One could argue that the most disappointing position group for the Arizona Wildcats in 2015 was the corners. That has led to cornerback coach David Lockwood not returning in 2016.
Rich Rodriguez has promoted Jahmile Addae to the position. Addae has spent the last three seasons with Arizona as a football analyst, focusing on defensive film breakdown.
I don't know how good of a coach Addae is, but I know he may be the best recruiter in the staff now.— Jason Scheer (@JasonScheer) December 21, 2015
From the start of the season, the cornerback position was one that was in flux. We saw true freshman Sammy Morrison start the opener, and then watched him get buried on the depth chart as the season progressed. Cam Denson has struggled with being a full-time defensive player, and will likely be on the offensive side of the ball again when spring practice starts in February. DaVonte' Neal, who moved to corner from receiver last February, started off as an explosive guy who looked like he would make plays, but has become a guy that struggles to cover receivers.
Lockwood admitted some of the shortcomings the group had to Zack Rosenblatt:
I spoke to Lockwood before the New Mexico Bowl. He said this when I asked to evaluate how the CBs played this year pic.twitter.com/VKELd40Vgs— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) December 21, 2015
This was Lockwood's fourth year at Arizona after spending four years as the cornerbacks coach at West Virginia. He's been coaching defensive backs since 1999, but was also a receiver coach from 1990-98 at Delaware, James Madison and Memphis.
It will be interesting to see how good of a coach Addae is. He was the running backs coach at Cincinnati in 2010 and 2011, where Isaiah Pead was second-team All-Big East. Addae seems to bring more of a recruiting background to the table than actual coaching experience, which could be good and bad. He was also a four-year starter at West Virginia in the early 2000s before graduating in 2005. So his ties to Rich Rodriguez go way back.
Hopefully this is the start of stronger play at corner from Arizona, with a new voice and a new vision taking hold.