During the weekly recording of his “Football Coaches Show,” Utah State head coach Blake Anderson regularly takes questions from fans in attendance.
But this past Wednesday, in front of a crowd that included Utah State wide receiver Micah Davis and safety Ike Larsen, Anderson was hesitant to take questions from the crowd.
Why, you ask? Because of Larsen, of course.
Per Anderson, the Aggies’ star safety has one question and one question only for his head coach, and it’s something he asks regularly.
He asks to play on offense, as well as defense. Specifically, he wants to catch a touchdown pass.
Anderson’s response to that query is always the same.
He says, “He wants to catch a touchdown pass, like every other DB (defensive back) ever known. Every D-lineman wants you to hand them the ball and every defensive back wants you to throw them the ball. He (Ike) wants to catch the ball. He’s welcome to go catch as many of them as he wants to (when their quarterback throws it).”
Larsen must have taken those words to heart.
In the first half of Utah State’s homecoming game against Colorado State Saturday night, Larsen intercepted Colorado State quarterback Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi twice.
On the first, he bested Rams’ star wide receiver Tory Horton one-on-one in the end zone, preventing a CSU touchdown.
On the second pick — which happened one play after dropping an interception — Larsen snagged a deep ball while once again in single coverage, this time against BYU transfer tight end Dallin Holker, who has quickly become a star for Colorado State this year.
The two interceptions tied Larsen’s career high for picks in a game, a mark he set last season against Hawaii.
The interceptions are just more of the same for the sophomore safety, who now has seven picks in his career, plus five blocked kicks, including the game-winning block of a UConn extra point try last weekend.
“The guy just has a knack for finding the ball,” Anderson said Saturday night, following Utah State’s 44-24 win over Colorado State. “People like him and (Anthony Switzer) and MJ (Tafisi), they’re just calm in the moment. Their body control at the point of attack is really really good. He (Larsen) is not afraid of the moment. Most people get there and honestly can’t make the play. They miss it. They close their eyes and their technique is bad. When the moment gets bigger (Ike) tends to get better. And that’s that’s a great trait.”
The Cache Valley native has become the top playmaker for the Aggies, a feat that’s made all the more impressive by the fact that he is doing so on defense.
As for if he’ll ever get to play on offense, Larsen said that while he jokes about it, and often, he’s a defensive back at heart. And the Aggies are clearly better off because of it.