Spring Position Battles- Safety

Looking at the safeties as the Utes head into spring ball

Candidates:
Brian Blechen, Eric Rowe, Quade Chappuis, Michael Walker, Keith McGill, Tyron Morris-Edwards, Terrell Reese
Favorites:
Blechen, Rowe
Dark Horse:
Reese
Winners:
McGill and Rowe

Call us stubborn or defiant, but Brian Blechen is a better fit at linebacker than safety. Yes, there is more talent and depth at linebacker, while the safety spot leaves a lot to be desired at this point, but Blechen is more natural at linebacker and that's where we think he ends up after someone else emerges at the safety spot opposite Eric Rowe. A similar story as well for Keith McGill. He's starting out at corner this spring, but hip turn and technique may keep the JC transfer from making it a permanent spot. He's much better suited at the safety spot and we think he ultimately moves back there during the spring, grabbing a starting spot. Eric Rowe has the other spot tied down after garnering multiple freshman All American honors last season.

The guy to watch out for is Terrell Reese. Reese had an up and down spring in 2011, but received a lot of reps with the first team and may be ready to step into a role that allows him to contribute now. The athleticism is there and as long as the lights come on and stay on, he could easily push for time. Chappuis is a solid player, but lacks the athleticism at times to be a consistent starter.

The safety play wasn't always stellar in 2011 and they'll need to increase the quality of play. Speed is a necessity, and Blechen doesn't have enough of it to go againgst passing combinations like Matt Barkley to Robert Woods and Marquise Lee. If Blechen is still at the safety spot by the end of camp, and hasn't move up to linebacker, the Utes are going to have trouble with high powered passing attacks.

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