DS News Webcast: Tuesday 6/25/2013

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Cordell Hudson hopes to add depth at cornerback following redshirt season

first_img Published on April 13, 2015 at 8:56 pm Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse There were two Cordell Hudsons at the annual Syracuse spring game on April 4.The first was Hudson in a comfortable situation — matching up with speedsters like Sean Avant and Brisly Estime in the slot and tracking them step for step downfield.The second was the 5-foot-11, 166-pound Hudson in a less suitable spot — pressing up against big-bodied receivers like Jamal Custis and Adly Enoicy out wide and contending for jump balls.And while he was generally successful in the intrasquad scrimmage, his physical deficiencies were scattered throughout the afternoon.“I definitely have a lot of work to do,” Hudson said. “I definitely have to get bigger and stronger, get in the film room and watch some more film.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter redshirting last season, Hudson lacks the strength to be considered a versatile cornerback by Division I standards. But he’s still in the mix in a cornerback unit that returns one starter in senior Julian Whigham, has senior Wayne Morgan returning from a season-ending injury and has rising sophomore Antwan Cordy learning both cornerback and strong safety.Hudson is quick to say he’s not yet ready to contribute, but plans to improve his strength and technique in the months ahead of his first collegiate season.“It’s all in the heart, you have to be physical,” Hudson said. “… Even though they are bigger, you have to be physical with them. It’s strength. There’s a height difference but I can deal with that, it’s definitely strength.”It’s not the first time Hudson is working to make his size a non-factor.At Largo (Florida) High School, Hudson was coached by former NFL defensive back Marcus Paschal. Paschal, who is 6 feet tall and hovered around 200 pounds as a player, was a standout at Iowa before latching onto the Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens for parts of four years. He saw Hudson as a similar cornerback and taught him how to match up with receivers of any build.That meant using his hands effectively, anticipating routes before they happened and ultimately relying on technique. Hudson took to the approach and was able to use his length to “shut down one side of the field” for Largo in a high school football hotbed.College coaches were impressed with Hudson’s ability to recognize routes and play in Largo’s various coverage schemes, and he was one of three Florida cornerbacks to land in SU’s Class of 2014.“At the beginning, you see him at a 5-11,” Paschal said, “but that’s where he made his name for us. They started to pick on him and every time they came at him he stepped up to the challenge.”Hudson said he struggled at the start of spring football and the coaches came down on him. So he watched more practice film and worked hard at the “shallow technique,” which Syracuse teaches to all its cornerbacks. Players like Estime and Alvin Cornelius, who once burned him in the open field, became easier to stick with and his improvements seeped into an encouraging spring game performance.But on one of the offense’s last possessions, Hudson was pushed over by the 6-foot-5 Custis on the goal line, giving SU quarterback Terrel Hunt a wide-open target in the corner of the end zone.The pass was a tad high and went through Custis’ hands, but next time Hudson may not be so lucky.“(Hudson)’s got to make a big jump with his strength and weight from the end of spring ball to the beginning of training camp, because he’s going to play,” SU defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough said.“We’ve seen injuries already, there’s going to be injuries. He’s going to play so he has to get bigger and stronger.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more