The OU defensive tackles are in a state of transition after the graduation of team leader Dusty Dvoracek and senior Remi Ayodele. Through two games, the they have not played consistent and certainly have not been wreaking havoc up front.
However, a star may be in the making in redshirt freshman DeMarcus Granger, who is beginning to show off his enormous talent. And the Dallas, Texas native stopped by after practice today to talk with OUInsider.com.
JH: You played a little more against Washington than you did against UAB, didn't you?
DG: "Yeah, from the chart from the game I had one more play than everybody else. I think I played a couple of little extra plays than I did in the first game."
JH: How many plays was that?
DG: "I played 32 snaps."
JH: That was only your second game in college football, so are you getting into the flow of things a little bit?
DG: "I mean, it is coming right along. I am a little rusty on taking on blocks head-on. I have had two missed tackles in the last two games. The game is kind of moving slower for me than I than the first day that I got here for two-a-days. I am seeing the pressure point and it is moving to me just like second nature now, and I know what to do. In the last game, I had a couple of young kid mistakes, but it is all coming slowly but surely."
JH: Are you battling for more playing time or possibly a starting job against Oregon?
DG: "With the crew we have, a starting spot can come one week and then be gone the next. Everybody is always fighting for that starting spot or to be in the rotation. Even our third team has talent. They could go somewhere else and be starting D-tackles in other programs. If you think you have a starting spot, then you just better keep working because before you know it in one practice it can be gone."
JH: As a group, are you guys playing up to your expectations? Is this group playing as well as it can at defensive tackle?
DG: "No where near it! We have a long ways to go. Maybe not a long way, but a ways to go where we want to be or where everybody expects us to be. I know we are supposed to be the weak link of the defense and that this year we are young. But wee look at that as a way to get better. People keep saying we are the young part of the defense, and that is what keeps us going every day in practice. We keep practicing like it is a game."
JH: Now that you have two games under your belt, how tough have yu found D-1 football?
DG: "It is a whole lot different than high school, I will tell you that. A whole lot different. You can think you are in the gap for one second and a center or guard are moving so fast that they can kick you right out and the running back will run behind you. You will never see it happen. Coach Shipp had us practice everything and things are moving slower than the first day that I got here. I recognize stuff faster and it just came to me second nature as practices got closer to the game. I have had two pretty good games."
JH: Oregon is a physical team that likes to run option football, so how do you feel about playing your third option football team in a row?
DG: "That means you have to be aware of your assignments on the field, because on option teams the center will cut you. You can be out there playing and he may cut up your gap when you are laying down. You have to have awareness on option teams because they will cut you down real fast. They don't really block you, but push you out of your gap. You have to be ready for it and aware of what is going on around you."
Two Minute Drill: DeMarcus Granger
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