Matthews earning early playing time with 1st team defense

One of the early surprises of fall camp has been the play of safety Devon Matthews.

The freshman, whose nickname is “Monster,” is already built well physically at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds. He’s also demonstrating that he has the qualities to become a factor on the back end of the defense this fall.

“He’s earned more playing time,” safeties coach Kasey Teegardin said. “He’s got some raw feet and his mental capacity is raw, but he’s really starting to grasp the shifts and motions.”

Earlier this week, Matthews received an opportunity to run with the first-team defense, playing next to four-year starter Jonathan Crawford. During one practice in the middle of the week, Teegardin said Matthews impressed the coaching staff with his speed and length while running across the field and making an athletic play to break up a pass.

“Devon Matthews is really flashing,” IU coach Tom Allen said.

And if his recent play continues, a Matthews-Crawford safety combination could be one that comes to fruition this fall.

3 comments

  1. IU looks to have a very talented group of safeties after concerns that the position was thin. Crawford, Fitzgerald, Burgess, and Matthews make a formidable group and that doesn’t include a safety with game experience – Bryant. The safeties position needs playmakers and it seems they have them now. It takes more than being a good tackler as safeties have to fill for the run game but also cover and take the ball away not jus tackle the receiver. It isn’t an easy job but one that playmakers can really change the game from.

  2. I’m just so worried about the d line. Hopefully I’m wrong, but I fear that is the one area we will struggle. Not having much upfront will allow backs to run, but worse put pressure on the secondary. Why can’t we recruit solid d line kids?

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