We have reached the end of the road for our series and so it’s time to wrap for the UCLA Football team and we do so with the defensive backs.
Last season the UCLA Football secondary was tops in the PAC-12. They allowed 205.7 yards per game, good for 41st in the nation and allowed only 5.6 yards per completion which was 6th best in the nation. In fact they didn’t allow a QB rating over 75 in their last six games and had a season total 111.5 rating all season long which was 18th best in the country.
The other side of that story was a porous run defense that allowed an average of 192 yards per game on the ground meaning teams weren’t really be looking to throw the ball. Despite that there were plenty of young, talented, playmakers in the back end to get excited about for seasons to come.
The Bruins have brought in a ton of defensive backs the past two seasons in order to build depth in the pass defense, but the player that makes our list has actually been with the Bruins the past three seasons although he redshirted in 2014.
Fisher is blessed with exceptional length and agility. He fits the mold of the big, strong, long and fast corners the game is trending towards.
Denzel Fisher came to UCLA with the intention of becoming a starter very quickly and although that hasn’t happened for him yet, I expect him to push for more and more playing time in the near future. Last season was his first game action and he was thrust onto the field when Fabian Moreau and Marcus Rios were injured against BYU.
Now I have to say I made a hasty judgement against Fisher in an earlier piece that was not published for GoJoeBruin.com where I criticized him for allowing too much underneath and playing too far off of his man. That is the nature of the UCLA defense and while it drives me crazy to see corners playing six yards off, that is the scheme and he was doing what he was coached to do.
I would love to see corners, not just UCLA corners, get up in receivers’ faces and knock them around. While that doesn’t work for every scheme or even every corner I feel that it would work for Fisher and here’s why he’s my underrated DB.
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Fisher is blessed with exceptional length and agility. He fits the mold of the big, strong, long and fast corners the game is trending towards and he has strong ball skills as evidenced by his over 1,300 all purpose yards as a senior in high school. He now has two years in this defensive scheme, three with defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin and three years in a college weight room.
He can play inside or outside but would be best suited outside and played some safety in high school as well meaning he’s has plenty of versatility. Most importantly, he gives the Bruins options across the defensive backfield.
UCLA was just voted to win the PAC-12 South at the PAC-12 media day and if they are to win their division and contend for a conference championship, they need players like Fisher who are not only willing but also are capable, heady players who won’t miss a beat.
That wraps up our Most Underrated series as I’m going to leave the special teams out of this once since the Bruins are replacing all three specialists. If you enjoyed our series lets us know @GoJoeBruin on Twitter or if you thought another player should have been picked at his respective position also let us know.