The Iowa State defense didn’t have a lot of bright spots last year but cornerback Brian Peavy stood out as one of them.
For a Cyclone secondary that allowed 266.8 passing yards per game, Peavy was an excellent cornerback in his first year in Ames. Against some of the nation’s top passing attacks, the Houston, Texas native recorded a +11.4 coverage grade by Pro Football Focus. That was good for No. 17 among all corners in college football last season.
And to reiterate, Peavy recorded that high grade against teams like Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Baylor, which are teams that are known for its deadly passing games.
10 elite players on not-so-elite teams https://t.co/49xZ1wTMnz
like Iowa State CB Brian Peavy pic.twitter.com/HBUw3Nu9fZ
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) July 21, 2016
In 2016, Peavy could become the Big 12’s best cornerback due to two factors: experience and lack of competition.
During Peavy’s first year as a starter for Iowa State, he was targeted 80 times by the opposing quarterbacks. And out of those 80 targets, Peavy only allowed 43 completions for 470 yards which means he allowed 10.9 yards per catch on him.
Allowing 10.9 yards per reception isn’t something to brag about, but it was Peavy’s rookie campaign. He also only surrendered three touchdowns while tallying two interceptions and eight pass breakups.
Top coverage grades by returning CBs
ACC: MJ Stewart, UNC
Big10: J Lewis, MICH
Big12: B Peavy, ISU
Pac12: C Awuzie, COL
SEC: M Humphrey, ALA
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) August 24, 2016
The Big 12 lost corners like: Oklahoma’s Zach Sanchez, Oklahoma State’s Kevin Peterson and Baylor’s Xavien Howard due to the graduation or the leaving early for the NFL Draft. With those players gone, Peavy’s main competition for the title of best cornerback in the Big 12 is Texas’ Davante Davis and Oklahoma’s Jordan Thomas.
Both Davis and Thomas had outstanding years. Davis recorded seven pass breakups and one interception while Thomas was second on the Sooners’ roster with five interceptions. So the competition for the spot of the top corner in the conference will be hard, but if Peavy can improve upon his freshman year, he will for sure be in the hunt for that crown in 2016.