Camp Preview: Secondary Flush With Experience

Camp Preview: Secondary Flush With Experience

KINGSTON, R.I. - With a strong mix of returners and a pair of high-impact newcomers coming on board, the Rhode Island secondary figures to be a strength this season. Senior cornerback Rashod Dickerson (Seat Pleasant, Md.) was among the top corners in CAA Football last year before suffering a season-ending injury. He was back for Spring Camp and looked strong.

Opposite Dickerson are senior Malik Wilder (Bronx, N.Y.), sophomore Cayvian Holmes (Apopka, Fla.) and redshirt junior nickelback Kwadir Brown (Paterson, N.J.). All were regulars in the rotation last season and will give the Rams a deep, experienced group at cornerback. Redshirt sophomore Malik Gavek (Cranston, R.I.) saw limited time last season and will provide depth at corner and safety in nickel and dime packages.

With three-year starter D.J. Stewart graduating, the Rams will look to redshirt senior Momodou Mbye (Pawtucket, R.I.) to lead the safeties. A former walk-on, Mbye has been a major contributor over the last three years, starting 24 of the 32 games he has appeared. With 126 career tackles, four interceptions and six fumble recoveries, he is constantly around the ball.

Senior Brian Campbell (Baltimore, Md.) started four games last season and will enter camp with a strong opportunity to start at the second safety spot. Redshirt sophomore Henry Yianakopolos (Contoocook, N.H.) has been a strong practice player for the last two seasons and should see playing time this season. A.J. Baxter (Waterford Works, N.J.) missed 2018 with an injury but was able to participate in spring camp. 

Three newcomers to keep an eye on will be juniors Jordan Jones (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Da'Meak Brandon (Cincinnati, Ohio) and freshman Antonio Carter II (Orlando, Fla.). A transfer from Nassau Community College who will compete at the corner spots, Jones was a 2017 junior college All-American who had 11 interceptions in 22 games for Nassau. He comes from the same program that produced current Rams Ahmere Dorsey, Naim Jones and Malik Wilder.

Brandon joined the program late in the summer from Laney College with two years of eligibility. At 5-10 and 180 pounds, he offers good size in nickel and dime packages. Carter was a second-team All-Metro selection and team captain for Oak Ridge as a senior in high school. He projects as a safety early in his career.

Several area walk-ons will give the team depth in the secondary. Carl Green (Warwick, R.I.) and Christopher Germosen (Providence, R.I.) will help fortify the corner spots. Emmanuel Gomes (Woonsocket, R.I.), Brian Hamilton (Portsmouth, R.I.), Seun Filaoye (Warwick, R.I.) and Hugo Lopes (Milford, Mass.) all figure to be in the secondary as well.

Check Friday for a look at the Running Backs.