Healthy Lyons looks to get off on right foot

Last season, Wayne Lyons was supposed to be one of the few true freshmen able to step up and make an immediate impact on the field. Instead, a foot injury sidelined him for almost all of the season.

This year, Wayne Lyons will be needed to help fill the void left with the departure of three starters in the defensive backfield. The Bootleg caught up with him after practice on Monday to get a sense of spring practice so far and the progress on his return from injury.

The Bootleg: How was the first practice of the second session?

Wayne Lyons: I feel like the tempo was pretty good today. Everybody was moving around well, they had music playing in the background, everyone was moving around and hustling, so it was a great practice.

How's your progression on your injury?

WL: There's definitely progression. Every day I'm just trying to get better, day by day and step by step. I definitely want to work on the smaller things; as you improve on the smaller things, the bigger things get better as well. I feel like just taking it one step at a time.

You guys lost a lot of leaders in the secondary, so who's stepping up into those leadership roles?

WL: Terrence Brown definitely, Terrence Brown and Harold Bernard. Harold Bernard has a lot of experience in the secondary, so he's kind of keeping everyone aware of what's going on and keeping everyone working hard. He's making sure everyone knows that we can't get complacent, that we have to work hard and prove ourselves. I feel like Terrence Brown and Harold Bernard, they're stepping up a lot and showing leadership.

Are there any kind of big position battles or battles for playing time going on, and how do you see yourself fitting in to those?

WL: Right now I'm definitely competing for playing time, I think everyone's competing for playing time. We all want to play, so I guess the hardest worker and the one who shows the most improvement over the spring camp, and also makes the most plays and shows the most effort—I guess the best man will win.

Do you think you'll be a starter come the opening game?

WL: I'm hoping to. Most likely I probably will be, but I'm working hard to get to that spot right now. I'm still in the second rotation, but I feel if I keep working hard and I keep proving that I belong with the starting group, then I'll move to the starting group.

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