Troy secondary continues strong showing

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, August 9, 2012

Shaq Beverly (21) runs a pass defense drill during practice earier this week. (Photo/Wes Johnson)

Troy ranked 113th last season in total defense. Members of the unit’s secondary are looking to change that in a hurry.

“We’ve got to be consistent, that’s all it is,” freshman defensive back Shaq Beverly said. “Everybody out here is working hard. Some day’s we’ll come out sluggish but we’ve got to keep the intensity up.”

The Trojans began practicing in full pads on Monday and the secondary has shown they are looking to make an impact every play. The defense picked off three passes on Tuesday and three more Thursday.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“A couple of those balls were tipped and then intercepted,” head coach Larry Blakeney said. “You like to see guys making plays on balls in the air. That’s something we need to see.”

Troy picked off just eight passes all of last season but cornerback Dionte Ponder says the unit is pushing themselves to make a difference in 2012.

“There’s nothing guaranteed,” Ponder said. “We all push each other and build each other up because it’s a team thing.”

Troy returns Barry Valcin and Brynden Trawick as seniors at the safety positions. Cornerback, however, is still up for grabs.

Beverly, senior Bryan Willis, junior college All-American Zach Miller, and USC transfer T.J. Bryant should be expected to get the majority of the practice time as the Trojans creep closer to Saturday’s scrimmage.

All in all, Beverly says the group has to make big plays when afforded the opportunity.

“We just want to make sure when we get into position on a play, we make the play,” he said. “Hopefully that will carry over into the season and turnovers will be a big part of the season.”