One-on-one with Justin Wilcox

Justin Wilcox was born into football. His father, Dave, was a Hall of Fame linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers. Justin played his collegiate football at the University of Oregon, where he earned second-team all-conference his senior season. Wilcox then went into coaching with stints at Boise State and California before returning to Boise to lead the defense.

Wilcox compiled a 49-4 record while coordinating the defense at Boise State over the past four years. In his first year at Tennessee, with the loss of two starters due to injury and one signee to academics, Wilcox will have his work cut out for him against this difficult SEC schedule.

Could you describe how the defense has progressed this fall camp?

Wilcox: I think we have made some good strides. I don't think you're ever quite where we want to be. There's some things we absolutely need to work on. There's a lot of guys getting reps. They have shown improvement.

Is the defense installed?

Wilcox: Installation-wise, most of what we want to get in has been installed. It's a matter of refining some of those things and keep working on those deficiencies.

Who on the defense has stepped up this fall at cornerback?

Wilcox: Art Evans, who wasn't with us in the spring has done a nice job this fall camp. Marsalis Teague has made the transition over (from wide receiver) and done some good things.

Who has stepped up at safety?

Wilcox: Prentiss Waggner has continued to evolve and has shown he is a guy we can lean on. He will be a solid player for us. Brent Brewer is a safety that has shown up. He was really playing (minor league) baseball a year ago and has done some good things for us.

At linebacker?

Wilcox: At the linebacker position there are guys who have played a lot, some veteran guys in there. We expect them to play well. In terms of depth chart, nothing has really been set on them. Nick Reveiz is the guy that runs the show at Mike linebacker.

Your thoughts on the defensive line?

Wilcox: Senior leadership in Chris Walker. Losing Ben Martin and Marlon (Walls) is a hurdle for us. There's some young guys in there that have been competing and working. That's a position we are trying to develop some depth.

What is it going to be like running through the T on gameday?

It's going to be unbelievable. Being here since February you notice how passionate the fan base is, and I've not even been part of a game yet. I'm excited, and I know our players are exited. I hope we get our work done so we can play the right way.

Inside Tennessee Top Stories