His father, Ed, played 135 games at linebacker for the Patriots and Giants from 1983-1992 and went on to work in the NFL central office for 12 years. The Virginia prep also lettered in track, setting a school indoor triple jump record (44 feet, 3 1/3 inches). Enrolled at Stanford in 2010 and appeared in five games as a freshman, recording six tackles. Was slated to be a candidate to start in 2011 but was injured in spring drills when a wide receiver landed on his knee. Had surgery for a torn ACL and missed the campaign. Returned in 2012 and won the starting free safety job, starting all 14 games and recording 47 tackles, five pass breakups and six interceptions. His team-high interception total was the highest by a Stanford player since 1973. Returned a school-record three of those INTs for scores (25 yards against Washington State, 52 yards at Colorado and 71 against Duke). His combined 301 yards on interception returns was the second-highest total in NCAA history (USC's Charles Phillips, 302 in 1974). Appeared in 14 games in 2013 (13 starts) and had 87 tackles, four pass breakups and one INT with one tackle for loss. Was third on the team in tackles. Did not start against Washington State after being ejected the previous week for a targeting infraction. Elected not to run the shuttles or three-cone drill at the combine.
Good size to contend with tight ends. Reads the quarterback and displays good instincts and anticipation. Showed ballhawking skills as a junior. Functional range off the hash. Wrap tackler. Has NFL bloodlines.
Small hands. Very average play speed, twitch and flexibility. Unsudden change of direction. Lacks burst to close suddenly or recover when beat. Occasionally loses field leverage and takes some inaccurate angles. Leaks yards after contact. Misses too many tackles in the open field and can be run over (see Utah). Can be manipulated by quarterbacks. Limited experience in man coverage. Poor leaping ability. Appeared extremely rigid in positional workout at pro day.
Big, assignment-sound, Cover-2 safety who brings a dependability factor but lacks ideal athletic ability and physicality. Is the type you look to replace as a starter, but could have longevity as a backup.