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Today we were in shells and guys were excited to get hitting in. We saw some enthusiastic play. Let to a great individual period and a great team period. Overall, there was a great energy.
On Eddie Vanderdoes:
He makes a great difference. He’s a high quality player. He’s an excellent run stopper and he’s a pass rusher inside. He’s getting comfortable. It’s been a year for him since he played. Eddie has all the tools and it’s showing up on film. We have some technique things to work on but we’re pleased with his progress. Coach Alosi and the strength staff have done a good job getting him on the field.
On the DL depth:
This is the most depth we’ve had on the D-Line. In my 10 years, it’s the most quality D-Line. You have a core group of veterans who’ve played a lot of games and I’m pleased with the newcomers. I look forward to continuing on.
On Boss Tagaloa:
He’s exactly what we thought he was. He’s got nifty feet, he bends well. He’s adjusting well and picking up the technique. I’m happy with Boss.
On Takk McKinley:
Well I know he was the best pass rusher in junior college, certainly. I think Takk has all the tools, I think he has the mindset, he has the physical abilities, he has the speed, and I think going to a 4-man front, he has the opportunity to do that. So we’re going to do everything we can to help him achieve his goals.
On having Eddie Vanderdoes back:
He’s a big personality and a fun guy to be around. He’s infectious, just his attitude, he loves football. I’m just glad the young guys are getting experience with Eddie back in our D-Line room and on the field. He’s a natural leader and productive.
On switching to the 4-3:
Takk did a lot of the dirty work last year in the 3-4 front. Not that we ran a 3-4 all the time, but he has abilities to rush from the outside. And lining him up on the outside every time is going to give him that opportunity. So he’s going to have just more repetitions from that alignment, and again with his speed and power, he has elite combination where he could be, he is that explosive player.
On McKinley and Hollins being on field at same time:
I mean if it’s a certain situation, I’m always going to change the personnel to get the best unit out there. And Deon certainly is one of the fastest athletes I’ve ever worked with. He’s explosive off the ball, he has ability to run at full speed and to be able to bend and tilt and run. I’ve been impressed with Deon so far. He’s really worked hard in the offseason, he works extremely hard on techniques. I think this is first full real season of being a defensive lineman full-time, so I think that’s going to help him. He’s really learning schematics and really focusing on how offensive tackles play. So I think the combination of those two, double-edged, it’s going to be tough on any offense to stop.
On Matt Dickerson:
Matt is one of the strongest guys on the team. He has great length. He’s our big defensive end and depending on personnel groups, he’ll play defensive end and tackle. Matt’s an excellent pass rusher and brings a lot to that position.
On the redshirt freshman:
I have Keisean in there quite a bit. He’s gotten a lot more physical. He’s really focused on his run technique. He’s really picked up on that. I think Keisean is a guy that is going to see the field this year. He’s playing the same position as two really good seniors and he’ll only benefit from that. Takk and Deon are two different type of players. So he’ll be able to see both guys and learn from them.
On Rick Wade:
He’s playing behind Matt Dickerson right now. He’s about 275 pounds right now, great length, great get off and pass rush. Non-stop all the time. We’re very blessed to have this much depth in the program.
On the biggest change in camp from last year:
This year it’s the depth. Last year, you had the same players plus Kenny Clark, who is an excellent player. We didn’t have a lot of depth behind or the scholarship numbers. With our additions, like Nick Terry from JC, he’s a big nasty guy. He brings an attitude and chip on his shoulder. He’s a hard working guy.