This is the fifth in a series of position group previews throughout Sacramento State training camp. To view all stories about the Hornets, select the "News" button at the top of the page.
SACRAMENTO STATE'S COLLEGE FOOTBALL KICKOFF IS COMING SOON
Get your 2019 college football season started the right way at Sacramento State's College Football Kickoff on Saturday, Aug. 24, at Hornet Stadium from 6-9 p.m.. The free, family-friendly event, will feature tailgate games, football drills, opportunities for pictures and autographs with Sacramento State coaches and players, and performances from the marching band, cheer and dance teams.
DEFENSIVE BACKS PREVIEW
The leading returning tackler on the team is senior Caelan Barnes who tallied 71 stops last season while starting all 10 games. Barnes was the starter at free safety in the first nine contests before shifting to cornerback for the finale. The senior was consistent throughout the season with at least three tackles in every game and five or more in nine contests.
Fellow senior Allen Perryman started the final four games at strong safety and could, once again, pair with Barnes to give Sacramento State a veteran presence in the middle of the field. Perryman set a career high with 38 tackles last season and also intercepted his first pass. His highlight came against North Dakota where he blocked a PAT attempt and returned it for the Hornets' first defensive two-point conversion since 1990.
Daron Bland started every game at cornerback last season and is the lone returning starter at the position. Bland had 44 total tackles and an interception a year ago on the gridiron. He's also a member of the Sacramento State track and field team where he qualified for the Big Sky Championships in the high jump and long jump.
Senior Dhaamir Lomax has battled injuries the past two seasons but is still the most experienced corner behind Bland. He will be joined by returners Justin McGill, Davion Ross and Isaiah Capoocia.
The newcomers at the position include transfers Isaiah Butler, Robert Lewis and Prince Washington. Butler played JC ball at Phoenix College and is the brother of former FCS All-American Emmanuel Butler. Lewis and Washington return to their home state after beginning their careers at Boise State and Wyoming, respectively. Butler and Lewis have both seen significant reps during camp and will contend for starting positions at cornerback.
A big boost to the secondary will come with the return of a healthy Marcus Bruce who is expected to start at nickelback. The senior redshirted last season but still managed to make 28 tackles in his four games. The prior season he was named third team all-Big Sky after tallying 57 tackles and leading the team with four fumble recoveries. Bruce will be backed up by sophomore Marte Mapu and freshman Josiah Jacobs.
The depth at safety could come from returners Malik Jeter, Abel Ordaz and Marcus Aponte as well as four newcomers. Jeter was credited with 21 total tackles last season while the other two primarily played on special teams.
Caelan Barnes (16 career starts, 125 career tackles, 3.5 career TFLs, 6 career PBUs)
Daron Bland (10 career starts, 49 career tackles, 3.0 career TFLs, 5 career PBUs, 1 career interception)
Marcus Bruce (17 career starts, 136 career tackles, 6.5 career TFLs, 4 career fumble recoveries, 1 career interception)
Mister Harriel (18 career starts)
Marcus Aponte (6-0, 195, RFr., Salida, Calif./St. Mary's HS)
Caelan Barnes (6-1, 205, Sr., Sacramento, Calif./Antelope HS)
Daron Bland (6-0, 200, Jr., Modesto, Calif./Central Catholic HS)
Marcus Bruce (5-10, 180, RSr., Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield HS)
Isaiah Capoocia (5-11, 205, So., Lakeside, Calif./El Capitan HS)
Malik Jeter (5-11, 190, Jr., Seaside, Calif./Seaside HS)
Dhaamir Lomax (5-11, 175, Sr., Crenshaw, Calif./Butte JC)
Marte Mapu (6-3, 210, So., Hawthorne, Calif./Hawthorne HS)
Justin McGill (-60, 175, RFr., Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield HS)
Abel Ordaz (6-1, 190, So., Brentwood, Calif./De La Salle HS)
Allen Perryman (6-0, 190, Sr., Lemmore, Calif./Lemoore HS)
Davion Ross (5-11, 175, RFr., Sacramento, Calif./Inderkum HS)
Tykee Woods (5-7, 175, RFr., Fresno, Calif./Clovis West HS)
Isaiah Butler (5-10, 175, Jr., Phoenix, Ariz./Phoenix College)
Gavin Davis-Smith (5-11, 175, Fr., Folsom, Calif./Folsom HS)
Josiah Jacobs (6-1, 200, Fr., Scottsdale, Ariz./Saguaro HS)
Robert Lewis (5-10, 180, Jr., Los Angeles, Calif./Boise State)
Kainalu Martin (5-10, 175, Jr., San Francisco, Calif./San Mateo JC)
Cedric McAfee (6-1, 200, Jr., San Francisco, Calif./CC San Francisco)
Dominic Sanders (6-0, 175, Jr., Lincoln, Calif./Sierra JC)
Kalani Washington (5-8, 170, Fr., La Habra, Calif./La Habra HS)
Prince Washington (5-9, 170, Jr., Fresno, Calif./Wyoming)
Braylen Williams (6-1, 195, Jr., Clovis, Calif./Fresno City JC)