John Reid, Tariq Castro-Fields lead a talented yet inexperienced group.
Following the graduation of Amani Oruwariye , Penn State will be in search of a new number one corner in 2019.
The good news, however, is that there are two ready made options already on the team.
Both John Reid and Tariq Castro-Fields have All-Big Ten potential and the former appeared to be rounding back into form toward the end of the 2018 season.
Those two will be joined by a pair of talented sophomores who will vie for time in the slot and then a pair of freshman who will fight for the fifth corner spot.
Reid returned last year after missing the entirety of the 2017 season due to a torn ACL. The return wasn’t always as smooth as Penn State fans hoped as he shook off early season rust.
The encouraging sign for Reid and fans alike is that the now redshirt seniors improved as the season went on and he felt more comfortable playing on his surgically repaired knee.
Between his physical ability, football IQ and his leadership, Reid is expected to be a huge part of a defense that could be one of the best in the nation in 2019.
Opposite him will be Castro-Fields who continues to show more and more with each passing game.
Last season, he started three of 13 games and finished second on the team with seven pass breakups.
Castro-Fields’ length combined with superior athleticism make him a good matchup for longer, rangier wideouts.
I’m not sure it’s particularly proper to call Donovan Johnson a reserve. The redshirt sophomore, barring injury, will be the nickel corner for the Nittany Lions and given how often opponents opt for three wide receivers, he’ll see a large chunk of playing time in the coming season.
The dime spot, should Penn State not opt to slide Lamont Wade to corner and insert another safety, could well go to redshirt freshman Trent Gordon. Thanks to new redshirt rules, Gordon saw time in four games a year ago with limited action on both defense and special teams.
He’ll have to fight off a pair of talented true freshmen for that spot, as Marquis Wilson and State College native Keaton Ellis have both impressed coaches in spring practice.
Redshirt sophomore DJ Brown could also insert himself into that discussion.