Dayan Lake Talks BYU Football

BYU just wrapped up an outstanding recruiting class in 2014. The question is can the staff do it again or even top 2014's assembly of talented prospects? Currently, the staff has already received commitments from some of the best prospects nationally and that includes Northridge High School Cornerback Dayan Lake, who still bleeds blue despite having committed long ago.

2015 cornerback prospect and BYU verbal commit Dayan Lake is currently playing basketball at Northridge High School now that football season is in offseason mode. While the Knight's basketball team might not be enjoying as much success as the football team did, Lake, much like he did in football, is having a lot of personal success.

"Not as good as football, well, I'm doing well but the rest of the team is struggling," said Lake. "I've been having a pretty good season though. I average around 15 points a game from the point guard position and average around six assists per game. It's been a good season for me so far personally."

Considered the top cornerback prospect in the state of Utah, Lake feels his junior season was by far a more successful year for him than his breakout sophomore season. The reason why it was better is simple according to Lake.

"I think this past year was better for me because my sophomore year I was kind of new to varsity and a little intimidated, so my junior year I just felt a little more comfortable playing at that level and able to be myself," said Lake. "I was able to lock down receivers that were bigger than me and cover better the fade route. I just think it was much better for me."

Lake's coaches also took note of his play as a junior.

"My coach always told me, because I'm a real physical corner, that most corners aren't as physical as me, and so most receivers had a hard time with me so he felt I did a really good job this past year. I feel more comfortable pressing and being more physical in man-press coverage."

Lake, who is a four-star prospect and the 23rd ranked cornerback in the nation by Scout.com, will be to bring his physical nature and lockdown mentality to BYU from Northridge.

"I think it's going to be fun taking the challenge of [playing] one-on-one and helping my team," said Lake. "I'm up to the challenge and can't wait."

Northridge Head Coach Erik Thompson felt Lake's talents were developed enough to allow him to be out on an island in a one-on-one situation against their opponent's best receiver. In the past Northridge always played a cover two with safety help. This past year they didn't need to with Lake out on an island and that helped open up the Knights defense.

"On our team we usually play tight with a safety over the top to help the cornerbacks," said Lake. "This past year our coach pressed me up in man coverage. Since I was able to shut down receivers on the one side, I didn't need any help over the top at all with the safety. It really helped out our defense and allowed the safeties to work the other side of the field and make plays. It really helped."

Because of his ability to shut down receivers and virtually lock down one side of the field, opposing quarterbacks threw away from Lake's side of the field last season.

"A lot of them stayed away unfortunately," Lake said with a laugh. "When we were watching film we could see them throwing away from me and running away from me."

The Northridge coaching staff has come up with a plan for next season. In order to utilize Lake's talents, and allow for his skillsets to become more prevalent within the defense for playmaking opportunities, the Northridge coaches are going to revamp the entire defense. Next season Northridge will run a 3-4, BYU-type defense with Lake playing outside linebacker.

"This year our coach is trying to run the defense [similar to what] BYU has where they have Kyle Van Noy as the outside backer," said Lake. "They want to put me there where Kyle Van Noy is on BYU's defense so they can't run or pass away from me. Their thinking of putting me up as outside backer."

Next season Lake will play the Will, or Weakside, Linebacker to get him more involved within the Northridge defense. It's a change he's actually excited about knowing he'll have a chance to help his team.

"I actually think it's a great idea because our coach wants me more involved," said Lake. "It's kind of a waste to just stick me on one receiver where they can then pass away or run away from me the whole time, so they want me to play backer and be more involved in all aspects of the defense. We can do that this year because we have two good cornerbacks in Dante Joseph and Jaylen Dyson who are both tall, so I think it will be good. I think it will be good and a lot of fun."

To better understand how to play the outside linebacker position better, Lake has gone back and watched film of Kyle Van Noy to see how he plays the position.

"Oh yeah, I've gone back and watched some older film of BYU's defense and watched Kyle Van Noy," said Lake. "I just recently watched the film of BYU and Utah State game when Kyle Van Noy got that pick after baiting the quarterback. I wanted to learn and pick up those little things he did."

While Dayan Lake might play outside linebacker for his senior season he has committed to BYU as a cornerback. BYU Defensive Coordinator Nick Howell doesn't know that he's been switched to a new position but Lake believes he'll know soon enough.

"Well, I don't know if Coach Howell knows yet but I'm sure he will," Lake said with a laugh. "I'm sure he'll find out soon enough that I've been moved to a different position."

Lake keeps in regular contact with Coach Howell and lets him know that although he's given his verbal commitment a while ago, and has received major recruiting interest from colleges such as Alabama, he still bleeds blue.

"I keep in contact with Coach Howell all the time and will just call [coaches] up and just talk to them," said Lake. "I let them know that I'm still committed and bleed blue. Coach Howell is a great coach and I talk to when I can. I love him and he really cares about his players. He's really outgoing and we have a great relationship."

Coach Howell has asked Lake to come down and attend BYU's junior day and summer padded camp so he can work with him. Lake plans on doing just that.

"Yeah, I'm going to go down to the padded camp and junior day this year," said Lake. "I'm already committed but I can just go and attend if I want. Coach Howell wants me to come down and do some drills with him, so that's why I'm going to go down for those. I'll be able to work out with him and things like that."

When it comes to recruiting, and like most fanatical BYU fans, Dayan Lake followed this past season's recruiting drama as the 2013 recruiting class unfolded in dramatic fashion. He was excited to see the quality of players the BYU staff was able to haul in knowing they'll be his future teammates.

"Oh yeah, this past recruiting class was great and it was exciting watching and reading how it was all coming together," Lake said. "It was great to see Kavika [Fonua] sign and how they got Devon Blackmon who is going to be explosive. I'm excited about it because they're going to be my future teammates."

Lake knows Kavika Fonua really well and has actually competed against him in track, so he knows exactly what type of athlete BYU is getting in Fonua and is excited to play alongside him.

"Last year I did the 100 meter and I took second," said Lake. "Kavika [Fonua] actually beat me. He beat me in the 100 in regions. He gets off the block faster than me, but I beat him in the 200 for region. I mean, I ran the 100 meter in 10.9 and Kavika actually beat me so he's a lot faster than he looks. In the 200 I ran a 21.0 and beat him in that, so I'm excited to play with him at BYU."

TotalBlueSports.com will continue to monitor Dayan Lake as he makes the transition to playing linebacker and will report on any other developments with regards to his recruiting status.


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