Jackson Moore - Scout

One-on-one with San Jose State Defensive Coordinator Derrick Odum

InsideTheSpartans.com talks one-on-one with SJSU defensive coordinator Derrick Odum about the new era of the Spartans' defense.

What are your thoughts on your defense through spring?

There were some good things out there. I’m really happy with the progress up to this point. The guys have really dug down and really tried to learn the system we’re putting in and all the finer details of it. Of course there were a few plays we’d like to have back. All in all, I’m pleased with that group.

How would you describe your defense schematically?

We’re going to be a real multiple defense. We’re going to drop back and play a lot of coverage and then we’re going to bring it a little bit. It’s going to be just depending on who we’re playing and things that they do on offense, we’ll do things to stop that. We’re going to be exciting and it’s going to be a lot of fun on defense, that’s for sure.

How much did you get installed this spring?

I’d say probably about 75 percent of it. We still have some things left to put in and install. I didn’t want to give them too much because there are a lot of details to it and I want to make sure that’s done right. We’ll continue that into summer and fall camp.

What was the process of assessing the players you inherited?

I went into it not wanting to see any film from last year. I wanted to have a clean slate and make my opinions as we practice. There were some good things that I like out of this group. We have some guys nicked up during spring and when they get back and healthy, it’ll really help us out a lot. We have some guys coming in this summer that will really bolster our depth. Overall, I’m pleased, I’m excited and can’t wait to get going in the first game.

What can you tell us about your mid-year additions?

They’ve done great - Justin Parcells and Jamal, both of those guys have done a really nice job. They are from a program that won a state title in the JuCo ranks. They are carrying that same desire and fire to our team, which we need.

What are the principles you try to instill in your defense?

Be accountable for what you’re doing. Don’t be soft. A soft person is a guy that doesn’t go to class, or shows up a little late to a meeting, doesn’t get six reps when we’re supposed to and only gets five in the weight room. Those are the things we’re trying to install in those guys. Up to this point, they’ve done a great job of that. Those things will payoff in the fall. That's the main principle I try to get to them - don’t be soft, do things the right way, be where you’re supposed to be on time, and do it with a smile on your face.

It seems like there is a lot of energy out here, what is it like working with this staff?

A lot of juice. We’re bringing it everyday. This game is an excitable game and it takes a lot of energy and passion. We want to instill that in those guys so when they show up on Saturdays they feel that, they’re confident and excited to play.

How has recruiting gone so far?

We’ve got a great start to recruiting. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback. We’re on some really good players. It’s early in the process, but we’re banging away and getting after it.

What are ideal attributes you are looking for in recruits for your defense?

On defense, we’re looking for guys with some length. Length shows up on the field. Guys with long arms, that can run, it’s a real good quality to have in our defensive front - especially at our linebackers spot. Guys that can run, are excited to play, are tough, mean guys - those are the guys we want.

Wrapping up spring, what is one thing you are confident about and one thing that needs to be addressed in the offseason?

We’re always trying to clean up the little things of each call - the nuances of everything. I feel good that the guys are really hungry, they want to learn, we’re going to get some guys healthy that will bolster our depth, which we need. This offseason is going to be big for us. They’re excited. They want to do the things that get them to a spot to play for bowl games.

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