Phil Steele has Kyle Wilson, Brandyn Thompson and Jeron Johnson All-Western Athletic Conference and George Iloka a third-teamer.
As a unit, these four were ranked fourth in the nation in Pass Efficiency
Defense one year ago. If you talk to
this group, that isn't good enough—they want to be the best.
Can the Broncos live up to the hype?
Antwon Murray (5-11, 177, So.) was
rated as the ninth-best defensive back from Florida in the 2007 recruiting
class. He had 52 tackles, eight
interceptions and two kickoff returns for touchdowns as a senior in high school.
It's time for
Jamar Taylor (5-11, 193, So.) is a superb athlete and will
compete strongly for the vacant cornerback position next season.
He will likely see the field quite a bit this year—he played in all 13
games last season registering 24 tackles and an interception.
Jerrell Gavins (5-9, 171) has been a pleasant surprise.
Picked up late in the recruiting season from El Camino Junior College,
Gavins is ready to play right now. He
has impressed the Bronco coaches and could be a factor this fall.
Cedric Febis (6-3, 197, So.) is "wowing" them at Bronco
practices. One of several
student-athletes from the
Travis Stanaway has played so well that he was just awarded
a scholarship from Coach Chris Petersen. The
5-11, 188-pound sophomore from
The up-and-coming Broncos are Josh Borgman (5-7, 169), Quaylon Ewing (6-0, 175), Raphiel Lambert (5-7, 200) and Ebenezer Makinde (5-11, 164). They all need work in the weight room and in learning the Bronco way.
Bronco fans have been fixated on the battle for the
"nickel" position, which is a hybrid linebacker/defensive back spot.
Converted running back Doug Martin (5-9, 201, So.) and Winston Venable
(5-11, 223, Jr.) have battled all year for the right to start at the nickel.
Martin is so talented that the
Iloka (6-3, 207, So.) and Johnson (5-11, 194, Jr.) may be the best safety tandem in the country. Both are extremely talented, big hitters, and big studiers of the game. They can separate you from the ball like a bolt of orange lightning from the sky. Iloka has already become a playmaker for the Broncos and all opposing offensive players are aware of Johnson.
Garcia Day (6-1, 204, Sr.) is a hard-hitter who will make
the most of his senior year. Freshmen
Jonathan Brown (5-10, 204), Tyler Jackson (6-0, 203) and Dane Turner (5-10, 170)
could redshirt as the players ahead of them are solid and the youngsters could
benefit not only from watching and learning from them but doing everything they
can in a possible redshirt year to make themselves ready.