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Spring practice recap: Day 13: Could CB competition make Brandyn Thompson a backup?

As spring practice winds down, the cornerback competition is heating up. Could Brandyn Thompson's job be in jeopardy with the emergence of Jerrell Gavins and Jamar Taylor?

The Idaho Statesman's Chadd Cripe pulls some interesting quotes on the topic, and after the jump, I'll provide some interesting commentary. Which players would you want starting at cornerback? Let's discuss.

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Story of the day

Brandyn Thompson's starting job is no guarantee

Coach Pete was dead serious this spring when he made it clear that every single roster spot was up for grabs from quarterback to Michael Atkinson ankle masseuse. Cornerback is no exception. Your Fiesta Bowl Defensive MVP trophy is no good here, Brandyn Thompson.

Coaches have made several references to the cornerback situation as being three players for two spots — with senior Brandyn Thompson, the Fiesta Bowl defensive MVP, needing to earn his spot for this year.

Thompson is competing with Jerrell Gavins (last year's No. 3 CB) and Jamar Taylor (2008's No. 3) for the two starting spots, but before you go thinking that Thompson's job security is a ruse kind of like Kellen Moore's job security or Jersey Shore, defensive backs coach Marcel Yates has a surprise for you:

"At times this spring, those two (Gavins and Taylor) have been the best corners and (Thompson) has been the third guy."

I imagine that the response of Bronco fans goes one of two ways.

  1. "Brandyn Thompson will be just fine. It's only spring practice. Thompson has too much experience and talent not to be a starter against Virginia Tech." This is the stance that the Statesman took.
  2. "I'm glad that Thompson is being pushed by Gavins and Taylor because I was never sold on him last season. He was way too inconsistent and picked up too many penalties. A change might be just what the secondary needs."

Which camp do you fall in? Before you decide, let me give you one more quote from Yates.

"Being a senior and a corner, you compare (Thompson) to the senior I had last year (Kyle Wilson). The senior I had last year was competing to be a first-round draft pick. As a coach you expect that from the guys who are here now. Is that fair? I don’t know, but that’s my standard and I’m going to hold them to that."

With Yates' cornerback goals in mind, do you think that Brandyn Thompson has what it takes to be first-round material? Can Thompson take the jump into Kyle Wilson territory this year? Can Gavins or Taylor?

Certainly, Thompson will need to improve his consistency from last season. Even during his memorable Fiesta Bowl performance, he was hit-and-miss; it just so happened that the hits were more timely than the misses. From what I have seen so far in spring (one scrimmage and one practice), Thompson stays on the field with the first-teamers more often than Taylor or Gavins. But from what the Bronco coaching staff is saying, Bronco fans better not get too used to that idea.

Kellen Moore feat of the day

Laser passes with pinpoint accuracy

Dear diary,

Saw Kellen Moore throw passes into tiny nets. Felt alive for the first time.

Video link if player does not work.

Offensive coordinator and QB coach Bryan Harsin was mic'ed up for Boise State's most recent practice, which means bonus Kellen Moore material. It is fun to watch Harsin operate and to see the attention to detail that he demands of his players. It is just as much fun to watch Kellen Moore throw a football into a practice net.


  • At the start of spring practice, talk was that the cornerback competition was three players for one spot with Gavins, Taylor, and redshirt freshman Ebo Makinde as the three possibilities. There was no mention of Makinde at all in the recent CB stories, so I assume he is out of the running. Still, there is nothing wrong with being the dime DB.
  • More from Chadd Cripe's notes-a-plenty: Jeron Johnson has vowed to improve his tackling technique. "I'm sure I missed more than 10 or so." Not having Ryan Mathews in the conference should help.
  • Not sure if I have mentioned it yet or not, but Jerrell Gavins is wearing Titus Young's old No. 4. Does this mean that Tyrone Crawford can have No. 10 this fall?
  • I hope that Kellen Moore going through running drills is not a sign of an expanded option playbook.
  • Where does one pick up a sweatsuit like the one Bryan Harsin was wearing? I mean, besides Dick Tomey's closet.

Your turn

Which two players among Gavins, Taylor, and Thompson do you want starting at cornerback this fall? Still in amazement at seeing Kellen Moore's practice throws? Think Jeron Johnson knows how much grief he caused us in last year's Fresno game? Share your thoughts in the comments.