Week three of Making the Leap rolls on and turns back to the defensive side of the ball and we're taking a look at a player who has taken a long and arduous path to becoming a Division I football player: Kyril Threats.
Career Review/Why He's Here
Despite being a former walk-on to the UB football team, Threats has much more talent than his title would suggest. He was a former first-team All-WNY defensive end for Canisius High School, and was a standout on the ECC football team for the majority of his tenure there. However, failures in the classroom lead to his dismissal from the team and a reailty check that would change his attitude for the better.
More Making the Leap
More Making the Leap
Credit former defensive coordinator Lou Tepper for convincing former head coach Jeff Quinn to allow the troubled player with academic issues onto the UB squad. Threats worked hard to get his grades in order and the chance that coach Quinn took on him paid off with a solid special teams contributor on all four phases and a situational pass-rusher that flashed the talent he showed in high school and at ECC.
Threats totaled 20 tackles and 3 sacks throughout the season and was tied for 3rd on the team in sacks behind Okezie Alosie and the departed Adam Redden.
He's on the list for his potential and experience that he brings to Brian Borland's new 4-3 scheme, and as far as redemption stories go, they don't get much better than Threats.
- New Scheme - Unlike some of the other linebackers that have made the switch to defensive end in Brian Borland's new 4-3 scheme, Threats will remain at outside linebacker in a similar position as last season, but with new responsibilities. The new scheme promotes an attacking defensive line to generate pass rushing opportunities and gives linebackers a wide array of responsibilites from dropping into coverage, sealing the edge against the run and, obviously, rushing the passer. The new expanded role will be a learning experience for the rising senior.
Threats enters the season as the primary reserve outside linebacker, and gives Brian Borland a versatile piece to use as a pass rusher and veteran leader in the front seven. Threats has good size (6-2 225) and exceptional speed and awareness that allows him to be such a great pass rusher and jump on opportunities as they arise on the field. In the spring game Threats pounced on a forced fumble caused by a vicious Okezie Alosie hit showing off great reaction time and reflexes to dive through a mess of offensive linemen to get onto the ball first.
As far as this upcoming season goes, Threats will see an increased role on the UB defense due to the departure of Adam Redden, and the overall youth of the Bulls' defense. Threats may not be a household name this season, but he'll be a solid role player that will contribute on all three downs for the defense and will serve as a veteran presence and perhaps as a special teams ace as he was last season.
Threats will have some competition for playing time with Jarrett Franklin and Okezie Alosie at the outside linebacker position but he'll have a greater statistical impact than last season.
Prediction: 35 tackles, 5 TFL, 4 sacks