Here's most of what third-year sophomore safety Brandon Beaver said today after the Huskies' practice.
(General thoughts on defensive backfield) “It’s going pretty good. We’ve got a lot of playmakers back there. … We’re all good, it doesn’t matter who plays. It’s real different. We’re all ball hungry, trying to make turnovers. It’s just real different this year.”
(On learning to play together with secondary teammates) “The chemistry is going pretty good. We do a lot of talking out there. That’s real big on the safeties for us, just communicate with the corners, let them know what you’re going to be helping with, what you think is coming, stuff like that. The chemistry is going pretty good. I’m real happy with it.”
(On Marcus Peters helping out with that) “That helps a lot. Marcus is one of the older guys so he knows a lot. He sees a lot of stuff before it happens, he lets us know and it helps us make plays.”
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(Was starting the bowl game a turning point?) “The start wasn’t the turning point, it was after the game when Coach Wilcox came and talked to me. He was letting me know that the only thing I was missing the whole time was just to be focused about everything. He said he was pushing for me to play the whole season last year, I just wasn’t focused right. It kind of was true. So just get my focus right, play like I know how to play, and make my plays.”
(How did you change your focus?) “Just knowing the opportunity was there for me to play and just being hungry to play. Going into my redshirt sophomore year, I’ve got to make some plays this year.”
(Was it hard to see Wilcox leave after that?) “It was kind of hard, but at the same time he was telling me – because he knew he wasn’t going to be here – he was telling me whoever comes, he said he was going to be watching me, so whoever comes, he’s going to know if I’m focused or not by if I’m playing or not. So I just took it to heart. I appreciate the talk we had. It made me a better football player.”
(On competition at safety) “It’s dead even. We all make plays and we’re all good so we’ve just got to keep competing and when the game comes we’re all going to be out there making plays together.”
(Gotten bigger?) “I was about 5-11, 176, now I’m about 6-1, 193.”
(And how much from last year?) “A little bit over last year. I started to gain weight as new coaches came in, we got a new strength program. I just started to gain weight, eating more, lifting more. So it worked out for me. Now I’m playing safety, I came here as a corner, so just gained a little weight and moving around the same.”
(More on talks with Wilcox) “He was telling me all I had to do was focus. I had the talent just to make the plays. I’d be making … little plays here and there. I wasn’t focused on the bigger picture and what I could do with the opportunity I have. Just focus on it man, keep grinding, keep staying in the playbook, watching film, learn as much as I can. Learn as much as I can from Marcus and Shaq (Thompson), people like that, (John) Timu. Just helping me out.”