DT Abdallah Pleased with Progress

When redshirt freshman Luqman Abdallah arrived at UM, the first practice came as a cruel wake-up call. The speed of the game was so much greater than he experienced at the Hun School in Princeton, N.J.

"The playing speed and the technique has been the hardest adjustment," Abdallah said. "In high school you can just bully everybody. Here everyone is just as strong and just as fast as you, so technique becomes important."

Abdallah arrived at UM weighing in at a soft 315 pounds. Abdallah now weighs a sturdy 305 pounds and he says he has seen significant strength gains during the 8 months he has been at UM.

"I came in here and all my strength numbers just shot through the roof. I could not squat for anything, but I have increased that by like 70 pounds," Abdallah said. "My bench also went up about 70 pounds. I feel a lot better now when I am playing."

Abdallah is currently working with the second team defense next to sophomore Antonio Dixon. He says that Antonio has been "looking great. He is big, strong, and fast."

Luqman says that he is always watching and learning from first team defensive tackles Kareem Brown and Teraz McCray. Abdallah says that both tackles have taken their games to another level.

"They are perfect and going 100 percent out there," Abdallah said. "They are going to be excellent this season. I watch every snap they take. Kareem and Teraz have perfect technique and they get off the ball like you are supposed to. I just try and mimic what they do."

Defensive line coach Clint Hurtt has impressed Abdallah with his coaching techniques and personality.

"Coach Hurtt is a great coach," Abdallah said. "He is friendly and motivational. Both the defensive line coaches are great. They are teaching us everything. All they are stressing is teaching and they want the defense to communicate with each other and make all the right moves."

The offensive linemen that have impressed Abdallah the most are Anthony Wollschlager, Derrick Morse, and A.J. Trump. "They are coming hard every play and that makes me go harder" he says.

Abdallah feels that once he gets his technique perfected, his ability to stop the run will be the strength of his game. Overall, Abdallah is pleased with his progress during his first spring at UM.

"It has basically been a learning experience for me, trying to learn the techniques. The coaches are really helping me out with everything and reemphasizing everything.

David Lake is a Staff Writer with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at lake@canestime.com

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