Jeanpierre Talks About Life On The D-Line

South Carolina redshirt freshman defensive tackle Lemuel Jeanpierre has been asked to grow up in a hurry and provide quality minutes off the bench this season, and thus far he has been up to the task, as he has totaled 7 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks through five games. caught up with the freshman standout, and he talked about his adjustment this season.

Question: What area do you believe you have improved in the most since you arrived on campus as a freshman last year?

Answer: I think I've improved on every aspect a little bit. Little by little, I've (improved) my strength, my speed, my aggressiveness. I'm always willing to learn and get better, because in my mind, there's always room for improvement no matter who you are.

Question: What are your thoughts on Brad Lawing as your defensive line coach this year as opposed to Tyrone Nix last season?

Answer: Coach Nix, when I was first here we had to do line drills and go hit up against each other and pound, pound, pound., pound. It was hard, but Coach Lawing is no easier. He works us hard, but I know he only works us hard so that we can be a good D-line.

Question: Are you impressed with Coach Lawing's knowledge of the game?

Answer: Yeah, when he first came here, he told us about all the experienced coaches he's coached under. He's been coaching for twenty-five years, and he's learned from (Nick) Saban and (Bill) Belichick. Some of the small things he's taught me, you would have never really thought as a defensive lineman that would help you so much as that one little thing.

Question: Can you give an example of one thing he has taught you?

Answer: My stance. When I was playing (defensive) end in the spring, how our foot placement was, depending on what you wanted to do, that certain foot can help you better than the other foot. Coming off the ball, if you want to pass, then you have a certain foot back, and by your third step, you'll be able to get more of a punch than if you push off with your outside foot compared to your next step with your inside foot where you get a full push. We've got that whole motion. That small thing I would have never thought about. In high school, they just preach to put your inside hand down, so you've got one hand down, but you're not really understanding what you've got to do to play.

Question: Have your responsibilities changed at all with the move to defensive tackle this year?

Answer: Yeah, last year I played defensive end. Then you're controlling the edge more, and you're around the edge more, but as a defensive tackle, you're more hitting your gap and trying to keep the big guys off the linebackers. If you play hard, you'll make plays regardless, but as a (defensive) tackle, you've got to add a little bit of bulk because you're going against a guard or a center, which weigh about six hundred pounds total. Whereas when you're just an end, you're going against maybe a guy that weighs 300 (pounds) around the edge, just trying to control the edge.

Question: Do you feel like you've added enough bulk? Do you feel small in there sometimes?

Answer: Not really. I know my frame is still like a defensive end, but I'm at 280 (pounds) right now, and I'm always willing to add more bulk. Coach wants me to get up to about 300. He says that would be a good size for me, and that's fine with me. He has experience, so I know he knows what he's talking about. I'm not going to doubt anything he says, and I'm going to do what they ask me.

Question: Does being a little leaner on the interior allow you to be quicker?

Answer: Yeah, I also think what helps is my experience at defensive end. I worked more on the outside a lot of the years that I played football. It teaches you when you go down to defensive tackle that you've got to stay low, because then you might tend to creep up, but if you creep up inside, you're going to be driven back.

Question: Which position do you like better, defensive end or defensive tackle?

Answer: I like end, because to me the responsibilities aren't as heavy. Most times you've just got to keep the edge, and you're fine. I like defensive tackle too. I just love playing D-line, and I'm here to help whichever way I can.

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