We're running into the second week of our top 150 in college football and after a week that was spent on the offensive side of the ball, we get to the side that I love: defense.
First up we have a guy that is one of the nation's top cornerbacks, even if you've never heard of him. Jordan Poyer, who most folks may know from putting Stanford's Chris Owusu to sleep last year, gets his due here at Your Best 11.
No. 145: Jordan Poyer, #14, Cornerback, Oregon State
This kid absolutely balls and he is one of the truly, truly good cornerbacks in the nation. There are very few at his position that get it done in the way that he can, and the fact he does it all on a team that hasn't gone bowling in awhile is a testament to his own determination and pride.
Speed—that's what a great cornerback must have and Poyer most certainly can claim it as an asset. He has makeup speed. He has closing speed. He has lateral and vertical speed. He has breakaway speed. He's just a ton of fast packed into a black and orange uniform.
To go with the speed, he also has great feet and good ball skills. He's the Beavers' primary return man, so his hands come in handy while fielding both punts and kickoffs.
Poyer sees the ball, he's comfortable playing both man and zone coverages and he attacks the ball with a serious ferocity. That includes the ball when it is in the air and the ball when it is possessed by an opponent.
He's not afraid to tackle and when the ball is in the air, it is as much his as it is the opposition's.
Poyer is one of the top 10, perhaps top five, cornerbacks in the nation. His game doesn't have much in the way of weaknesses. If anything, thanks to the team that he plays on, Poyer is not getting to showcase more of his skills.
This is not your 2007 and 2008 Oregon State team; the Beavers have fallen on hard times. Teams are beating the Beavers, and beating them bad in several instances. Without all the necessary pieces on defense to be major players, Poyer is tasked with plenty, as Oregon State finds schemes to keep their best player involved in the game.
The Beavers, as a team, are still going to struggle in 2012 and that's not a good thing for Poyer. He is their best player on the defensive side of things and when your best player is a cornerback, it is easy to take him out of the game.
Jordan Poyer has become a noteworthy player in the Pac-12 and when teams take on the Beavers, avoiding him will be their goal. No need to attack Poyer when they can get yards and points by going the opposite way. We saw it happen to Morris Claiborne at LSU as the season wore on; expect Poyer's targets and numbers to decline as he continues to play at a high level.
However, Poyer will be returning punts and kickoffs again and that is a way for him to impact the game with more regularity.