California native. Redshirted in 2010. During 2011 spring practice, he moved from safety to linebacker and started 11 games on the strong side; tied for the team lead with 81 tackles and had eight tackles for loss and two sacks with two pass breakups, two interceptions and one forced fumble. Missed one game with a concussion. Was named the Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year. In 2012, tallied 80 tackles, eight tackles for loss and one sack with five pass breakups, four interceptions and one forced fumble in 13 starts at SLB. In 2013, he missed spring practice while recuperating from off-season shoulder surgery. He also dropped 10 pounds in order to move back to the safety position. Mainly lined up in the nickel position, appearing in 14 games (11 starts) and recording 61 tackles, six pass breakups and five interceptions with 6.5 tackles for loss, one-half sack and one forced fumble.
Good hands to intercept. Was an impact defender as a redshirt freshman despite playing out of place as an undersized linebacker.
Durability is a concern. Has pedestrian speed -- struggles to match with slot receivers. Lacks experience in deep coverage. Still developing positional instincts and feel for route combinations. Takes some inaccurate angles. Goes low and misses tackles. Has 'tweener traits.
Classic linebacker-safety 'tweener whose best shot to carve a niche in the pros could come as a nickel linebacker, where he could utilize his ball skills and be used as a blitzer. Will have to make his mark on special teams.