Utah State football: Safety Brian Suite a key on Aggies D
USU football notes • The junior helps fellow members of secondary get up to speed.
Published: August 20, 2013 08:49AM
Updated: August 20, 2013 08:51AM
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Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune Utah's David Rolf flips through the air after making a catch and colliding with Utah State's Brian Suite during the second quarter as Utah State hosts the University of Utah, college football in Logan, Utah, Friday, September 7, 2012.

Logan • Senior safety Mo Alexander is more than a year older than Brian Suite, but there are few teammates he looks up to more.

“He’s been like a great big brother to me, man,” Alexander said. “He’s been helping me learn all the plays, we’ve been studying after and watching film. He’s been great for me, I really appreciate Brian.”

Utah State’s defense has more explosive playmakers — the junior safety is the first to acknowledge that — but not many measure up to Suite’s mental game. He’s considered by coaches and teammates to be one of the most intelligent players on the field, someone who knows all the schemes and knows where he’s supposed to be.

When the Aggies had a hole at free safety, Suite switched from strong safety and has helped seal up a secondary that lost a pair of starters. While he’s learned the responsibilities of his new position, he’s helped Alexander learn his old position.

To Suite, that’s just his job.

“We have the big-time guys, and then we have other guys who play their roles and are asked to do certain things,” he said. “I’m just trying to help guys get caught up in the mental game. I see myself having a lot more to do, and I have a lot more work to put in.”

Suite downplays just how important he is in the defense, but others know how much of a linchpin he is. He can often be seen popping out of the middle of gang tackles, he breaks up passes both in the secondary and at the line of scrimmage, and at 6-foot-3 is bigger and more physical than many who play his position.

Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando said Suite’s leadership can be is quiet, but unmistakeable.

“He’s a guy that knows all the ins and outs of what we’re trying to get accomplished, and people respect him,” Orlando said. “To go with that, he’s an outstanding person. He trusts everything we’re coaching him, he’ll do anything we ask him to do, and he’s just an outstanding locker room guy.”

Sharpening up game scenarios

With a week and a half to the opener against Utah, coach Matt Wells wants to use the last week of fall camp to get Utah State’s game scenarios in order.

The Aggies have mostly made determinations on who will play significant roles this season, so Wells wants those plays to be as clean on the ins and outs of game situations as they can be. That started in earnest Monday, with padded practice in the morning, and helmets only in the afternoon.

“I think it was crisp, but there’s still teaching going on,” he said. “We’re starting to get into who we are. … Just more game-like stuff, in and out, quick field goals, transitioning, that’s the kind of stuff we’ll be working on this week.”

Briefly

Wells mentioned lineman Bill Vavau as one of fall camp’s standouts who has shown a lot of promise and could play a role this season. Wells said he appreciated his versatility: Vavau can play tackle or guard. … Cameron Sanders followed up his pick in Saturday’s scrimmage with one off Craig Harrison on Monday afternoon during full team drills. … “Bumps and bruises,” as Wells has called them, have continued throughout fall camp, but Wells said he doesn’t anticipate any major contributors to miss the Utah game due to injuries.

kgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon