Position breakdown: Auburn cornerbacks impress

July 31, 2013

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Jonathon Mincy, second from left, is in on the tackle for Auburn (Todd Van Emst photo)

By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn cornerbacks impressed defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson throughout spring practice, and have a chance to re-enforce that favorable impression when fall practice begins Friday. 

If they do, they would be the comeback story of the preseason, considering they didn't record an interception last season. 

How far have they come already?

"They've made the majority of our big plays on defense," Johnson said after spring practice. 

"That's probably been one of the brightest spots overall." 

Johnson juggled his secondary in the spring, moving some players around and creating the hybrid "Star" safety position as part of 4-2-5 defense. Johnson moved Josh Holsey from cornerback to safety in one of the moves to shore up that position, but he could move back if needed. 

That left Chris Davis,>Jonathon Mincy, Jonathan Jones and Ryan White as the primary players at cornerback. 

"On film…that's good stuff right there," Johnson said.  

Auburn had two interceptions last season — one by a linebacker and one by a safety. But Johnson says he won't judge his cornerbacks on that stat. 

"When you start the conversation on interceptions, I don't start that conversation with defensive backs, I start it with pressure on the quarterback," he said. 

With that, here's a look at Auburn's cornerbacks: 

Chris Davis (5-11, 200, Sr.) Has started 16 games despite missing four games last season and two the year before with injuries. Made 60 of his 118 career tackles in 2011. 

Jonathon Mincy (5-10, 200, Jr.) 15 career starts, including 11 last season. His 57 tackles were fifth on the team and tops among cornerbacks last year. 

Jonathan Jones (5-10, 180, So.) Started three games as a freshman last year. Had 13 tackles, including seven against Ole Miss. 

Ryan White (5-11, 196, Sr.) Started the opener last year and had seven tackles, but didn't start again and finished with 11 tackles. Has 34 career tackles. Holder for field goals and extra points. Former high school quarterback threw a pass for Gus Malzahn in 2011. 

Kamryn Melton (5-10, 173, Fr.) Had 64 tackles as a senior and 63 tackles as a junior at Dothan High School. Had two interceptions last season.

Charles Goldberg writes for AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: