Video: Gophers defensive line coach Jeff Phelps speaking with the media following the conclusion of practice on August 24th.

Video on Gopher Illustrated of Gophers defensive line coach Jeff Phelps speaking with the media following the conclusion of practice on August 24th.

Phelps on who has done well in fall camp:

"You know really, Hank has really stepped up as a leader, as well as his learning and understanding of the defense and what we expect for him. So he's been a really good surprise. We also believe that Merrick, you know coming in from junior college, he's really done a great job of picking up the defense. And Taiyon, I think he's someone that we're going to have to continue to look at, and what he an do, and his capacity. I'd say those are the three big surprises on campuses so far."

Phelps on defensive tackle Steven Richardson being listed as a second teamer:

"You know Steven's a great player. He's got to learn that he's got to play that way all the time. His first two years, I think some people were not expecting what he could bring to the table, but he's not surprising anybody anymore. We're demanding the best. There's a lot of good players, six of them, that have all played college football, so there's a lot of competition in there. And he's really close. There's about four of them that are all right there that could be considered starters in my opinion."

Phelps on true freshman defensive lineman Tai'yon Devers:

"He's done a great job of putting on some weight. Coach Klein and his crew in the weight and conditioning deal, and Brittany and her staff on the nutrition side of things, and his commitment. Those three things coming together and helping him out have really put him in a scenario where he can really hang with some of the big guys in the Big Ten. We're excited about that. Of course, a little bit of that is yet to be determined, but that's why we brought him here. He's a very determined young man, comes from a great background. He's ready to get after it, so we're looking forward to seeing how he can continue to progress this year."

Phelps on the defensive line depth for Minnesota this season:

"We have to stay a little bit healthy at defensive end, but the surprise of Taiyon has been great. We got some other guys back there that can step in and help with those roles. But if we can stay healthy, I think that will be key."


Gopher Illustrated Top Stories