BOISE, Idaho — After earning an All-Mountain West Honorable Mention nod as a safety last season, Boise State senior Tyreque Jones is lining up at the nickel in 2022.
Bronco head coach Andy Avalos announced the change during Mountain West Media Days in Las Vegas last month. Jones tallied 53 tackles, 2 interceptions and a forced fumble in 2021.
The San Bernardino, Calif., native also forced a team-high six pass breakups and started in all 12 games.
Boise State co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Kane Ioane said Jone's playmaking ability makes him a perfect fit at nickel in the Broncos' defense.
At Mountain West Media Days, Avalos said the move will be "tremendous" for the defense this fall, considering Jones' athleticism and football IQ.
"We've seen how explosive he is, you know, when he gets his opportunities to run an alley and fill a lane. So, now he's going to be a lot closer to the ball to be able to do those things and it's really interchangeable with the position he played last year, you know, those guys interchanged quite a bit to mix up some pre-snap disguises," Avalos said. "The way the game works, a lot of things in the pre-snap work off of the nickel's alignment and where he's at in his spacing of the field and him having the knowledge of the game and knowing, you know, different things of disguise and stuff like that, it's going to be tremendous for us."
For the first time since the move was made, Jones shared his take on the position switch while speaking to the media Monday. The Boise State nickel still wants to lead the Broncos' defense, only from a different spot on the gridiron.
"It's been good. I mean, it's a bit of an adjustment, you know, going from top down, to now I'm in the mid-level, I'd say. I will say I've had to adjust communicating," Jones said. "I know last year, coach [Danielson] told you guys how I like quarterbacked the defense and what not. So, just trying to get the hang of doing that a lot closer to the ball is the biggest difference for me."
With Jones in the nickel role, Boise State's Seyi Oladipo will compete with Rodney Robinson for the starting safety position opposite of standout JL Skinner.
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