Jalil Brown played running back and a little bit of safety in high school. But he said playing safety in high school and playing the position in college is a lot different. He’s dedicated to learning the position as quickly as he can.
Last week, coaches moved Brown to the backup spot behind free safety Ryan Walters. Should Walters go down, there’s a chance senior Lionel Harris would step in to fill his shoes. (Harris is listed No. 2 at strong safety beyind D.J. Dykes).
Still, Brown needs to be ready to go.
“The main thing I need to work on is the angles,” he said Wednesday. “At cornerback, you’re strictly in man. When the receiver breaks, you break with him. Whereas at safety, you’re a little further away from him. You’ve got the right angle to get to him. If you’re a step off that might be the deciding factor in the play.”
Brown was one of the bigger — and stronger — defensive backs when he stepped onto campus last year as a true freshman. That remains the same today. At 6-1, 205 pounds, Brown thinks he might be better suited to play the more physical position.
“I feel real comfortable,” he said. “I think it fits my body style. As far as my size, it fits me.”
The move came, though, when coaches decided to redshirt a pair of true freshmen safeties, Anthony Perkins and Anthony Wright.
Brown said things can change, but his move to safety feels permanent.
• CU had 3,200 of its 39,000 tickets for the CU-CSU game remaining as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.
• Players out for the game on Saturday include defensive linemen Taj Kaynor and Chris Perri (suspended), QB/TB/WR Bernard Jackson (academics) and receiver Josh Smith (injury). Defensive lineman Jason Brace, who had missed several practices over the past two weeks, is expected to play.
• Dan Hawkins admitted Saturday’s tussle in Denver with the Rams might hold more significance than the typical football game. He said because it’s the first game of the year, with the Buffs coming off a 2-10 season, and the fact it’s a rivalry game adds up to the importance.
• Quotable: Asked about the play of the fullbacks, Hawkins said he’s been pleased with Maurice Cantrell and Samson Jagoras. He said Jagoras has really come on in recent weeks. Then he said, “Those guys just block, block, block, block, block. Then about every five games you hand ‘em a football and say ‘Enjoy it while it lasts.’ They’re the ultimate drone bee.”