I’m a big fan of safeties. Who isn’t? Being a Florida fan, it’s hard not to have visions of former Gator great Lawrence Wright leveling Joey Kent. Or Reggie Nelson scoring on an interception return against Alabama. Or, most recently, Major Wright knocking Manny Johnson into another zip code. Safeties are just fun to watch. It’s as simple as that.
Two of the best safeties in the history of college football (yes, I went there) are currently getting ready for their junior and senior seasons respectively. While a school like Florida may have a great all-around secondary, Tennessee and USC have the individual stars. Eric Berry and Taylor Mays have entire offenses making sure they know exactly where they are lined up.
Berry seems like the better coverage safety. He’s a definite ball hawk who is a threat to score anytime he gets an interception. Although the Vols are not expected to shock the world this season, Berry may be able to singlehandedly keep them in games for longer than most would think possible. You can probably write in between six and eight interceptions and six and eight game-changing hits right now.
If you’re going to give Berry that many big hits, you might as well give Mays triple that. Not that Berry isn’t a great hitter, but Mays isn’t asked to cover one-on-one as much and benefits in the hit department by playing more of center field. He won’t intercept nearly as many passes as Berry, but he’ll make receivers think twice before even attempting to catch the ball.
If you watch a single Vol or Trojan game this fall, watch it for these two. They won’t be around in 2010.