For Coty Sensabaugh, the opportunity for early playing time is there.
Cody Sensabaugh will compete for a role in Tennessee's secondary.
The Titans made the Clemson cornerback their fourth-round pick, No. 115 overall, on Saturday, filling a spot vacated by the free agent defection of Cortland Finnegan to the St. Louis Rams.
Sensabaugh, the second cousin of Dallas Cowboys safety Gerald Sensabaugh, is from Kingsport, Tenn., in the far northeastern corner of the state.
Sensabaugh spent last season starting at cornerback for the Tigers, but prior to that was a key member of their defense as a nickelback.
“He's done both. The first three years, he was primarily their inside guy at nickel,” Titans defensive backs coach Brett Maxie said. “This past season, he was a full-time outside defender. He was very valuable to that program in terms of a guy that was very bright, who could play inside and outside.”
Sensabaugh said he learned plenty from Gerald, who grew up on the same street as him in Kingsport.
“We actually grew up together. We grew up on the same street and everything. He's just a couple of years older than me,” Coty said of his cousin. “He taught me everything I needed to know about this process. He gave me a lot of advice and walked me through everything step-by-step.”
As for which spot the Titans will use him, Maxie is open to Sensabaugh having a shot at both the outside cornerback spot and the nickel position.
“He's gonna have the opportunity to do both because we think he can do both,” Maxie said.
Assistant secondary coach Steve Brown also had high praise for the fourth-round choice.
“If you told had told me he only started for one year, I wouldn't have believed it. He was so athletic. He runs well, he sees things well. He adds great depth to what we're trying to do. I think he has a chance to be a really, really good player for us,” Brown said.