Sophomore safety Kavon Frazier could have slipped into the background after a successful start to the season.
He had two interceptions in his first two games of the year, more than the one he had last year.
Instead, he made his presence felt again versus Ohio on Saturday, earning Defensive Player of the Week honors in the Mid-American Conference West division by accounting for two turnovers.
“Kavon’s been a very good player,” Enos said. “He’s only a true sophomore, so this is his first year starting, so he’s still growing and getting better. I think he needs to tackle better. That’s one thing we’ve really been working on these last few weeks. But he’s a playmaker.”
The most important one came when Ohio was looking to respond, moving the ball 48 yards down the field after a Central Michigan field goal that extended the Chippewas lead to 10-3 in the second quarter.
Frazier describes his role on defense as the “robber,” and he did just that by robbing the Bobcats of their scoring opportunity.
Ohio receiver Matt Waters took the ball to the Chippewas 24-yard line on a pass play and was about to go down after being grabbed by the leg. Frazier came in and jarred the ball loose with his right arm for his first forced fumble of his career.
“I was just trying to finish the play,” Frazier said. “Just getting another body on him. I didn’t even know he fumbled until I looked back and the ball was gone. And then I just celebrated with the team.”
He also snatched his first interception since the game against New Hampshire on an overthrow.
The Grand Rapids-native still contributed in the games in between, though.
He was second on the team in tackles with 11 against Toledo. In the Chippewas win against Miami, he had four pass deflections, including one on the last offensive play of the game for the RedHawks.
The first glimpse of his playmaking ability came in a 34-31 win against Eastern Michigan last season. He took an interception to the end zone, accounting for the last lead change of the game to put his team up 24-21 in what was a must-win situation for the Chippewas to have a chance at a bowl bid.
He also recovered a fumble against New Hampshire this season to give his team a chance to score on its game-winning drive. There are fewer opportunities for a player on defense than offense to make big plays, so it is difficult to predict when he will make his next big play.
But one thing he knows is he will stay motivated.
“That’s my goal,” Frazier said. “Just stay hungry and keep on trying to move forward and build progress on my achievements.”