Position series feature: Deiontrez Mount

Sophomore Deiontrez Mount calls himself a linebacker but he's a hybrid guy that can play multiple spots on the defense. Cardinal Authority checks in with Mount to see how the coaches will use him this season.

University of Louisville defensive coordinator Vance Bedford just smiled when he was asked a question about where Deiontrez Mount would play this season.

"He'll play up, down, all over the place," Bedford said.

And he's not joking. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Mount, who played nine games as a true freshman, is a hybrid guy who will see time at linebacker – he can play both inside and outside – and defensive end.

"I look at myself as a hybrid. I don't feel like a lot of guys can do what I can do, so I look at myself that way and it's fun for me," Mount said. "It's a win-win situation for me. Plus, I just want to be on the field."

Bedford and linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary said Mount and Lorenzo Mauldin will both see time at linebacker and defensive end.

U of L head coach Charlie Strong said those guys have some lofty expectations heading into the new season for the defense.

"We have packages, a four-down package they're in, a three-down package, because they're very athletic and they can run," Strong said. "Those guys are really rangy and can run. And they can cover if we need them to cover."

Added Jean-Mary: "The more multiple we can be on defense – it's like playing the option as a defensive player – the more the offense has to work on different looks in preparing for you as a defense."

Mount, who is from Fort Walton Beach, Fla., is a guy the coaches didn't believe they would be able to put on the field as a freshman.

He was expected to redshirt because he had been in an accident and had a rod in his leg and the coaches just weren't sure "health wise that he could help us. We knew he had a chance to be a special player down the road," Jean-Mary said.

But Mount made it through preseason camp in good shape. Jean-Mary said the plan was still to make him a redshirt until he kept making plays in practice while the defense struggled through the early part of the season.

"Once again, we outcoaches ourselves," Jean-Mary said with a laugh. "A kid as talented as him, on the sidelines for the first five games.

"It was a bit of a shocker that he put it together that fast, but he's such a detailed oriented kid and he really loves the game. It's infections to the rest of the team."

Mount came through on the field.

He ended up starting five games and had 10 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks on the season. He had five tackles – a career high - against Syracuse.

"I'm just trying to keep a positive head and improve," Mount said. "I think as a defense we are already more disciplined than we were last year and I am as a player. It's been a lot of fun so far."

Jean-Mary called Mount the "true definition of a hybrid" players.

"He can put his hand on the ground and play defensive end but also stand up and play linebacker," Jean-Mary said. "(Mount is) the picture of that position.

"Both (Mount and Mauldin) will do some different things on defense and help us all over the field. We'll find a position for those two guys. Myself and (defensive line) coach (Clint) Hurtt fight over those two guys every day."

Mount said sometimes trying to learn both positions can be "stressful," but also noted that during preseason he's "having the time of my life."

"The coaches put me in the best position for me to be successful and that's all I can ask for from the coaches," he said. "I love them both honestly (positions). It all just depends on whom we're playing as to where I play.

"I have been staying after practice and meeting with the coaches and trying to learn the playbook for both positions. It's been a lot of fun."

So, what does Mount like to be called?

"I'm a linebacker," he said with a smile.

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