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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

Broomfield Is ISU's Ball Hawk

Release: 10/03/2013
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Abe Burzette, Iowa State Athletics Communications

AMES, Iowa - In 2012, Iowa State fans had the pleasure of watching strong safety Durrell Givens haunt opposing offenses with a ball-hawk mentality that led the nation with nine take-a-ways, including six fumble recoveries and three interceptions. After Givens graduated, the strong safety reins were passed to senior Deon Broomfield.

Broomfield, a Palm Bay, Fla. native, who spent the 2012 season playing the hybrid nickelback position, was originally recruited to Iowa State as a defensive back and has made a smooth transition to his natural position.

“When I first got here I played both free and strong safety, so I got a pretty good feel for them,” Broomfield said. “That led to me playing nickel because I knew the position by playing safety.”

Being a versatile player and having an open mind has allowed Broomfield to switch positions, depending on the team’s needs.

“We needed a nickelback last year and it was an easy fit for me,” Broomfield said. “This year we needed a strong safety so I was able to get back and play for them there.”

Broomfield enters this week fourth on the team with 22 total tackles. In his career, he has recorded 98 total tackles, forced four fumbles and grabbed two interceptions.

So far this season, Broomfield has matched his forced fumble total from last season, knocking the ball loose twice against UNI and recovering both.  Playing nickelback last year has helped him improve his game.

“It allows me to read plays a little bit faster. If I see a lineman pull, then I know that it’s more likely to be a run and I can get up a little faster from the safety position,” Broomfield said.  “The main thing I learned from the nickel is probably just getting involved in the run a little bit better.”

While playing nickelback, Broomfield accounted for two forced fumbles and two interceptions and those numbers, he said, are what he’s focused on beating, instead of comparing himself to Givens.

“I’m just trying to go out there and play the best that I can,” Broomfield said. “I know what numbers I had last year so I’m trying to beat those.”

Although he may not be concerned with beating Givens’ numbers, Broomfield is no stranger to causing turnovers. As a high school senior, he recorded nine interceptions and caused six fumbles, returning three for touchdowns.

“I think it’s been something I always do,” Broomfield said. “If another guy has the guy wrapped up, I just put more emphasis on trying to grab the ball from them.”

Senior linebacker Jeremiah George echoed Broomfield and said that what Broomfield brings to the team is invaluable.

“He’s always been that type of player, especially last year,” George said. “He was one of the guys that went under the radar, but he caused a lot of turnovers that were critical to our success.”

George also said that Broomfield leads by example and other players tend to listen when he has something to say.

“He doesn’t use his vocal ability as much as I would or Jacques does,” George said. “But when he does speak, everyone stops and listens to what he’s bringing to the table.”

In addition to his versatility, Broomfield, along with fellow senior defensive backs, Jacques Washington and Jansen Watson, brings “older brother type stuff” to a young position group.

“We try to get them going in practice,” Broomfield said. “Picking up the tempo, maybe sometimes they’re not used to it, and just getting them mentally right from the playbook standpoint. Not anything special.”

According to Broomfield, the biggest thing he brings to the team as a senior player is simple.

“Leadership definitely, and trying to make plays for our team, that’s a big thing. If you got a senior guy that’s making plays out on the field, I think that rubs off on everybody.”
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