GoMocs.com’s Training Camp Rundown moves back across the line of scrimmage with a look at the outside of the Mocs secondary. Just like the defensive line and the linebackers, the cornerbacks are led by returning starters and a preseason All-American.
Sophomore Sema’je Kendall (Huntsville, Ala.) has been listed as a corner in the preseason depth chart, but injuries have forced him to move almost exclusively to safety. That leaves a pair of seniors as the top two on the outside.
Senior Kadeem Wise (Lawrenceville, Ga.) is a three-year starter who is holding down the right corner. He is a three-time All-Southern Conference performer and is trying to become the first Moc in school history to be named all-league all four years of his career.
Wise is on a number of preseason All-American teams and is tied for fifth all time at UTC with 10 career interceptions. His 10 career picks are also tied for 10th among all active players in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
Wise has started each of the 33-games in his career and is one of five Mocs defenders on the preseason All-SoCon first team. Recently elected one of five team captains, Wise is expected to provide leadership to a young but talented group.
Also taking on more of a leadership role is senior Chaz Moore (Memphis, Tenn.) Moore is the starter on the left side and was also elected captain by his teammates. Moore started every game last season in various roles in the secondary. He is a big hitter and serves as one of the emotional leaders on the team.
Moore is also an experienced corner. He has played in all 33 games of his career and has made 17 starts. He was third on the team with five passes defended, including an interception in 2012. He also added 52 tackles last season.
The second unit features a pair of talented redshirt freshmen. Will Johnson (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Dee Virgin (Donalsonville, Ga.) both sat out last season, but have been impressive throughout their time at UTC.
Virgin was an all-state defensive back at Seminole County High School in Donalsonville, Ga. Johnson was also an all-state defensive back at Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta, Ga. Johnson was slowed recently by a shoulder injury, but both are expected to have a big impact throughout the season.
Also competing on the corners are a pair of walk-ons in redshirt freshman Ryan Bossung (Nashville, Tenn.) and true freshman Aaron Tisdale (Chattanooga, Tenn.). Bossung tied a Tennessee state record with 13 interceptions as a senior at Father Ryan in Nashville. Tisdale was an all-district prep player at Chattanooga’s Grace Academy.
“The corners are doing a great job in camp so far,” stated cornerbacks coach B.J. Hogan. “They have been led by Kadeem Wise. He has had a great summer and has done a lot of great things for us in camp. Chaz Moore also had a great summer and he is making big plays on the field for us. Redshirt freshman Will Johnson has come a long way in the year and a half that we’ve had him, and then there’s Dee Virgin who is making big plays and we expect to make some contributions.”
The Mocs are just over a week away from hitting the field for the season opener against UT Martin. Kickoff against the Skyhawks is set for Thursday, Aug. 29, at 7:30 p.m. at Finley Stadium. Tickets are on sale now on GoMocs.com or by calling the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627).
Cornerbacks Depth Chart
|LCB||1||Chaz Moore||5-10||175||Sr.-3L||Memphis, Tenn.||Team captain & returning starter|
|29||Will Johnson||5-11||185||Fr.-RS||Alpharetta, Ga.||All-state prep player|
|48||Ryan Bossung||5-9||160||Fr.-RS||Nashville, Tenn.||Tied TN prep record with 13 INTs as a senior|
|RCB||5||Kadeem Wise||5-10||180||Sr.-3L||Lawrenceville, Ga.||Preseason All-American & returning starter|
|19||Dee Virgin||5-10||180||Fr.-RS||Donalsonville, Ga.||All-state as a prep player|
|13||Aaron Tisdale||5-10||170||Fr.-HS||Chattanooga, Tenn.||All-district as a prep player|