September 19, 2007

Payton steps into key defensive role

It's been quite an interesting couple of months for Jeremy Payton. Since the start of fall camp early last month, he's bounced around from nickelback to cornerback to safety, dropping down to the third team at one point just a few weeks ago only to bounce back and play the major of the first half versus San Diego State.

Payton has, in recent weeks, capitalized on the underwhelming early-season performance of senior Josh Barrett, the team's leading returning tackler from a year ago.

Following Barrett's struggles versus Colorado, Payton ascended to first-team status for most of the following week's preparations for the Aztecs. While he didn't start, he earned the majority of snaps at free safety, starting in the second-half and finished with five tackles and one pass break up.


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