The switch from wide receiver to a defensive back is not always an easy one and that makes Drew Tejchman a special case. He made the switch from the offensive to defensive side late in the 2018 season due to injuries to the defense. Nevertheless, he had a huge impact. In his first game against Hawaii, he returned an interception 36 yards and had a pass break-up. He was in it for the team as he said, “Whatever the team needed, I just did what was best for the team.”

This was needed, and not only has he showed up in the Spring Showcase, but he has been recognized a couple times as a defensive player of the day by Defensive Coordinator, Tim Skipper. He has picked up the defense so fast, Coach Skipper said, “He’s taking it fast. The whole kitchen sink’s coming right at him, not taking it slow for anybody and he’s done a great job. Guys who love football, pick it up.”

Drew Tejchman said, “I love it, whatever they throw to me, I’m willing to learn. My mind is open to anything.. whatever I have to do for the team.”

Coach Skipper expects him to do even bigger things in the Rebels’ first game August 31st against Southern Utah. He said Tejchman’s “Recognition of the defense, from Spring is ten times better and then take another leap, and by the time we get to the first game, he’ll be ready to roll.”

Drew Tejchman Getting Offensive in UNLV's secondary

With Tejchman’s work ethic, ability, and further growth, the coaches expect him to play a big part of the defense and contribute almost immediately. UNLV has ranked as one of the worst Mountain West Conference teams in terms of overall defense, ranking seventh in 2018 and giving up roughly 467 yards per game. With another year under Coach Skipper and the plus of having a receiver now playing defensive back, the Rebels look to move up the rankings and move up in the win category in 2019.

Coach Skipper said that it helps to have someone know the tendencies of the offense and switch to defensive back. They know every little thing the receivers do and how they look to beat the defensive backs. Coach Skipper said, “It’s great, he understands the stems the receivers are putting on, they’re stepping out to come back in, or stepping in to come back out. When they are starting out slow then speed up. All those little things, reading the hips and all that, he’s natural at that. He did it so much when he got here as a wideout. Then transitioning has been the biggest surprise, he’s transitioned to DB really, really well that’s going to add a whole new element to the defense, good athlete and he likes to hit, too.”

Defensive Coordinator Tim Skipper really likes guys who can hit and are not afraid to be physical with their opponents. Having other players such as Philip Hill and Vic Viramontes among many others, helps. Just like with Vic, it helps that you have ‘quarterbacks’ on the defense who are one step ahead of the offense and know their tendencies. It helps in order to cover guys and not let up the big plays, which UNLV had their fair share of in Tim Skipper’s first year as defensive coordinator.

The Rebels don’t want that to happen again and Tejchman knew the team needed him on the defensive side of the ball. Tim Skipper knew that the defense needed him, too. It was a perfect marriage and one that many schools wish they had. Last year, after switching to safety, he looked like a natural in the defensive backfield and it was a good fit. Coach Skipper remarked that, “The more reps you get, the better you’re going to get. He attacks the ball, he’s always downhill, he’s triggering, he’s fitting, he’s trying deep balls, he changes us. I mean it’s really good to see and he’s a good dude. The leader in him, not the loudest guy, but he’s going to play with his pads and make noise that way.”

Drew Tejchman Getting Offensive in UNLV's secondary

Making noise on the field is better because the Rebels will need him to perform this coming season and are going to rely on him to dominate. The coaching staff knows he can, and Tejchman knows he can. He is a leader off the field. As Coach Skipper remarked, he isn’t the loudest guy, but one who other players look up to for leadership.

Tejchman said over the offseason he “Worked on being a better leader, being a better person. I worked hard on the field and the film room.”

He has even caught Head Coach Tony Sanchez’s attention. “A couple days ago, he was covering the post, spinning out of it and picking the corner route. It was unbelievable the amount of ground he covered. He’s done a really, really good job, big physical guy. Obviously we put him on the defensive side late in the season last year, so having him in the Spring and this early in camp you are really starting to see him have a good grasp at the defensive understanding.”

The above is the exact reason why the coaches rave about Drew Tejchman’s ability. His recognition of the offense, his grasp of the defense, his continual growth, and his ability to move in space and cover ground are all reasons why the staff believes in him. He was even a track star in high school, running a 57.44 second 400 meter dash, which will show up on the field as he is running downhill, running faster than most safeties in the Mountain West. He is going to make a big splash this coming season and the coaches expect that from him.