Scouting The Huskies: Secondary

By: Thomas Frank Carr

Beat Writer

The Nittany Lions take on the University of Washington in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl on Saturday December 30th. Most Penn State fans have not seen Washington this year so reporter Thomas Frank Carr has studied the film to find out more about the 10-2 Huskies.

Today we are taking a look at the secondary .

Overall Position Grade : B

Of all the injuries that have affected the Huskies, the player that they miss the most is corner Jordan Miller. Left tackle Trey Adams may have the most talent, but his replacement Luke Wattenberg, has performed well. The Huskies simply have not been able to replace Miller in the secondary. Without Miller, the defense has been much more conservative and less attacking in nature. The Huskies need to protect a very young secondary

CB Myles Bryant  

5’8”, 180 lbs

Stats to Know: 52 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 INT, 8 PBU, 1 FR

Breakdown:

The best corner for the Huskies after Miller’s injury is sophomore Myles Bryant. He was the nickel corner who played almost exclusively inside on slot receivers before the Arizona State game. Now Bryant splits time outside in two receiver sets and slides inside for three receivers. Despite being one of the smallest players, Bryant is 4th on the team in tackles and is a solid tackler and does a good job in run defense. He’s a smart player who plays with leverage and can stay with most receivers. His size will be an issue vs bigger pass-catchers.

Completely Arbitrary Individual Positional Skills:

  • Speed: A-
  • Agility A-
  • Acceleration A
  • Zone Coverage B+
  • Man Coverage A-
  • Tackling B
  • Fundamentals: B+

CB Austin Joyner

5’10”, 182 lbs
Stats to Know: 34 tackles 6 TFL,  rec, 721 yards receiving, 7 TDs  

Breakdown:

Joyner is the lone starting corner who plays in the boundary full time. He’s a quality defender who does a good job in off coverage and has the athleticism to stand up vs most receivers. He doesn’t bite on double moves and is disciplined in his zone. He’s a good run defender and will shoot into the boundary to clean up outside runs. However, several teams have been able to attack Joyner down the field when he’s in one-on-one situations. Joyner doesn’t attack the ball well when it’s over his head and he can be dominated vs big receivers. A quality quarterback who can place the ball in the right spot can take advantage of this.

Completely Arbitrary Individual Positional Skills:

  • Speed: A-
  • Agility A-
  • Acceleration A
  • Zone Coverage A
  • Man Coverage B+
  • Tackling C+
  • Fundamentals: B

 

S Taylor Rapp

6’2”, 212

Stats To Know: 55 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF

Breakdown:

The safeties for Washington do a bit of everything for the defense. They are solid in pass coverage, fill the lane aggressively in the running game, and can play some man coverage. Rapp leads the secondary in tackles and is probably the most productive of the underclassmen who play on the back end of the Huskies defense. He’s another solid cog in the engine of the Washington defense and is a smart, well disciplined player who is rarely caught out of position.

Completely Arbitrary Individual Positional Skills:

  • Speed: B+
  • Strength B-
  • Agility A-
  • Acceleration A
  • Zone Coverage B+
  • Man Coverage B-
  • Tackling A
  • Fundamentals: A-

S JoJo McIntosh  

6’1”, 219

Stats To Know: 43 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU, 1 FR

Breakdown:

The rotation at safety for the Huskies is incredibly even between McIntosh and Ezekiel Tuner. While Turner had the better year statistically, McIntosh is the player that has more talent. McIntosh is a load in the running game and hits like a load of bricks. He’s only a few pounds lighter than the linebackers that Washington deploys and he plays like it. He fills the lane with authority and is comparable to Marcus Allen for Penn State in terms of size and playing style. The junior can tend to play out of control and has been called for targeting this year. While his calling card is run defense, he’s still a solid cover safety. He doesn’t play deep as much as Rapp or Turner and typically stays within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage.

Completely Arbitrary Individual Positional Skills:

  • Speed: B
  • Strength B
  • Agility B
  • Acceleration A
  • Zone Coverage B+
  • Man Coverage C
  • Tackling A+
  • Fundamentals: B

S Ezekiel Turner  

6’2”, 214

Stats To Know: 52  tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 1 PBU

Breakdown:

It’s amazing how similar all of the Washington safeties really are. If there was a differentiation, Turner is more like Rapp than McIntosh and is a better cover man than tackler. That being said, he’s a quality run defender. The defense for Washington is all roughly the same size and they all run to the ball with aggressive discipline. Add Turner into the mix.

Completely Arbitrary Individual Positional Skills:

  • Speed: B+
  • Strength C+
  • Agility B
  • Acceleration B+
  • Zone Coverage B+
  • Man Coverage B-
  • Tackling B
  • Fundamentals: A