UCLA Player Profile: Anthony Jefferson


As discussed in the GoJoeBruin Fabian Moreau player profile, the Bruins have a chance to have one of the better secondary units in the nation, and redshirt senior, Anthony Jefferson is the rock at safety who can help make this happen. Once a weak point, this secondary, is one of the many reasons why the Bruins are a popular pick to win the Pac-12 and make the inaugural college football playoffs.

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Jefferson burst on to the scene in 2013, his first year as a starter, accumulating 89 tackles (1 tackle for loss), 2 interceptions, and 5 passes defended, earning him honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors. His 89 tackles were good for third on the team and his 6.8 tackles per game were good for 18th in the conference. He is a great athlete, with above-average speed, and is a physical and aggressive hitter. As a senior safety Jefferson will be looked at as a leader, so it will be interesting to see how his leadership skills have improved over the offseason.

As for expectations in 2014, I expect Jefferson to improve on what he did last year solely based on confidence. The talent is clearly there and with the type of season he had last year the confidence should be high heading into 2014. He has the talent to compete with Stanford safety Jordan Richards and USC safety Su’a Cravens, but putting it all together this year will be the challenge. He needs to be more of a ball hawk, but his 89 tackles last season from the safety position is very impressive. If he continues to be the solid tackler and improves his skills when the ball is in the air, he could be dangerous in 2014.

With Jefferson, Moreau, safety Randall Goforth, and corner Ishmael Adams, the Bruins front seven should expect to see a lot more running plays than in years past.