Byron Smith Interview

It has been a long time since the Wildcats have had a dominant defensive tackle. They've had solid DT's, but how many of them have actually come in as a defensive tackle. Last year, other than Yaniv Barnett, the Wildcat trotted out nothing but converted DE's and TE's. Byron Smith is out to change that.

Most of the coaches point to you as a player who can come in and make a splash. Do you agree?

Byron Smith: "I think I'll make a huge impact in this conference."


Smith: "My style, I play hard."

What do you think of the defensive tackle group as a whole?

Smith: "We have depth. We have a good rotation with Ricky Parker, Yaniv Barnett, (Lionel) Dotson. We have a good rotation so we can stay fresh in the game and everything."

What is the biggest adjustment between junior college and D-I ball?

Smith: "I'd say the size. At a JC it was alright. Here we have big offensive linemen and the speed is a little bit up. It wasn't too hard for me to adjust to it."

Do you like the pressure of having to be an impact player on the defense?

Smith: "Sometimes you don't but you have to deal with it. I'm dealing with it right now but it's not too hard, but I can handle it. I don't feel too much pressure."

How important was it to be here in the spring?

Smith: "It put me ahead. Learning the defensive scheme it helped me out a lot. Learning what to do. Learning that I have to be in my gap every play. There are a lot of things that it helped me a lot in the spring."

What has been the biggest adjustment for you?

Smith: "Listenting. The plays are changing every time. Before the ball is snapped things are changing. Coming from a JUCO, we said a play and that was it. We'd go and do it."

You took almost a year off from football. Do you think it helped you or hurt your development?

Smith: "It helped me out a lot. It helped me to sit back and think. To not take football for granted. That is what I am doing. I am playing football every play like it is my last play because the next day it could be gone."

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