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BYU cornerback Troy Warner was high on his position group despite some growing pains but says they're up for any challenge

BYU’s secondary has a mix of veterans and younger defensive back players making plays. For freshman cornerback Troy Warner, he believes the younger players coming up will eventually make BYU’s secondary something special.

Troy Warner passed on multiple P5 scholarship offers to play with his brother Fred Warner at BYU. Two weeks ago BYU faced a tough opponent in Boise State where the Cougar defense recorded two pick-sixes; one was by his brother Fred Warner.

“A lot of things were going through my mind on that play,” said Troy Warner recalled of his brother Fred’s pick-six. “First it was an incredible play. He thought it was going to come back because there was a flag on the play, but it ended up being on Boise State and the pick-six stayed up.”

Dayan Lake returned the other interception against Boise State for a touchdown, so when will it be Troy Warner’s turn for a pick-six?

“Mine is coming pretty soon,” he said with a chuckle. “It’s a matter of plays, but Dayan [Lake] got one and my brother got one. So, mine is coming soon.”

The Cougar secondary has a mix of older and younger players. However, four freshmen have received playing time this season in Dayan Lake, Chris Wilcox, Troy Warner, and Austin McChesney. Warner believes there are others making a competitive push for playing time, leaving this BYU secondary in good hands for the future.

‘I think the sky’s the limit for us and we have a lot of talent back there really making a push,” said Warner. “I actually think there is no limit to what we can do in our secondary. Coach Gilford does a tremendous job and Coach Lamb does a tremendous job teaching us the right things and getting us prepared. I think we’re building something special.

“From a young player’s standpoint learning from the veterans, watching film, and learning the little things that Kai [Nacua] does,” said Warner. “We also have a great coaching staff that really understands and is able to teach us how to play our positions well. Coach Gilford does a great job in helping us to know how to play the cornerback position by being in the right position and locating the ball.”

The BYU secondary has struggled at time this year in man-coverage. However, Troy Warner feels this is primarily due to two things.

“Well, first of all we’ve gone up against some really good teams with some talented wide receivers,” Warner said. “They’re going to make some plays but we made some too. The second thing is we’ve got some veterans, but we’ve also got some young guys like me still learning the ropes at this level. Once, I think, we get more experience playing at this level we’re going to have a really good secondary because we’re young and have been playing together for a while.”

Coming off the most difficult part of their schedule, the bye-week gave the Cougars much needed rest and recuperation as they get set to tackle the remaining part of their schedule. Up next are the Cincinnati Bearcats.

“I know they have tremendous speed and a great coaching staff,” said Warner. “They use three quarterbacks over there and all are pretty much the same type of player in the run game, but number 11 is probably the better passer of them all. We just have to limit the big plays, stop the run, and do what we do in order to win that game.”

For the Bearcats, redshirt senior wide receiver Nate Cole is a 6-1, 210-pound receiver who recorded 43 receptions last season for 870 total yards. A more speedy receiver than Cole is 6-0, 197-pound sophomore Kahlil Lewis. Lewis was a three star prospect by Scout.com and played 10 of 12 games last season and is also the Bearcats kick returner. 6-1, 177-pound junior Devin Gray is a junior college transfer and was a three star prospect by Scout.com.

“I think they’re going to mix it up in their passing game,” Warner said. “The type of offense Cincinnati runs is pretty much everything when it comes to their passing game. They’re a lot like UCLA. They do short routes, intermediate routes, double moves, and streaks and post passes. I would say 60-40 with the passing game, but I’m a corner so I always expect teams to pass more than run. At the same time I expect great things from our cornerbacks and safeties.”  


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