BYU football: Zayne Anderson’s natural skill set precipitates a position switch

PROVO — Zayne Anderson, like a lot of seniors-to-be, approached preparations for his final season with more vigor and focus than in years past, ready to go out strong as an assumed starter and defensive leader at safety. But a conversation with defensive coaches about two weeks before spring camp began changed those plans a bit.

Anderson is coming off a 2017 season in which he started 12 games at safety while compiling 61 total tackles and picking off two passes. His play had him positioned to reprise a starting role within the defense, while taking on more leadership responsibilities, the latter of which helped precipitate a switch to outside linebacker.

“He’s a natural linebacker,” said BYU assistant head coach Ed Lamb, who himself made a switch from coaching safeties to coaching linebackers for the 2018 season. “At the safety position he keeps his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage and to the runner really well. … So it’s made for a relatively easy transition for him, and I think it’s gone well so far.”

The specific linebacker position Anderson is learning this spring is the flash position, which was manned by defensive standout Fred Warner the past two seasons. Replacing a player of Warner’s caliber isn’t an easy task, although Anderson does have similar abilities.

First and foremost is Anderson’s speed, a necessary component manning the position effectively. It requires a lot of versatility and the ability to cover, attributes the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Stansbury Park product focused on throughout his first three seasons at BYU.

“I’ve been training the whole offseason to play safety, but they approached me and I agreed to give it a try,” Anderson said of making the switch. “At first it was tough, with this being my senior year and all, but I quickly learned the difference isn’t that …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

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