Lopez On Fast Learning Curve

Shawntey Lopez

Western Michigan brought in only two junior college players mid-year and both have performed well in spring drills. Shawntey Lopez is a hard hitting safety currently playing weak side safety behind Jason Feldpausch and he is drawing rave reviews early. We caught up with him yesterday at practice for an update on how he feels in his early days as a Bronco.

Is this the environment you expected coming in from a junior college?
It's really intense and a lot faster so it's harder for me to get the plays and stuff but I'm just trying to fly around and hit people and let them know I can play out here.

How comfortable do you feel in the defensive scheme they run here?
I feel comfortable, I feel reel good. I just want to get stuff done when I get my position locked down so I'm out there come season time.

How has the transition gone for you off the field?
Everything is going very smooth. It is a very fast paced thing that is very up-tempo and more on schedule. I'm going all the way from 7:00 am until 6:00 pm and on nights I have study hall I'm out until 8:30 so it's something new for me and I'm on a tight schedule. Junior college is a big difference.

Do you like the 4-2-5 defense the Broncos run?
I like it because you're up closer to the line of scrimmage and there is a lot of action. I get to make a lot of tackles being a safety in this defense. Coming from playing in a regular two-deep system I like it a lot better because I'm able to get a lot more hits in instead of playing back and looking over the top.

You're playing WIP right now?
Yes, I'm playing WIP right now behind Jason Feldpausch. They want me to learn the WIP because if you can play there then you can play all three safety positions. Once I get that down I'll be able to play the strong and free safety positions. The WIP is the hardest position to learn because you have to make a lot of calls out there.

Has coach Ake spoken to you about which position you may be at in the long run?
No, he hasn't told me his projection yet. He just told me he wanted me to start at WIP so I could learn the plays pretty fast and get them in my brain.

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