The transition between year one and year two can be difficult for many football players. Some can turn out better since having a full year of experience, while others hit the proverbial “sophomore slump” and struggle in their second year.
Eastern Michigan cornerback Jason Beck looks to build off of his freshman year and become more of a force in his second season in the Eagles defensive backfield.
“I feel more physical.” Beck said. “And mentally, I’m more prepared this year over last year. Also, knowing the defense better. Our coaches did a real good job teaching us the scheme and knowing disguises better and different stuff with our defense, and for me, that’s a huge jump.”
Beck finished fourth on the team with 86 tackles in 10 starts while appearing in all 12 games, and also recorded one interception. However, the defense gave up on 41 points per game, ranking EMU in the bottom half of the nation in many defensive categories, leading to the Eagles’ third consecutive 2-10 finish.
So, what can the Indianapolis native Beck do to help improve on those statistics? He cites his desire to be physical in the secondary.
“Individually, I feel like I can be that physical force and stop the run game and also in the pass too with my coverage.” Beck said.
Beck, as well as the other cornerbacks in EMU’s secondary, have a former NFL defensive back in Daniel Bullocks coaching the position group this season. Beck is personally enjoying Bullocks’ guidance thus-far.
“(Bullocks) is a great coach.” Beck said. “He’s a film junky, he knows his stuff. You can tell he knows his defense and everything on the field.”
Another big difference in the secondary this season will be the loss of veteran safety Pudge Cotton due to graduation. Leaving with Cotton is his leadership and productivity as a player, but Beck doesn’t see that affecting the defense or secondary in particular as much as you would think.
“It’s a big loss for us, but we feel we have other great players filling spots.” Beck said. “And we feel those guys are ready to go and jump forward and our defense is gonna move forward.”
Moving forward as a defense and as a team is what more people around Ypsilanti want to see from Eastern Michigan, and it will take young players such as Jason Beck to continue to work to turnaround the program.