August 20, 2010

Senior DB Vince Agnew fills void at corner

Replacing two starting corners in 2010 will be a challenge for Central Michigan, but it helps matters when you can slide a senior with the experience of Vince Agnew into one spot. Last season Agnew appeared in all 14 games with two starts and he tallied 35 tackles, 5 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble and 2 blocked kicks on the year. And while his wealth of experience is a major bonus, it also helps that Agnew is a very talented corner. In fact, the last time he was on the field, Agnew won Defensive MVP honors in the GMAC Bowl victory over Troy after blocking a Trojans field goal in the second overtime.

"That was a big, big step in my career," said Agnew on the GMAC Bowl. "It was definitely a mental boost and you feel a lot better about your game when you can step up and help your team, especially in a big game like that where it went to overtime. So I think that carries over and it helps you in the process of becoming a leader, stepping in as a senior and having that under my belt made the transition easier. You have a lot more guys trust, and they support you as you support them at the same time."

Agnew has appeared in 35 games throughout his career at CMU, and he has played just about every position in the CMU secondary.

"When you play safety and nickel and dime, it gives you an understanding of the game of football. And football isn't all physical, it's as much mental, and playing those different positions allows you to become more of a student. You understand defensive line stunts and where pressures are coming from, stuff like that, so it just helps you play a little bit faster" said Agnew.

While he has played everywhere in the secondary, Agnew will have a permanent position for the first time in his career as he slides into one of the starting corner positions. At 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, Agnew has the size and speed to be a physical presence in the secondary, and that is exactly what the coaches are expecting out of him.

"My role this year, I will be asked to be a lot more of a physical corner," said Agnew. "I'm replacing Kirkston Edwards in the boundary, he was a real physical hitter and when you're in the boundary you get isolated a lot with a single receiver, so I'll be over there just doing my part and trying to hold down that receiver."

And Agnew won't be the only player who is starting their first season as a starter. CMU also lost corner Josh Gordy and safety Eric Fraser from last seasons squad and the Chippewas will to replace a few defensive backs who made a lot of plays during their careers.

"We definitely lost a lot of good DB's that played a lot of games and a lot of football, but I feel like we have a lot of young guys that are young, but not necessarily inexperienced," added Agnew. "Everyone has game experience, Jahleel Addae played a huge role in the bowl game this past year and he brings a completely different swagger to out defense this year. And then we also have Bobby Seay who's returning as a starter, I think he was second on the team in tackles a couple of years ago, Dannie Bolden]/db] is in the mix, [db]Lorenzo White is stepping up and he's going to play a lot of corner for us. He's shown flashes of greatness with things he's done in the spring and he has shown he can cover the deep ball as well as displaying good hips to play man on man on the outside."

While corner may be the toughest position on the field due to the physical skills needed to say with wide receivers and the tackling ability to come up and take down running backs and tight ends, it is also a position that is notoriously known for having trash talkers. As Agnew explains, he certainly falls into that category and he and his fellow defensive backs have been working on their skills all summer.

"I'm definitely a trash talker," laughed Agnew. "I've tried to perfect my craft over the summer and in this camp, so I've definitely done my share of talking. I was joking around with the guys on the sideline that you will probably never hear me quiet for more than 30 seconds."

But Agnew was quick to point out he is not even the top trash talker in his position group, and he was just as quick to point out the Chippewas top trash talker.

"Dannie Bolden is hands down an Olympian trash talker," exclaimed Agnew. "He can trash talk with anybody, I would put him up against anyone in the country."

Despite never being a full time starter, Agnew has six starts during his career and he has proven throughout his career that he can make plays. He will be looked upon to be a steady performer in the secondary and you can bet that if he makes a play, the opposition will know all about it.

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