No. 135: John Boyett, No. 20, Oregon, Safety
We mentioned Ryan Swopes as a football players' football player at the wide receiver position. Boyett is the same type of guy on the defensive side of the ball.
He shows up to work every day and does all the right things for the Oregon Ducks. He has led the Ducks in tackles two of the last three seasons and has been a solid fixture at the safety spot for Nick Aliotti's defense.
I love this kid's game. He plays hard, smart and fast football which really speaks both to his understanding of the game itself and his knowledge of his role in the system. Boyett is a tremendous fill guy in the run game, as evidenced by his huge tackle numbers; he had 108 tackles as a junior last year. He is a sure tackler that does whatever it takes to get the ball carrier on the ground.
Boyett is no slouch in the pass game either. He is active in the back end. The kid plays a heck of a deep half and deep third safety; he closes on the ball when it is in the air very well. Boyett did not have a big interception year in 2011, but he goes up and knocks the ball down and stops receivers from making the big play.
Boyett's only true drawback is height.
Listed at a generous 5'10", he is fighting the same problem that a lot of good defensive backs battle;you can't teach height. It has not been a tremendous obstacle for Boyett, but standing under six feet tall is never a plus; especially not in a climate where receivers seem to be continuously grow in size and he is expected to battle them for jump balls.
Predictions for 2012
This season has a shot to be special for the entire Oregon Ducks program as they seek another BCS bowl bid. For Boyett, on the individual level, expect him to again lead the Ducks in tackles.
Now that Eddie Pleasant and Dewitt Stuckey are gone, there is even more work to be done by the safeties. Boyett has a real chance to be an All-American in 2012, and he will most certainly be gunning for a top safety spot on the All-Conference team in the Pac-12.