Named the most improved defensive player of spring practice, Jay Alford was honored with the team's O'Hora Award at the Blue White Game. Alford, a veteran defensive tackle, talks about everything from winning the award to changing his number from 85 to 13.
Jay Alford will play an integral role for a defense that could be among the best in the Big Ten. Last season he had 24 tackles, nine solo and 15 assisted, a mark he hopes to dramatically improve upon this coming season.
If you are unable to listen to the audio interview from Alford, you can read the summary of Jay's comments below.
Alford was surprised he won the O'Hora Award as the most improved defensive player of the spring. He worked harder throughout the spring in order to boost his game, plus he as been focused on having more fun on the field.
Changing his number to 13 is a permanent switch. Originally he wore 85 because the two numbers add up to 13, but when 13 became available from Kinta Palmer he snatched it up.
He wore the number throughout high school when he played quarterback - it's his favorite number. Jay said he is not supersticious of the number though.
The spring went great because they didn't lose anyone. It was a lot of fun because everyone knows each other. The line didn't have to gel because they already had comfort playing togetther and just focused on playing all out as a unit.
Jay does not feel a lot of pressure on the defense given the expectations around the unit because the just go out there and do their jobs.