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"I understood I was very inexperienced," he said of the past two seasons. "I had to start tuning a lot of things out negative-wise. Because of that honestly, it made me even more driven towards becoming a true player – a player that doesn't need to be supported. I can actually hold my own. I can also make sure those two moments [I experienced] never repeat themselves again."
With Winchester expected to occupy one of the corner spots, UH secondary coach Clay Jennings will fill the other from among four candidates who have never made a collegiate start. The group includes Isaiah Johnson, who made the transition from wide receiver in the spring. At 6-4 and 205 pounds, Johnson passes the eye test and could provide a much-needed physical presence at the position.
"He's physical and not afraid to tackle," Jennings said. "He made some great plays on balls."
Senior Alex Myres is "right there with them" and sophomores Ka'Darian Smith and Javian Smith are "showing flashes" but need to exhibit more consistency, Jennings said.
"It's a very inexperienced group but it's a very athletic group," Jennings added. "Every day that we come out we have to make sure that we're paying attention to detail and we can't take steps back."
Johnson said it would be a mistake to judge the cornerbacks based on experience.