The various college all-star games in recent weeks included cornerbacks from such far-flung places as Cal-Poly (Asa Jackson), Louisiana-Lafayette (Dwight Bentley), Furman (Ryan Steed), Presbyterian (Justin Bethel), Albion (Chris Greenwood), North Alabama by way of Florida (Janoris Jenkins) and a few others. For the most part, the challenge of displaying one's abilities against players from the bigger "football" schools, and in front of a crowd of NFL scouts, didn't dramatically affect the performances of any of the smaller-program coverage players.
Five decades ago, in large part because of the passing background of the schools and their conferences, the old AFL in particular unearthed solid corners at small schools. Now all teams scout those schools -- even with the decline in influence of historically black colleges and universities -- for cornerback prospects, it seems.
"For whatever reason," said New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese, "those schools tend to fall between the cracks. It's not because we don't scout them, because we do. But those schools and the cornerback position ... they don't get as much attention. But teams know those places and, by the end of the (evaluation) process, they know the players, too. Hey, everyone is looking for corners."