Kip Neilsen Shines as a Defensive Interceptor

Defensive back <b>Kip Nielsen</b>, one of the stars of yesterday's first full practice scrimmage with two interceptions, speculated on the keys to his success under <b>Bronco Mendenhall's</b> aggressive new defensive scheme.

"The defensive back is a tough position. You're always going backwards and the receiver already knows exactly where he's going. We have to just try and match his tempo and breaks."

The 6-0, 200-pound senior plays the Katback position in the new defense. "No. 1, we have to have the effort just to get to the ball; then, if we know our assignments, it puts us in the right place to make plays and interceptions. It's just a matter of all those things coming together – effort and knowing your assignment to be in the right place."

Neilsen's opposite yesterday was 5-11, 208-pound Katback Jared Meibos, a senior from Humble, Texas, who recorded the other two interceptions of the day.

"I still have a long ways to go, but it's coming. This is what helps so much. These scrimmage situations really helps to get the defense down because you're getting reps at it as you're going through during practice (drills). I feel like it's coming along, but I'm not going to say that I'm completely comfortable. I would be overconfident if I was to say that, but it's coming," Meibos said.

The flexibility of the Katback position includes blitzing, covering the flats, cheating up or dropping back into coverage. Talking with Cougar players like James Allen, Jon Burbidge, Aaron Francisco and now Kip Nielson, they all seem to have a common perspective of playing on BYU's revamped defense. Kip Nielsen, one of the stars of yesterday's first full practice scrimmage with two interceptions, speculated on the keys to his success under Bronco Mendenhall's aggressive new defensive scheme.

Nielsen summed up everyone's feelings. "It's really fun to play defensive back in this defense. Especially the position I play because we get to do so many different things – and that includes making a few interceptions."

INJURY UPDATE:

* Justin Jory - Hand (surgery). Expected to return approx. 10 days;

* Manaia Brown - Shoulder. MRI Tuesday; evaluate Wednesday;

* Aaron Francisco - Foot (surgery). Expected to return Thursday or Friday;

* Lance Pendleton - Knee (scope). Expected to return approx. 10 days;

* Cody Fonnesbeck - Torn ACL; Out for the season.

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