In high school, Jalen Cochran was able to rely on his physical dominance.
College has been a different story.
“Camp has been tough,” Cochran said. “It’s different from high school. There is a lot of competition and meetings, but it comes along with being a college athlete.
“The hardest part is that it is more of a mental game. In high school a lot of it was about who is the strongest, but in college it is about being smart too.”
Cochran was also one of the best players in the state and is now on a team that has a lot of players that were once in a similar situation to him.
“I wouldn’t say it is hard, but it is a different challenge,” he said. “There are no days off like there might have been in high school. It is a grind every single day.”
Cochran was recruited as a linebacker, but the coaching staff approached him early in camp about moving to the defensive line.
“Right now I am playing on the defensive line,” Cochran said. “It changed when I got here. It’s not what I expected, but I am making the best of it.
“It’s been getting better because my coach is really helping me out and the scheme here is going to fit who I am.
“Coach Amey is a tough guy, but he cares about us a lot. He expects us to be the core of the defense and has high expectations for us.”