Broomfield – all over the field
One of the players Manny Diaz was looking forward to coaching when he got the job as Mississippi State's defensive coordinator was defensive back Corey Broomfield.
While serving in the same position at Middle Tennessee State, Diaz saw what Broomfield could do up close.
Broomfield intercepted a pair of pass attempts and had a career-high five tackles last season when the Bulldogs beat the Blue Raiders 27-6 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Now Diaz is now glad to have Broomfield on his side.
"After meeting Corey first-hand and being with him, it's been even better," Diaz said. "He's a great person and has a great personality. He's very easy to coach."
The two interceptions Broomfield had in MSU's 47-24 win against Houston last Saturday didn't come as a surprise to Diaz.
"He has a real good knack and instincts for playing the game," Diaz said. "That's what has really showed his whole career."
Broomfield tied an MSU record, held by five others, with five picks last year.
In his first career game with the Bulldogs, Broomfield returned an interception 43 yards for a score against Jackson State, then closed 2009 with a 64-yard pick for six points against Ole Miss. The week before, he intercepted Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett twice.
With his interception return for a touchdown against Houston last week, Broomfield tied for the national lead among active players with three career picks for scores and the total is an MSU record. It's also tied for second most in the history of the Southeastern Conference.
"After next week, I'm sure someone else will be up there so I'm not really worried about it," Broomfield said. "When my career is done, that's when I'll worry about all of that stuff, I'm worried about winning games right now. Coach has just put us in great positions and I just catch the ball when they throw it to me."
Houston quarterback David Piland obliged by throwing two footballs Broomfield's way, one that he returned 27 yards for a touchdown.
Broomfield said Piland was focused on his receiver and on the double-drive route, he saw the first receiver come across and waited 4 seconds for the other receiver. He timed his break to make the interception that he took to the end zone. It was an important play for the Bulldogs at the time as it gave them a commanding 33-10 halftime lead.
MSU head coach Dan Mullen said Broomfield did a great job of being in the right place at the right time.
"He watched the quarterback, saw the football and was able to make a play on the ball," Mullen said. "When you are in the right place at the right time and playing really hard, good things usually happen to you. That is what happened this past Saturday.
"Hopefully, we continue to see more of that this week. Corey is a instinctive player. We saw that last year and are beginning to see more of that this year."
Broomfield said he came to MSU with the ability of making plays and had great coaches at Bayside High School in Palm Bay, Fla.
"Over time, the more plays you make as a player, the more confident you become," Broomfield said. "You just always feel you can make a play and after you make that first play, you are just waiting for the next opportunity."
When the Bulldogs travel to play the Florida Gators Saturday night (6 p.m. ESPNU), Broomfield will be one of seven players from the Sunshine State that will be returning home for competition.
Broomfield said he's ready to put on a show in Gainesville.
"I've been to a few games down there and it's a great atmosphere," Broomfield said. "I'm ready to see what it sounds like quiet."