In yesterday's practice, NB Korin Wiggins suffered a torn ACL and will miss the entire 2015 season.
This is a significant injury as it pertains to depth and experience. Wiggins was our top Nickel Back and extremely dependable in his role. He was also the backup at FS and could've played BCB in a pinch as well. So what now?
Well, if you're a fan of surprise comebacks then get ready because the door is open for Travis Blanks to return to the Nickel Back position he manned for us in 2012. Blanks should get the first chance to replace Wiggins as the true NB.
Many were impressed by Blanks ability at NB and he did make the Freshman All American 2nd Team that year. However, I saw holes in his game. He was a liability in man coverage and not as good of a tackler as either Wiggins or Sam LB Dorian O'Daniel.
O'Daniel will see an uptick in his reps as well. He will be counted on in "run" situations and against run personnel. His ability to cover is largely a mystery as the majority of his in-game reps last year were against Georgia Tech and the option.
What happens next will tell you all you need to know. With the tackling/coverage issues of Blanks and the inexperience of O'Daniel, someone is likely getting moved over to NB for cross training. Who it is will tell you a lot about the confidence level they have in Blanks and O'Daniel.
If it is B.J. Goodson, it means that they are worried about stopping the run and need an "in-the-box" player. Goodson will reprise his role as the on-the-line Sam in 4-3 Under. This is not likely though as his replacement at MLB, Kendall Joseph, has been injured this week.
Jadar Johnson: This means they are not comfortable with either Blanks or O'Daniel's all-around skill set and need a guy with versatility who can cover well. This would also be really bad news for Blanks and really good news for reserve safeties Jeffrie Gibson and Van Smith.
Ryan Carter: He'd be fun here as he is quite physical and can knife through and blow people up, but this move would more than likely be for organizational depth and mean that Tank and Mark Fields are going to hold down BCB this year.
Anybody Else/Nobody Else: This means that they are comfortable with the Blanks/O'Daniel Combo and, while we will miss Wiggins' versatility, these two have proven to the coaches that they are capable.
We at STS wish Korrin a speedy recovery as ACL surgery and recovery is a grueling process. I'll miss seeing #12 on the field this year but as a high football IQ guy, "Coach" Wiggins should be able to help out his replacement learn some of the nuances of the position.