Logan • James Brindley had the tenacity, speed and the ability to tackle, but not the size.
Walter McClenton had the size, the smarts and the leadership qualities, but not the speed.
Brian Suite has both, a complete package at strong safety that Gary Andersen's been looking for since he took residence in Logan four years ago.
At 6-foot-3 and a sturdy 215 pounds, he has size for his position that's almost ideal. His speed has allowed him to fly around the defensive backfield and make plays. Through a week of fall camp at Utah State, Suite has been one of the defensive standouts. In Wednesday's scrimmage, he broke up two passes and played flawlessly in run support.
"He's been a star," senior defensive end Al Lapuaho said. "He's really making the defense better. He's making plays, and he's really athletic."
And he's healthy, which hasn't been the case. A redshirt sophomore, Suite's next snap will be his first. That's right. It's taken the Hawaii native three years to get onto the field for the Aggies, with a bum shoulder last season causing him to miss the entire schedule.
His inactivity was frustrating personally, leading Suite to wonder whether or not he'd ever really be fully healthy. It was frustrating for the USU coaching staff, who wanted desperately to get him on the field because of his potential and physical attributes.
"It's been tough, but at the same time I can't dwell on it," Suite said. "I've taken care of my body, and done everything I've needed to do. I'm ready to play. I've had three years in the system, and I just want to go out and play."
Suite will offer a perfect complement to free safety McKade Brady, a senior who runs the defense and is as smart as they come, but isn't as physically imposing as Suite. With Jumanne Robertson and Nevin Lawson, Utah State's starting secondary looks star-studded on paper.
With people like Willie Davis, Cameron Sanders, and Quinton Byrd, the Aggies are as deep in the defensive backfield as they have been under Andersen. Suite, however, can be the playmaker the Aggies have been looking for, the game-changer. Yes, keeping him healthy has been a challenge. If successful, though, Suite could have a breakout season.
"He's been very good for us so far," Andersen said. "He's made plays every day of camp, and that's what you want to see out of a guy."