In today’s pass happy college football era, often times a team’s success will only go as far as their secondary takes them. Experience and talent, as always, go a long way in determining a team’s fate.
Consider the Boise State Broncos secondary in good hands.
Led by seniors Donte Deayon and Darian Thompson, the Broncos will bring a secondary to the 2015 season that is a nice mix of seasoned veterans and young talent. Combined with strong units in the linebacker corps and the defensive line, this year’s secondary should be a joy to watch.[JasonAD]
Thompson, starting free safety for the Broncos, returns with 14 career interceptions under his belt. That number is currently second most among active college players.
Hot on Thompson’s heals is Deayon. He currently has 13 career interceptions and last year had a propensity to take his picks back for touchdowns. Deayon returned two for touchdowns, including one in the Fiesta Bowl win over Arizona.
Both players have contributed heavily the last two years, with Thompson even playing in all 13 games as a freshman. Deayon and Thompson will be leaned on heavily to share their breadth of knowledge with a secondary that returns five other players and has eight new players coming in.
Though standing only 5’9, Deayon has time and time again proven that he can match-up with the best receiver on the opposing team. The confidence and intensity he brings to the field should spread to the other members of the secondary.
The same can be said for Thompson. Three years of significant playing time gives Thompson plenty of knowledge to spread. His ability to read defenses is no more evident than in his career interception total. His talent has not gone overlooked, as NFL.com has him listed in the top 120 senior prospects for the 2016 NFL draft.
At 6’2, Thompson is also a physical presence in the defensive backfield. His tackling prowess helps hold receivers to minimal yards after a catch.
This is not to say the Broncos will be lacking experience in the other secondary positions. Jonathan Moxey is currently listed number one on the depth chart at the other cornerback position. Dylan Sumner-Gardner, who saw valuable playing time as a true freshman last year, looks to grabs the starting job at strong safety.
Question marks surround Chanceller James and Mercy Maston. James is in competition for the starting strong safety position as well. He was proving his worth last fall before a second tear of his ACL derailed his season. James is once again healthy and looking to pick up where he left off last year.
Maston is also returning from injury and is currently listed as the starter at the nickel position. He bring a hard hitting approach to the game and will benefit the defense greatly.
With players like Cam Miles, Raymond Ford, and Cameron Hartsfield (to name a few) waiting in the wings, the importance of Thompson and Deayon cannot be overlooked. They have a chance to pass on their knowledge to these younger players. In turn, the cycle of the Broncos churning out a top-rated secondary will continue.
The success of the Broncos will partly rely on the impact that Thompson and Deayon have on the game and their teammates. This formidable duo is no doubt up to the task, giving Boise St. fans one more reason to look forward to what they hope is another magical season.