Secondary in Good Shape

It's BYU, but it's not your typical BYU secondary this year during fall camp. It's a unit that has very good and experienced starters, but also some very ready talent to back them up. So how good are these guys and how good are those ready to take the reins in future years?

"I'll just back off saying how good I think we really are as a group," responded an extremely confident Brian Logan. "We're confident, I'll just say that. I have a lot of confidence in my abilities, but more importantly, I have at least as much confidence in the guys I'm playing with and I know it's the same with all of us."

BYU returns the starting services of both Logan and Brandon Bradley this year, and according to Logan, Bradley is as good as ever.

"Brandon Bradley has always been a dominant type of cornerback, but he's even better this year," said Logan. "He's like me in that he's just that much more comfortable in the system. He's great playing boundary corner because he really has it all. He's big, so he can hit guys and throw them off their routes, but he's quick and he's fast enough to cover just about anyone."

Indeed, Bradley has been someone we've been singling out as a top performer during this fall practice session. He's shown very consistent during every drill this fall and really hasn't had too many balls thrown his way during live drills due to his tight coverage.

"They don't like to throw it against him," said Logan.

But unlike most years, where Cougar fans are begging for just two quality cornerbacks to have as starters, this year's unit goes at least two-deep on the roster.

"Backing us up, I first want to talk about Corby Eason because he's my boy," said Logan. "He's really come on strong this fall and he was already good last year. We have to get him on the field, that's the bottom line there. He's making plays every day and he's too good not to play in my opinion."

Eason has been a frequent name I've written down on my stat sheet so far this camp, as he's shown well playing primarily the boundary corner position with the second-team defense.

"What I like about Corby is he's fearless, he'll hit you and he's not afraid," continued Logan. "You've seen him throw guys for losses behind the line and that is what you need in a boundary corner."

Alongside Eason, playing the field corner with the second-team defense is Robbie Buckner, who like his counterpart has had an outstanding fall practice session.

"Robbie Buckner flat out has the best feet in the secondary, even better than me," said Logan. "He has the best feet on the team I think, and it helps him a lot to get out of his breaks fast and to close up space. He can play too, just like Corby. You put those two at a lot of other schools and they're starting this year. We just need to get those guys on the field any way we can because they're that good."

So how does one get them on the field, given that the 3-4 base defense calls for just two cornerbacks and two safeties just like almost every other defensive system?

"We've been asking Coach Hill, bugging him a lot about it," responded Logan. "He's trying to figure something out because he likes what he's seen from Corby and Robbie too, so stay tuned for that. We're obviously not going to let it be known what we might do different, but Coach Hill will figure something out."

No Doubting Thomas

While cornerback wasn't a big question, free safety was one of the big question marks on the entire team entering fall practices. Slowly but surely, the team has gained a lot of trust in Steven Thomas, who has remained the top option from day one of fall practices.

"How I see it is that the quarterback of the defense is the free safety," explained Logan. "Last year we had Scotty Johnson who told us what he wanted to do and he was right just about every time, and we're seeing the same thing from Steven right now. A lot of the plays I'm making out there and that Brandon is making out there is because of Steven Thomas and his ability to read the offense right and put us in the right spots."

Thomas is also making plays and most importantly, he's not allowing many deep balls to be thrown over the top of coverage.

"In my mind, there isn't a question mark at free safety anymore," said Logan. "Steven Thomas is the guy and we're fully confident in him. We're working very well together and it feels right every time with our communication and then with us making plays."

Newbies

The cornerback position has brought in three new and exciting faces in Jordan Johnson, Kori Gaines and DeQuan Everett this fall. Each of them have shown promise while earning the praise of Logan.

"Kori Gaines is a very smart kid which has helped him a lot this fall," said Logan. "When coach asks him a question he always has the right answer, which is going to be a big thing for him in playing in games. Next to Robbie, he might have the best feet of all the secondary and he just needs to put some more weight on him and he'll be fine.

"Jordan Johnson struggled a lot with the altitude coming in, but now that he's adjusted I think he's doing very well. You can really see the potential and he sort of reminds me of myself last year. He'll get there and you can already see it as he's already making plays. Give him a year in the program and he's going to be real good.

"DeQuan Everett is sort of like Jordan in that it took him a while to get going and adjust to the high altitude and with how we do things. It's great seeing him get over that hump and now, like Jordan, he's making a lot of plays. We really have some great guys in the program that can play and BYU is going to be just fine in their secondary when Andrew , myself and Brandon Bradley graduate."


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