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2023 Bowling Green Falcons Positional Previews: Defensive Backs

With Jordan Anderson and Chris Bacon leaving the safeties, and the cornerbacks staying intact, how will the Falcon secondary work together in 2023?

Bowling Green v Minnesota Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

The front seven took most of the attention for Bowling Green’s defense in 2022, yet the secondaries seemed to have a quiet and impactful season. The cornerbacks look to stay aggressive, while there may be some questions at the safety position.


One big thing to note this year for the Falcons is how much depth is returning for the cornerbacks. All of the big impact players are returning, with just a few departures. Let’s take a look at some of the personnel in 2023:

Quick Lane Bowl - Bowling Green v New Mexico State Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images


  • Markim McKinnie (not on 2023 roster)
  • Marcus Sheppard (transfer to North Dakota State)

The Falcons didn’t really lose that much in terms of personnel. The only one on this list that saw playing time was Sheppard, and he’s accumulated 16 total tackles over 3 seasons. He’ll get a chance to play at FCS powerhouse North Dakota State.


  • Justin Lynch (transfer from Laney Community College)

Lynch joins the Falcons after spending some time at Laney Community College. Appearing in 10 games last season, he accumulated 25 tackles and two pass breakups.


  • Davon Ferguson
  • Deshawn Jones, Jr. (2 years of eligibility)
  • Jalen Burton (2 years of eligibility)

The biggest piece of news in the cornerback offseason was that Davon Ferguson is coming back. Originally announcing he would transfer to Georgia Southern, Ferguson was able to transfer back to Bowling Green in an unprecedented move. Ferguson has played in nine career games for BG, but 2021 saw what kind of player he was. Before his injury in ‘21, he was the best solo tackler in the MAC with 5.6 solo stops per game. If Ferguson can stay healthy, he’ll be a force for the cornerback position once again.

While Ferguson was out, the rest of the cornerbacks stepped up. Especially Deshawn Jones, Jr. Jones was the leading tackler among the cornerbacks with 42 total tackles while also racking up an interception. He became a leader for the defensive backfield, and it’s expected that he comes up huge this year for the Falcons.

Another cornerback to watch is going to be Jalen Burton. While he was lower in the amount of tackles compared to Jones (23), he had one interception and returned it for a touchdown.

While one of Jones or Burton will have to sit with Ferguson back, they are viable options when someone will need to rest. Don’t sleep on Jordan Oladokun either. He had quite a bit of game experience last season that will boost the depth of the cornerbacks.


Not only did the defensive line lose a big part of its heartbeat, the safeties did as well. However, some transfers and returning players hope to reduce the negative impact of the losses. Here’s what’s going on with the safety position:

Quick Lane Bowl - Bowling Green v New Mexico State Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images


  • Chris Bacon

The leading tackler for the Falcons only had one year in Bowling Green, but it was very impactful. Leading the way with 84 tackles, he added on two interceptions and a forced fumble. Bacon started all 13 games in 2022, making him a big part of the safeties. Bacon signed to play pro ball with the Orlando Guardians of the XFL this offseason.

  • Jordan Anderson (transfer to UCLA)

Anderson is that one player that went through it all, and he was a very crucial piece during the Loeffler era. Ever since getting to play his first game against Notre Dame in 2019, Anderson was a staple for the defense. In 38 career games, he accumulated 180 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, five interceptions, a forced fumble, and three fumble recoveries.

He was also instrumental in bringing two Battle of I-75 victories back to BG. Anderson will take his talents to the Rose Bowl for his last year of eligibility under Chip Kelly. Who will fill the second set of shoes left by Anderson?


  • Steve Lubischer (transfer from Boston College)

Here we have yet another Boston College to Bowling Green move, as we’ve seen four times in the Loeffler era (most notably Matt McDonald). Lubischer appeared in 22 games for the Eagles with 15 total tackles for his career. Power Five experience may help Lubischer, but he does not have too much game experience. With one year of eligibility remaining, this is the last chance for Lubischer to see time on the field.

  • Jordan Jackson (transfer from Stony Brook)

Jackson jumps up to the FBS level with two years of eligibility remaining. Jackson accumulated 70 total tackles, one sack, and one interception in 25 total games. He hit his game-high seven tackles twice (against Albany and former MAC member UMass) in 2022. With the departures of Bacon and Anderson, Jackson may be a player to fill one of those shoes.


  • Trent Simms

The Falcons are thankful to have Trent Simms (two years of eligibility) back with the safeties going into the year with the departures of Anderson and Bacon. Simms has a good amount of game experience, appearing in all games in ‘21 and ‘22 with nine starts last season. Accumulating two each of tackles for loss and interceptions last year, look for Trent Simms to really step up this year after proving to be a solid cog in the machine.

  • Davion Daniels

Here we have another safety with game experience that could step up this year. Daniels (2 years of eligibility) appeared in every game in ‘21 and ‘22. While he’s only had 27 total tackles in his 29 career games, another year of building him up could be crucial for the Falcons.

This is the fifth piece of the 2023 BGSU Football previews. If you missed any of the others, check out our preseason preview stream here.

BG kicks off their 2023 campaign Saturday, September 2nd at noon ET, as they travel to Lynchburg, Virginia to face off against the Liberty Flames. The game is slated to be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. Check your local listings.