Any team at any level needs one strong defensive back. A corner that can shut down one side of the field or a strong safety that enforces can change a game. The 2010 edition of the Denver East defensive backfield boasts strong players at each position as they return an experienced and talented secondary to a team that made the playoffs on the strength of a 6-4 record.
Headlining the show is human missile Ezekiel Bishop. At 5-10 180 pounds, Bishop may not have Taylor Mays like size but his explosive, physical play caught the attention of multiple DIs before he opted to take his game to the University of Arizona. East runs a 3-5-3 defensive alignment placing Bishop in the box much of the time as an outside backer. At this position, Bishop’s speed allows him to get a piece of plays almost anywhere.
Supporting Bishop on the edge is 5-10 165 pound corner River Thompson. Thompson, who had a strong summer at camps and combines, is a breakout player to keep an eye on in the state of Colorado. With good speed, the ability to get in and out of breaks and strength enough to take on larger receivers, Thompson will create problems for opposing wideouts. Thompson’s ability to lock down receivers should give Bishop and other East defenders time to get after the QB.
This duo will not be alone in the back part of the East defense as Taylor Junel, a sophomore linebacker/defensive back and senior DB Tyree Ogsbury-Jones lend a hand. The East D, surrendered a respectable 21 points a game last season, but if they want to improve this season they will need to do better than the 30 plus points a game they surrendered in their four losses. If Bishop and Thompson get their expected support, that may be the case.