Talk about when you were moved from linebacker to defensive tackle.
There really wasn't much discussion. I talked to coach Doeren and told him I'd do whatever was best for the team.
When we were in St. Petersburg for the bowl game coach Nielsen came up to me with coach Doeren and we talked about it. We spoke about playing defensive tackle, and I didn't think much of it. Then the next day he came up and said I'm going to go to the defensive line meeting room today.
From there it's been an awesome thing.
I assume after that change was made it was time for you to start putting on more weight?
I had put on a little weight and they then said to put on as much as you want when you want. I was taking advantage of it, and I gained good weight, obviously.
It's been a big change. I've got back to normal speed and have my footwork down so it's been good.
Your dad played at Clemson. Did he ever tell you that you might end up having to switch positions?
All through high school he always messed with me about it because I was so tall. I was skinny, but he'd say, "you're going to have to play with your hand in the dirt one day." I always thought he was joking.
When I got here he told me how there was going to be a lot of food. Everytime I'd come home he'd tell me I was getting closer and closer.
We finally did it, and it's been a big change.
Making that move, you should bring some athleticism to the position.
Going from linebacker, you're always moving around and running sideline-to-sideline chasing people.
It's definitely been an advantage for me. I'm a little bit faster and a step quicker.
It looks like defensive line is a deep position.
I would think so. We have some stud freshmen that came in this year like Darian Roseboro and Quentez Johnson, and we also have Justin Jones back who is in front of me.
Coach Nielsen has done a great job of helping us grow. He's done a lot of stuff with us, activities outside of football, where we're growing as a family and friends. It's not just a position group or some players it's a brotherhood.
You made some plays in the spring game. Do you see yourself improving?
I've felt from the spring to the summer I got so much stronger in conditioning and lifting, and I'm gaining more knowledge about the position.
It's helped me make plays.
How do you feel about the defense?
It's so strong... this is what I've been looking forward to. Over the summer and spring and watching everybody grow... getting stronger. It's going to be really exciting this fall to watch everybody play together because we're going to be really good.