Manny Diaz Q&A: March 23

Read on to see what defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was saying following Thursday's practice.

Manny Diaz, Defensive Coordinator

 

On his early impressions so far this spring…

“The biggest thing that stands out is just how much further ahead we are than this time last year. Going back and looking at some of those clips, it’s almost comical where we were starting from. I think the guys have picked up from where we left off in December and have a good spirit about them. The guys are wanting to compete. But all that being said, when contact is not involved in the game, there is not a whole lot that you can evaluate other than the fact that we know how to get lined up.”

 

On the growth of the freshmen linebackers heading into their second spring…

“We had a lot of inexperienced players. The best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores. They now understand what it takes to be a big time college football player and they understand really what the season requires of you. You have to experience it to really understand it. Not just those guys, but a lot of the young guys that we played a year ago and even the sophomores that were getting their first time experience. That is the advantage of having guys coming back that know what it’s about.”

 

On linebackers Shaquille Quarterman, Michael Pinckney and Zach McCloud…

“I think you guys know they’re all three really unique kids. They’re all unique personalities and they have a different type of maturity about them.  For the linebackers, it’s fascinating because they’re all so different. They all have different personalities and it’s fun when you sit there at a meal and the three of them are talking to each other and they’re like an old married couple. One guy is a little bit messier, one guy is a little neater and they all have their own idiosyncrasies. We have a lot of guys that are like that on our defense that are fun to be around and fun to coach.”

 

On Sheldrick Redwine working at safety…

“We felt like coming out of our offseason program, we wanted to put our best four defensive backs as we saw them competing in that program. We felt like he was stepping up, but we wanted to see what he could do at that position at safety after we evaluated where we were from a year ago. We believe we have more options, not just that are on campus right now, but that are coming in at corner, to cover those spots. We felt like he had the skill set to do some of the same things that Rayshawn Jenkins did at the field safety position. All that being said, we don’t use the word ‘experiment.’ We don’t have lab coats and Bunsen burners and things like that, but we are trying to put our guys where we feel they have the best position to succeed for them, which ultimately will help out the defense as a whole. We told him, ‘if it doesn’t work out, you can always go back to corner.’ We can always move other guys around. We are just trying to find our best guys to fit.”


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