Dorian Hall and Olin Cushion III are two of several safeties competing for starting jobs at FIU, and they couldn’t be more different in a couple of major ways.
Hall, a redshirt freshman, is set to get his first collegiate action on Sept. 1, when the Panthers open their season against the visiting Indiana Hoosiers.
Cushion, a 5-8, 175-pound junior from Miami Central, has played 10 games for FIU, making one interception.
Aside from being less experienced, Hall, at 6-4, 190 pounds, is also a whopping eight inches taller than Cushion. Hall is also seven inches taller than Tyree Johnson and five inches taller than Richard Dames, two other safety candidates.
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FIU coach Butch Davis compared Hall to former NFL safety Merton Hanks, who won a Super Bowl and was a four-time All-Pro in a stellar nine-year career. Hanks was listed at 6-2, 185 pounds as a player.
“It gives you some advantage,” Davis said when asked about Hall’s height. “He has a gigantic wingspan. He has also improved dramatically from last season, and he is alternating in and out [with the first team].
“Two safeties are not enough. Last year, we played some defenses with three safeties, taking out a linebacker.”
THIS AND THAT
▪ FIU redshirt senior defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, who tied for the team lead last year with seven sacks, sees a potential position change for himself next year.
At 6-3 and 285 pounds, Johnson could play defensive end if he can get drafted or signed by an NFL team.
“I keep bothering [FIU defensive line coach Kenny Holmes] about playing end,” Johnson said. “He said he might throw me in here and there, but it seems like I will play mostly tackle.”
▪ Ike Brown, FIU’s top cornerback, said wide receivers C.J. Worton and Austin Maloney have been his toughest teammates to cover. “I have been having a lot of challenges with C.J.,” Brown said. “He’s a very fast guy.”
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