A Q&A With DL Coach David Turner

Mississippi State defensive line coach David Turner talks about his defensive linemen.

What is your overall view of your defensive line heading into the 2013 season?
"I thought we finished up the spring by making progress, although it wasn't as much as I would have liked. We have some guys with experience. And a key was moving Kaleb (Eulls) inside, which is a good move for us because we are trying to get the four guys on the field.

"Overall, it's a good group. We have some numbers but we just have to be a whole lot more consistent. We have to show up everyday and work hard."

Talk about your players individually. Start with Kaleb Eulls.
"We moved him inside and I thought he was more comfortable inside than he was at end. I thought that move went well."

Another player is Denico Autry at defensive end. He's got a year under his belt now.
"I don't think a lot of people understand, even though he was a junior college guy, how difficult it is adjusting to the speed and physicalness of the SEC. Now, he's starting to come around because I thought he had a tremendous spring. He's probably the most consistent guy that I had from start to the finish of the spring. I feel very good about him and expect big things out of him. He has to be a big-time player for us. And I think that's a challenge that he's ready to accept."

Preston Smith is another guy with some experience.
"Preston is a guy that has a lot of ability but he is way too inconsistent. He's got to mature and play a little bit more physical. He likes to rush the quarterback but he's got to do some things in regard to the run game."

Ryan Brown.
"Ryan made tremendous strides in the spring and I like where he is. Ryan is kind of a hard-hat guy who doesn't say a whole lot but shows up everyday and works and goes about his business. He's the same everyday and that's what I love about him."

Torrey Bell
"Torrey has some ability but he didn't have a real good spring because he was hurt. He had a stretch where he couldn't eat and lost some weight because he had tonsillitis. He's finally healthy now, so we really need for him to take a step forward this fall."

A.J. Jefferson
"A.J. is another young man who did some good things in the spring. He's still learning the speed of the game but I like where he is."

P.J. Jones, Curtis Virges and Nelson Adams are three of your inside guys.
"P.J. is an inside player for us who has to step up.Curtis is a player who we need to try and get a little bit better. Nelson got a lot of quality reps in the spring, which really helped him. He's going to have to play some significant snaps for us in the future."

You have two highly recruited guys, Nick James and Quay Evans, who are going into their sophomore seasons.
"Both of them have a lot of ability but they have to step up. They have to do more growing off the field than on the field right now. That's where they are going to have to make tremendous strides right now."

Do you expect incoming freshman Chris Jones to make an impact this coming season?
"Chris is handling his academic stuff, and we don't expect any surprises there. He's close to 300 pounds now. So, I just have to see what he can and can't do and then decide what to do with him. He might line up at end or wind up lining up at tackle some. It just depends on when he gets here and we see what he can do. Obviously, we are excited about him."


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.


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