Wes Davis knows a good deal about playing safety, but even he doesn’t know who is going to start alongside him once the season opens.
The battle for the Boston College football team’s open strong safety spot is being waged between junior Dominick LeGrande and sophomore Jim Noel. LeGrande, a recruited safety but a weakside linebacker in 2009, has a slight edge over Noel in the current two-deep, but nothing is set in stone at that position just yet.
"I think Dom is a natural football player," Davis said. "He took one for the team when he moved to linebacker, but he’s more of a safety. He’s come along pretty well."
The adjustment back to safety has kept the door open for Noel, an athletic defensive back who possesses great speed and a knack for finding the ball. That speed, however, can occasionally prevent him from being in the right position, something that remains a strong suit for LeGrande.
"They both have different qualities," Davis said. "I'm not going to say Jim is more rangy, but they both bring different stuff to the table. I think you will see them both on the field this year."
Whether the strong safety will be occupied by one or two players, the man playing next to Davis will need to help increase the number of turnovers the defense creates. Davis led the team in interceptions with four, and he admits that last year was "a step back."
"I think we always want to step our game up," Davis said. "The year before, we were up there in the nation in interceptions, but last year, to be honest, was a step back. The defense as a whole looks better this year."
What has yet to be decided is if LeGrande, Noel or a combination of both can make the team even better.