The defensive back position features both new and old faces this season. At the two safety positions, two returning starters will bring familiarity to the defense but injuries at the corner positions have pushed new names and faces into those spots. Here's a look at the four defensive back positions and who might see significant time for the Cougars.
Daniel Sorensen, a three-year starter, has started 26 straight games at the safety position. In 2012, he led the team with three interceptions and was second on the team with 68 tackles, earning Phil Steele All-Independent First Team honors. As one of the leaders on the No. 3 ranked defense last season, Sorensen was recently voted as a team captain by his fellow teammates. The 6-foot-1, 208 pounder has a knack for locating the ball and should provide stabilization in a secondary that has seen many changes during fall camp.
Craig Bills joins Sorensen in the deep secondary, starting at the free safety position. Last season, he played in all 13 games while starting the final five. Bills finished fifth on the team in tackles with 47, had five pass breakups and forced one fumble. At 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, he and Sorensen will bring a physicality to the defense on the backline.
Robertson Daniel came to BYU after playing at De Anza Junior College in California. As a freshman, Daniel recorded 90 tackles and six interceptions at both the corner and safety positions. After sitting out his sophomore year to concentrate on academics, the 6-foot-1 junior has been pushed into the starting role after injuries at the position. He has a great feel for the defense and brings experience into his first start as a Cougar.
Skye PoVey and Mike Hague are two players who will share the role of boundary corner for the Cougars this season. The two seniors are both coming off injuries last season that limited them to a combined seven games. The 5-foot-11 PoVey injured his foot during the third game last season and is the brother-in-law of current defensive coordinator Nick Howell. Hague returns for a sixth year of eligibility after starting his career at BYU as a running back and recorded six tackles last season before being injured in the fourth game.
With the big and seasoned defensive front putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, the defensive backs will use their experience to confuse and disrupt the passing game all season.