Leavitt loves top Cougar defense

Over the past two weeks the BYU Cougar defense has shut out Boise State and Hawaii, and BYU safety commit Dallin Leavitt is among those that have loved what they've seen.

Under Coach Mendenhall, the Cougar defenders are making some noise with their top-10 defense this year, and recruits that have committed to play for BYU are taking notice.

"Man watching BYU's defense … that defense is stinking good!" said Leavitt with a laugh. "They're all just a bunch of ballers out there knocking heads and shutting offenses down. It's a lot of fun to watch!"

Leavitt committed early to BYU over the summer of last year while heading into his junior season. Now a senior, he is eager to be a part of the Cougar defense.

"It really makes me proud to know that they want me to come in and be a part of that defense," Leavitt said. "It's really cool because the coaches feel that I'm the type of player that can come in and play to that level. It really says a lot about what they think of you as a player, so what else could it make you think other than it makes you proud to be thought of in that way?"

Leavitt had glowing things to say about BYU's coaches.

"Man, I love all the coaches there and I'll be spending most of my time with the defensive coaches when I get there and become a part of that defense," Leavitt said. "I love Coach Poppinga, Coach Howell, Coach Mendenhall, Coach Tidwell and Coach Kaufusi. All the defensive staff does a great job of developing talent and coaching up their players within the system. For me to be able to play and learn from those coaches is an honor, and it says a lot of what they think of me as well."

Leavitt attributes the defense's success to several factors.

"I think it's pretty obvious that BYU's defense is pretty fast and physical, and teams that are on the schedule now know that," said Leavitt. "You don't become a top-tier defense by not being fast and physical and being able to execute your scheme well. I think a lot of that is coaching, and I think we're seeing what kind of defense BYU can have every year if we get the right players there to execute it under those coaches. It's pretty exciting to see."

It's a situation that excites Leavitt even more.

"I can't wait to get out there next year and begin learning my position and learning what it takes to be a part of a top-rated defense," said Leavitt. "It's kind of funny because everyone thinks, ‘Isn't BYU just known for slinging the ball?' Now it's like, ‘Yeah, but their defense is killing it out there and shutting people down.' Whoever would have thought that BYU's defense would eventually become a force like that?"

Now, if the Cougar offense can continue to progress to match the success of the defense, the program will really begin to make national waves.

"If BYU's offense can get it going [like they did against Hawaii] they could be a top-10 team in the nation," Leavitt said. "I don't doubt that for a second that they can get there. They have a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball but they just have to get it all sorted out with what they're trying to do.

"They're doing a lot of different things, like with the option and the pro-style offense and all that, and that can be hard to get things clicking with timing and all that. We know how hard it is running different things like that, because I remember last year we didn't get clicking until really like week six. I'm not really worried about it because I know Coach Doman knows what he's doing and can put points up. He's done it as a player and as a coach. They just need to get back to doing what they do and I think that will happen."

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