Bryon Fields Jr is a returning cornerback for the Duke Blue Devils. Fields is entering the 2017 season as a Jim Thorpe Award candidate, which is given to the nation’s best defensive back. He will begin the season as Duke’s most experienced player, being included in 2,495 plays since 2013. Despite being so experienced, Fields missed all of the 2015 season with a torn ACL in his right knee. But Fields add the injury to his list of experiences that he has encountered since his freshman year at Duke back in 2013.
The redshirt Senior from Charlotte, NC is coming off of a strong individual season last year, totaling 30 tackles, two interceptions, six pass break-ups, and two caused fumbles. Fields finished the season as an Academic All-ACC selection, as he graduated in December 2016 with a degree in economics. Fields also won Duke’s Ace Parker Award (an honor presented annually to an individual who displays unparalleled commitment to the team and overcomes adversity to contribute) and the Sonny Falcone Iron Duke Award (an honor presented annually to one offensive player, one defensive player and one player in the developmental program for their year-round commitment to strength training and conditioning).
Writer Lawrence Davis III sat down with Fields at the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Kickoff event in Charlotte on Friday to get to know Bryon Fields a little more.
Lawrence Davis III: Who are some of the guys you love to practice with?
Bryon Fields Jr: I like coming to practice with the receivers. Honestly, they go hard. Those guys go hard and they are competitive. They never like to be shut down, so it makes my job tougher. But when it comes to game day, my job is actually easier because of them. I just like working with those guys.
LD: Who is your favorite receiver on your team to cover?
BF: Honestly, I really like covering all of those guys because they all bring something different to the table. One tough guy to guard is TJ Rahming because he is really quick. We also got bigger, stronger guys like Aaron Young, Quay Chambers, and Scott Bracey. Those guys are all bigger so you have to play them differently. Chris Taylor has his own style. Really, all of those guys are fun to guard.
LD: Have you and quarterback Daniel Jones had any recent epic battles in practice?
BF: [On Thursday], He threw a deep ball on me on the first play of 7-on-7s and I should have picked it off. It went off of my hand and I think the dude ended up catching it. I think that’s the most recent battle we have had. He tries to come at me time-to-time but I try to talk a little bit of trash to let him know not to come to my side too often. But know I have gotten him multiple times too, we go back and forth.
LD: Who would be the messiest teammate?
BF: Tinashe Bere just moved in with me and he is a little messy, his room is a little messy, so that’s who I would have to say.
LD: If you had to play a sport that you did not play growing up, what sport would that be?
BF: So I was just recently at the beach and we were playing beach volleyball. That was a lot of fun. I think out west, schools offer [men’s] volleyball and so I think that would be fun to do.
LD: Who is the biggest jokester on the team?
BF: There’s a few. Shaun Wilson is a jokester, Alonzo [Saxton II] is another jokester although he probably would not actually admit to it, but he definitely is also. Those two are the main ones that come to me.
LD: If you had to choose one superpower to help your football career, what would you choose?
BF: Super speed would be the easiest one, so I do not want to choose that. I would say something like mind-reading. Yeah, if I could read minds, that would be great. If I could read the mind of the quarterback, I would like it. I mean, you can kind of do that, but not really to the superhero extent. I mean you can read the minds of some QBs, but if I had that superpower, it would be pretty dope.
Make sure to catch Fields and the rest of the Duke football team on September 2nd as they open the season at home versus North Carolina Central University at 6 pm.
(Photos courtesy of Duke Athletics)