PACK PRIDE Q&A: Hakim Jones

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Pack Pride checks in with redshirt junior safety Hakim Jones for an update on fall practice.

Heading into the final week before the regular season opener Pack Pride caught up with safety Hakim Jones. The redshirt junior is eager to get the season underway and feels NC State’s defense has grown not only since last season but also since the spring.

How did camp go this past week?
Camp has gone really well. First of all, it was a lot easier to focus than in the past because of the weather. We have been blessed with extremely good weather this camp.

So, it has been better and a lot healthy as well. Guys have not been dehydrated as well. We have had a lot more success.

Obviously, you guys have some youth in the secondary, but Coach Doeren also feels you have some depth. What have you seen?
It is really great because we have been rotating so much, where in the past we were rotating three strong safeties.

We have three strong safeties we can rotate in and then we have [Germaine] Pratt on the free safety side with me. He's learning and I'm helping to teach him a lot.

Basically all of our five guys are ready to go right now.

What have you seen from Germaine Pratt?
He's very good.

He's young, but it's a great competition, and I love to compete. I'm trying to teach him everything I know so it's helping me too.

He's a great athlete. When I leave and he has all the shine, it's all him, he's going to be something amazing to watch.

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If you can look back to last year at this time, do you feel better about this year’s team?
I feel it is better because last year we were trying to get adjusted to new coaches and learn each other as well.

I had known Jarvis since the 11th grade, but I had never played with him at safety before. It was a whole new experience playing with him and Dontae [Johnson]. We had a lot of different communication and a lot of different talks with the coaches.

We basically all had to learn each other. Now it is like we know each other better and it is a lot easier to play and trust those guys.

It's a much better relationship.

What have you seen from Josh Jones?
Josh Jones has really improved, especially from the spring. He moved from linebacker and redshirted.

He's a very fast learner. He and Germaine, they are going to be really good.

You guys have switched to a 4-2-5 look. What are the advantages of the new defense?
It is the quickness. Normally you have to look to help the 'SAM' linebacker but you don't have to as much because they are now safeties.

Basically, the linebackers are like safeties. They are playing in the box down there and they are great tacklers as well. You can trust them for run support as well as coverage.

You can basically view the whole field to look and see where the weakest spot is versus looking at the linebacker for the whole play.


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