Martin, Walker excited about depth

Chris Walker and Ben Martin talked extensively about the depth of the Tennessee defensive line, especially when it comes to defensive end. Read what the two standouts had to say Tuesday afternoon about the Vols pass rush.

Ben Martin and Chris Walker spoke with InsideTennessee.com about the Tennessee defensive line and its depth heading into fall camp.

Walker said the team's depth at defensive end is almost unprecedented.

"We are really deep," Walker said. "Ben and I were talking about that this morning. We are like seven deep at defensive end and that's unheard of."

Walker added that he is anxious to watch a solid rotation at work.

"We have seven guys that can come in and play right away, which is great for us because we don't have to be out there 70 or 80 plays a game," Walker noted.

The addition of freshmen Jacques Smith and Corey Miller have both veterans excited about the possibilities for the defensive line.

"Both of them are young and raw guys," Martin said. "I think they are going to bring a lot excitement and energy to the defense."

Walker said the early arrival of the two freshmen has served them well in the early transition to the college game. Now, he looks forward to seeing the progress of a grueling off-season program.

"I think it helped them out coming in early just to get acclimated to the college game and speed," Walker said. "They did really well in spring practice, and I am looking forward to seeing the reps they get in fall camp."

While there may be no issue with depth at defensive end the departure of first round draft pick Dan Williams has left many Tennessee fans scratching their heads when looking at defensive tackle. Both Martin and Walker said the tackles on the roster are more than capable of filling the void.

"I wouldn't say that we are thin at defensive tackle," Walker said. "I think we have guys that most people would say don't have very much experience, but I think we have guys that can play football in there."

Martin said there isn't any added pressure on the players at end because he knows that the tackles will get after it on the inside of the line.

"I feel like the guys inside are going to be solid and contribute," Martin said. "I know they can hold it down inside."

Martin added that he and his teammates are ready to lead by example and let it flow into the rest of the defensive unit.

"I think it is very important for us to be able to set the tone for the rest of the defense," Martin said. "It starts up front with guys like us."

Both Walker and Martin are coming off surgeries that took place during the off season. Coach Derek Dooley said that Martin would be limited through fall camp, while Walker should be full-go in a short amount of time.


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