Q&A with D.J. Dykes

One player who's had a good week of practice is safety D.J. Dykes. The transfer from Idaho has been running with the first unit in Ryan Walters' absence due to injury, and appears to be making the most of the opportunity.

D.J. Dykes had three tackles and forced a fumble from tight end Riar Geer in Thursday's scrimmage. Afterward, head coach Dan Hawkins said, "We like D.J. a lot. He's a playmaker and he's very, very smart. He's athletic and he can do a lot of things. It's very hard to fool him and he gets people organized and in the right spot."

BSN spoke with the junior following the practice.

BSN: You're getting a lot of action this spring.
Dykes
: I wouldn't say it's fortunate, but with Walters getting a concussion on Saturday, that's given me some reps with the first defense. It gives me the chance to get in there and feel more comfortable with the speed of the game and with the starters. So I've been getting more reps because of that and because I've been making a couple plays here and there.

BSN: How is the speed different from last fall when you were playing on scout team?
Dykes
: There's a small difference. I was playing a lot of scout receiver, running against our defense in the fall. This fall, it was more of a season off for me.

BSN: So how it has felt to get back in there?
Dykes
: It's felt great getting back into the swing of things. You know, playing two years (at Idaho) then taking a year off, you get bored, you get antsy. So I'm looking at it as this is the beginning of my career at Colorado. You don't really feel like part of the team when you're that ineligible redshirt, so it's nice to get it going with the guys and be part of the team. That's the biggest part.

BSN: I forget, are you playing strong or free safety?
Dykes
: You know, they're kind of interchangeable. We like to be able to play down (close to the line of scrimmage) and play back. Do a little bit of everything.

BSN: Is there a chance you would play the other position when Walters comes back?
Dykes
: Yeah, it's just however the situation works out. The two best guys are going to be playing. There's definitely a chance I could play at either spot.

BSN: What were known for as a player at Idaho?
Dykes
: I was always known as a heady player. A guy who knows the game. I'm not a guy who makes a lot of mistakes. I'm not a guy like (Terrence) Wheatley who can make a mistake and make up for it real quick. I've got to take the right angles and be in the right spots. So I was always known as a guy who understands the game. I can come up and be physical, I can drop back and get picks.

BSN: You're returning punts this spring too; did you do that at Idaho? Dykes: Yeah, I did. To be honest, they'd like to find guys with a little more speed and a little more quickness, but as far as my hands, I've been pretty successful and haven't had many turnovers. I just like to get up field and get yardage. I feel like I'm a pretty reliable guy back there.


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