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ASU Football Preview: Cornerbacks and Safeties, Eddie Elder's Time To Shine

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The Sun Devils secondary has experienced a huge loss during the offseason -- senior cornerback Omar Bolden, largely considered to be the leader of the defense, went down in April with a torn ACL. His best case prognosis has him back on the field by November, but ACL recoveries are difficult to project and any setback at all would cost him his entire senior year.

Bolden is projected as the 12th-best senior cornerback prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft by Mocking The Draft, and losing him is absolutely terrible from a personnel standpoint.

Without Bolden, the secondary has a lot of work to do to ensure that ASU meets the lofty expectations of the fans and the media. Lets take a look at the roster and see who is ready for the limelight.

Cornerbacks:
Deveron Carr (Jr.)
Osahon Irabor (Soph.)
Devan Spann (RS Fr.)
DeMarkus Perkins (RS Soph., transfer from Highland Community College, Kansas)
Alden Darby (Soph.)
Joe Eason (Fr.)

Safeties:
Eddie Elder (Senior)
Clint Floyd (Senior)
Kevin Ayers (Jr.)
Jonathan Clark (RS Senior)
Matthew Tucker (RS Soph.)
Keelan Johnson (RS Jr.)

For more on who needs to step up and who is going to stand out, follow the jump.

From the list of players in the Arizona State secondary, Eddie Elder jumps out as the logical leader for this unit. In 2010, his first year in maroon and gold, Elder collected 64 tackles and two interceptions, including a INT returned for a touchdown off of Heisman Trophy candidate Andrew Luck.

As a senior, Elder has a lot to gain from a good 2011 campaign -- his draft stock would soar if he led the Devils to a 10-win season through leadership, hard work and by making big plays.

Clint Floyd, the other senior safety, has improved a lot during his time in Tempe. Adding 30 tackles in 2010, Floyd needs to continue to get better, as our safeties need to have more than three interceptions in 2011. These two guys are absolutely the keys to our success.

The cornerback position is more fluid, with Carr and Irabor currently slated to start. Perkins is a standout talent from Highland Community College in Kansas, and he brings three years of eligibility to ASU. Hopefully these three can compete fiercely in fall practice for the two starting positions, and we can all stop worrying about the potential issues that losing Bolden brings to the table.

Can the Sun Devils secondary still be dominant without Omar Bolden? We'll find out soon enough.