Also played basketball as an Indianapolis prep. Appeared in all 13 games as a true freshman in 2010, recording 15 tackles and one pass breakup with zero interceptions. Started the season opener at free safety vs. Western Michigan, then was primarily used on special teams the rest of the year. Won the starting strong safety job in '11 and had 74-3-4 (two touchdowns) in 14 games with 2.5 tackles for loss. Made 13 starts at SS in '12 and registered 80-6-2 with 1.5 tackles for loss. In '13, recorded 58-8-2 with one tackle for loss in 13 games (12 starts). Underwent arthroscopic knee surgery following the second week of the season, missing the Youngstown State game and snapping his consecutive-starts streak at 29. Came back the following week, seeing limited time against Notre Dame, then was back in the starting lineup the rest of the season.
Terrific motor -- supports the run aggressively and gives consistent effort in pursuit. Plays bigger than his size and throws his weight around pounces on ball carriers. Good zone awareness. Makes plays on the ball and has good hands to make athletic interceptions. Physical and competitive. Made secondary calls and is football smart. Has special-teams experience. Tough, durable three-year starter.
Lacks ideal size and needs to get stronger. Can be a tick late to diagnose and lacks burst to recover. Average explosiveness, speed and range. Has man-coverage limitations -- struggles to keep up with speedy slot receivers. Can be overaggressive and arrive out of control. Misses tackles when he goes for the kill shot.
Physical, aggressive strong safety at his best playing downhill and filling in run defense, though you wish he had more juice athletically. Special teams will have to be his ticket and has the temperament for a coach to fall in love with.