Defensive Backs - The Broncos return three of four starters at defensive back including second-team All-WAC pick Marty Tadman (5-11, 180).
Tadman has proven to be a big play safety with 11 interceptions over the last two seasons, including a team-high six last year. Tadman returned a pair of interceptions for touchdowns during the 2006 season, including one against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Tadman finished his junior year second on the team in tackles with 67, while also totaling two tackles for loss, a pass break up and a fumble recovery.
A battle will wage through fall camp to see who starts opposite Tadman at safety. Senior Austin Smith (5-9, 173) moves back to safety after spending last season as a backup cornerback. Smith started at safety for the Broncos as a sophomore. Last season he had 13 tackles. Smith could also see time at cornerback if he doesn’t win the safety job.
Competing against Smith will be redshirt freshman Jason Robinson (6-0, 193). Robinson was impressive during spring camp repeatedly showing the ability to be the enforcer in run support and with hard hits over the middle on passes plays.
Backing up Tadman, freshman Jeron Johnson (5-11, 186) and junior college transfer Garcia Day (6-2, 197) will battle for playing time. Freshman Cedric Febis (6-3, 194) will also play safety. He gray shirted last season and could redshirt this season.
The Broncos return a pair of starters at cornerback in two-year starter Orlando Scandrick (5-11, 196) and Kyle Wilson (5-10, 187). Scandrick, a junior, picked off one pass last season and was fourth on the team in tackles with 52. He also had 6.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, six pass break ups and two forced fumbles.
Wilson, a sophomore, moved into the starting lineup midway through his freshman season and had 44 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, five pass break ups, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Senior Rashaun Scott (5-10, 195) will serve as the Broncos third cornerback. Scott has been a valuable special teams player and backup defensive back during the last three seasons.
Backing up at the other cornerback position is redshirt freshman Cade Hulbert (5-10, 172). Hulbert sat out last season after transferring from BYU.
Redshirt freshmen Keith McGowen (5-10, 178) and senior Ia Falo (5-7, 165) will compete for playing time at corner. Falo excels on special teams for the Broncos. Freshmen Antwon Murray (5-11) and Brandyn Thompson (5-10, 160) will probably redshirt this season.