2009 Football Position Breakdown: Safeties

AP Photo

What do you get when you mix a cornerback with a linebacker? You get a safety.

What do you get when you mix a safety with a linebacker? You get a rover. Or a "Wildcat". Or you get whatever it is they call the hybrid safety/linebacker in Vic Koenning and Chris Cosh's new 4-2-5 scheme.

Regardless, due to the number of them on the field, and their importance in this particular scheme, safety will become a spotlight position this season and in the upcoming ones at Kansas State.

And while a couple of familiar names return, there are a whole slew of new guys looking to make an impact this coming season.  Click the jump to find out who will be the last line of defense against the high-octane Big 12 spread offenses this season for the Wildcats.

Safeties


#21 Troy Butler

Class: Junior
Height: 6-1
Weight: 200
Previous Starter (Y/N): No
Honors: N/A
Official Bio

#5 Chris Carney

Class: Senior
Height: 6-1
Weight: 190
Previous Starter (Y/N): Yes (13 games)
Honors: Player Representative (2009)
Official Bio

#28 Logan Dold

Class: Sophomore
Height: 6-0
Weight: 207
Previous Starter (Y/N): No (He started at RB for 3 games, so it doesn't count here.)
Honors: N/A
Official Bio

#8 Stephen Harrison

Class: Junior
Height: 5-11
Weight: 181
Previous Starter (Y/N): No
Honors: N/a
Official Bio

#2 Tysyn Hartman

Class: Sophomore
Height: 6-3
Weight: 207
Previous Starter (Y/N): Yes (8 games)
Honors: Player Representative (2009)
Official Bio

#20 Courtney Herndon

Class: Senior
Height: 6-0
Weight: 211
Previous Starter (Y/N): Yes (10 games)
Honors: N/A
Official Bio

#23 Emmanuel Lamur

Class: Sophomore
Height: 6-4
Weight: 214
Previous Starter (Y/N): No
Honors: N/A
Official Bio

#31 Torell Miller

Class: True Freshman
Height: 6-3
Weight: 205
Previous Starter (Y/N): No
Honors: N/A
Official Bio

#13 Adrian Stryker

Class: Senior
Height: 6-1
Weight: 206
Previous Starter (Y/N): No
Honors: N/A
Official Bio

#24 Dahrnaz Tigner

Class: Junior
Height: 6-2
Weight: 223
Previous Starter (Y/N): No
Honors: N/A
Official Bio

 

Projected Depth Chart:

 

Starters:

  • Free Safety: Tysyn Hartman
  • Strong Safety: Courtney Herndon
  • Wildcat Safety: Emmanuel Lamur

Backups:

  • Free Safety: Chris Carney
  • Strong Safety: Troy Butler OR Logan Dold
  • Wildcat Safety: Dharnaz Tigner

Reserves: Stephen Harrison, Torrell Miller, Adrian Stryker

 

Justification:

Aside from the offensive line, this is the most difficult position to predict based on the new scheme and the influx of new personnel.  Obviously, you have two returning starters, Tysyn Hartman and Courtney Herndon, so you expect them to start again.  However, there have been rumblings on the Interwebs about Herndon moving to the hybrid safety/linebacker role because of his strength, solid tacking ability, and his pass coverage skills.   But he is the returning starter at strong safety, and he did excel there, so I'll go with him as the starter at that spot.  Since Hartman is the returning starter at the free safety role, I'll keep him there too.

The starting Wildcat safety position is a hard one to predict.  We've all heard good things out of camp in regards to Sophomore JUCO transfer, Emmanuel Lamur.  Lamur, who may actually make more sense at the "Wildcat" due to his size, speed, and tackling ability, will play either the Wildcat or strong safety position.  I expect him and Herndon to be on the field at the same time (if healthy), so I wouldn't be surprised if they flip flop depending on who does better at their respective roles.

Chris Carney is an experienced veteran, and a former starter at the free safety position.  I imagine he'll get plenty of reps, but he won't beat out Hartman.  Hartman has an advantage, physically, in almost every area in terms of size and speed.  Also, his experience as a quarterback lends itself to the free safety position.  That's not a knock on Carney; he's an excellent choice to back up Hartman.

At the strong safety position, I imagine Troy Butler or Logan Dold will backup Herndon.  Both of them are physically talented players that will be hard to keep off of the field.  Truthfully, putting them at strong safety is kind of arbitrary.  I anticipate that with a mixture of injuries and/or performance issues, you could see either of these guys backing up at any of the other safety positions.    At this point, when talent supersedes supposed fit, it's easy to see a scenario where the safety position could ultimately be a game of musical chairs.

That said, to back up the Wildcat position, I'll select Dahrnaz Tigner.  He's listed on the GoPowercat.com depth chart as a linebacker, but he's listed in the media guide as a safety.  Given his time at both positions, his size and his speed, he's the perfect fit for this role.  In the event that he moves back to the secondary, I see him as a perfect fit here.

Former walk-ons, Stephen Harrison and Adrian Stryker, will fill out the depth chart.  They'll most likely see all of their action on special teams.  Torrell Miller, a freshman, will most likely redshirt unless injuries push him to see the field.

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