Tyler Dickson has excellent range and is a physical player. Dickson is six feet tall weighs 195 pounds and has 4.6 speed. Dickson is a converted high school wide receiver who was the prep school's defensive MVP in 2009 at free safety. Fellow sophomore Thomas Holloway (5-11, 190) still has a chance for the starting job. Holloway had the hit of the Black & Gold spring game when he unloaded on backup slotback Julian Crockett. Donovan Travis was a very productive and instinctive free safety but both Dickson and Holloway are faster and better hitters.
Last season's back up at free safety behind Travis was junior Ty Shrader. Shrader was knocked out of the free safety competition with an injury early this spring. Shrader lacks size and speed but has good instincts that allow him to play faster than he times. Ty probably won't be the starter but is a productive overachiever you can't dismiss. With the incoming prep and direct talent joining the program this fall safety is the deepest area, in terms of talent, on the defensive side of the ball.
Lyle Beloney has emerged at the top of the depth chart after playing SAM safety for the JV team last year. Beloney is 5-11, 195 pounds with 4.48 speed. Beloney has speed, range, and is quick to support against the run.
Reggie Nesbit is a good athlete who was expected to be the leading candidate to replace Stephen Anderson at Mike linebacker. Nesbit dressed with the varsity last year and saw some time at Mike late against Air Force. After watching him this spring, co-defensive coordinator Chris Smeland moved him to SAM safety because he felt Reggie was a better player in space than playing in the box.
R.J. Speidel is a short (5-7, 197) but strong safety version of Ty Shrader. He did a nice job this spring and is more physical than his size would suggest. Once again the incoming talent at safety is loaded with potential and ability.
Starter: Kolin Walk #38 Sr.
Back up: Chris Boldt #27 Jr.
Kolin Walk has been the holder the last few years. Walk doesn't boom the ball but delivers fairly good hang time on his punts. The battle with him and Chris Boldt is still wide open.