Comfort Zone

Early during spring training of 2012, the new coaching staff's first impression of Safety Cody Prewitt led them to believe he would eventually be moved to linebacker. After a little over a calendar year, Cody has cemented himself at free safety with no thoughts of him changing positions.

"His reaction time is slower than we would like for a safety."

"He doesn't play fast."

"He would be better at linebacker."

"He's going to be 230 pounds before he leaves here, that spells LB."

Those were all comments after a week of spring training of 2012 by the new defensive staff regarding then-sophomore Safety Cody Prewitt.

A year later and Prewitt, after a solid fall campaign at free safety, has not only solidified his position as a safety, but he has gained the unwavering trust of the coaches and become one of the defensive leaders in the Rebel secondary at free safety.

My, how a year changes thoughts and perceptions.

"Our first impression of Cody was that he's a linebacker," said DC Dave Wommack. "In reality, it was just a matter of him getting comfortable in our system and knowing what to do. He's a safety who could play linebacker."

Prewitt knew at the time those many months ago what the coaches were thinking, but he was determined to show them he belonged at safety.

"Last spring, with the new coaching staff, we were learning all our assignments and just couldn't go as fast as we needed to," Prewitt said. "Now, we're head and shoulders over where we were last spring.

"We're playing fast, we know what to do. We're comfortable now and that makes you play faster."

Prewitt has also emerged as a leader, the QB of the secondary who is responsible for directing traffic and making the calls for the back end of the defense.

"I gained a lot of confidence last fall and was able to set myself up to be one of the leaders of the defense this year," he noted. "I feel like I am one of the leaders.

Cody Prewitt
File Photo

"Last year there was a lot of hesitation on my part to be a leader. There are 120 guys out there and I was 19 years old. You want them to look up to you, but you have to earn that role and that respect. If you really bust your butt and prove yourself, then you can take a leadership role. You earn it, and I feel I did."

Prewitt has entrenched himself as the starting free safety, but he's not taking that for granted, for a couple of reasons.

"We're developing some depth at safety. Chief Brown is having a great spring and wants my job. I can't let up," he stated. "It's not as much stress as trying to earn a starting role, but Chief is really pressing me, so I can't let my guard down.

"I can't let up at all with Chief back there. Also, Quintavius Burdette, who is behind Trae Elston right now, and Anthony Alford, another great athlete who will be eligible to play in 2014, all want to play. The competition back there has really picked up and is keeping all of us on our toes. There's just a matter of me wanting to be as good as I can be, regardless of the competition."

With Prewitt directing things in the secondary for the second year, the communication in the secondary has become a lot smoother.

"I recognize things quicker and can make quicker calls and the guys around me know everything I know now so they understand the calls quicker. There's a lot less confusion this spring than there was even in the fall. We had some costly busts last year - I don't look for that to happen this year," he added.

Playing safety, Prewitt has the whole defense in front of him on just about every play. He likes what he sees on that side of the ball.

"A lot of the guys are in the same position I'm in. They didn't play as fast last year as they are playing now because things in the new system weren't second nature. Now they are," he said. "We're all playing faster and that in itself makes us a better defense.

"It's good to see some new faces on defense that weren't playing last year. D.T. Shackelford brings so much energy to our defense that he'll be a big asset once he learns everything," he closed. "Lavon Hooks is a load at defensive tackle. Carlos Thompson has really grown up during his redshirt year and will help at defensive end. Snoop Brassell brings a lot of talent to the table at corner. We're definitely going in the right direction."

At 6-2, 220 pounds, Prewitt is a couple of biscuits shy of being a linebacker, but he has the skill set of a safety with his speed and physical attributes.

The sky appears to be the limit for one Cody Prewitt.

OM Spirit Top Stories