in 39 games while starting in 10. Daniels has recorded 45 tackles for his career along with several pass breakups. Daniels is going to be a thorn in the side of any wide receiver that has to line up opposite of him. He has the tools and the experience to get the start in every game this season.
#4 Starling Thomas V - 6'0" 195lbs - Redshirt Senior
The other seasoned corner on this roster is Starling Thomas V. He has played in 39 games, started in 27, while missing all of 2020 due to injury. He has tallied 78 tackles, 14 pass breakups, and 3 interceptions. He was an All-CUSA Honorable Mention in 2021 but expect him to get first team honors this season. Starling is our best corner this season and will likely be the guy who draws the toughest matchups in 2022. It is of my opinion that as long as Starling stays healthy he will dominate most of the competition he will have to cover.
#5 Mac McWilliams - 5'10" 185lbs - Redshirt Sophomore
The coaches have been very high on Mac since he has arrived on the Southside and rightfully so. Mac has come in and played meaningful minutes in his first two seasons. He has played in 12 games as a Blazer recording 30 tackles, 4 pass breakups, and 3 quarterback hurries. In 2021 he was rewarded for his great play by receiving a spot on the CUSA All-Freshman Team. Look for McWilliams to continue to make a push for playing time. He will be in that rotation of corners and could get a few starts depending on who we play.
#20 Devodric Bynum - 5'11" 195lbs - Redshirt Senior
Bynum is another staple in the defensive back field for UAB. He has played in 33 games making one start. He has recorded 33 tackles, 4 pass breakups, and 1 sack. Bynum came to UAB from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and has certainly not disappointed. He has provided much needed depth and has performed well when his number has been called. He will be back in the rotation again this season looking to add to his already solid stats.
#33 Colby Dempsey - 5'10" 180lbs - Redshirt Sophomore
Colby's list of offers out of St Thomas Aquinas High School was surely impressive but UAB was able to sway the South Florida native to bring his talents to Alabama. So far for the Blazers Colby has played in 10 games recording 2 tackles. Expect his on field play to increase this season.
#36 Keon Handley Jr. - 5'10" 185lbs - Redshirt Freshman
Keon played in one game in 2021 as a Blazer but did not record a stat. The Fairfield High School standout looks to join his former teammates Damon and Damien Miller in the defensive back field more this season but will have a lot of talent ahead of him. Can he make some noise?
#14 Trey Miles - 6'0" 170lbs - Freshman
Trey is a true freshman that spent his senior season of football at Georgia Knights Prep (GA) as a quarterback. Trey is making the switch over to corner at UAB. While his history as a quarterback should help with his ability to know some defensive coverages he will have to adjust to the new position and the college speed.
#18 Cody Martin - 5'10" 195lbs - Redshirt Sophomore
Cody Martin comes to UAB from Iowa Western CC by way of Hoover High School (AL). Cody had originally committed to South Alabama out of high school but had to go the JUCO route. Cody returns to Alabama looking to fight for a spot in an already tough corner room.
#29 T'sai McDaniel - 5'11" 170lbs - Redshirt Freshman
T'sai McDaniel was a defensive MVP for Lake Travis High School his senior season. He did this after only starting one year of varsity football. He had some NAIA offers out of high school but held walk-on offers from UAB and SMU and chose to come to Birmingham. T'sai has not played in a game as a Blazer.
When you look at the UAB defense it is very hard to find many weaknesses. The corner spot is just another example of that. This group is one of the reasons the Blazers continue to hold on to a top 30 defense since the Return. It is also the reason why other teams don't find a lot of success through the air. But, the coaches like to play man defense with the corners. Being on an island is tough as a corner but, its a challenge that you must embrace when you come to UAB. You have to want the ball more than the receiver lined up across from you. You have to have that swagger required for the position. I really like this group and think they all have those characteristics. I believe that Starling could be a consistent starter in 2022 but the rest will be on rotation and situational. Very excited to see this group continue to work.