Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt wants sophomore Thomas Graham to turn into a shutdown cornerback.
Graham is slated to start for the Ducks this season. Yet, Leavitt wants Graham to be more than just a starter.
“This year, he expects me to be that No. 1 cornerback coming in like he had on the defenses at Colorado,” Graham said, per The Register-Guard’s Steve Mims. “He had Chidobe basically guarding the No. 1 receiver and locking him down all day.”
Graham is referring to cornerback Chidobe Awuzie who Leavitt coached when he was a defensive coordinator at Colorado. Awuzie ended up being a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Leavitt sees that kind of potential in Graham.
With thin secondary depth, the Ducks need Graham to standout at cornerback. Sophomore Deommodore Lenoir is projected to start on the opposite side of Graham. Freshman Verone McKinley III and junior-college transfer Haki Woods are penciled in as the backups. The four represent Oregon’s only scholarship cornerbacks.
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