On how spring practice is going so far
Good. I mean we’re all leveling up, we all getting better, getting some guys more reps – especially when we’re doing practice with the two fields, everybody is getting reps. So it’s good.
On moving into a more prominent role this year
I’m very happy. Last year, being behind Jayon, I knew at WILL, he predominantly was going to play more. So I moved outside (to SAM), and now I’m moving back over to my regular position. I learned a lot from Jayon while he was here, and I watched him level up. So now it’s my turn. I’m happy with that.
On where he’s at physically compared to where he was at the end of last season
I’m a little heavier. Definitely my legs, I feel a little faster than I was. But that’s the only difference. Everything’s all good. Older now.
On his role as a leader this year for the defense
It’s crazy, because I came in at 17, so I’m only 19 and I’m younger than a lot of the freshman linebackers, but class-wise, I’m the second-oldest. After Kenny (Young), it’s me. So it’s definitely crazy how times have changed and now I’m the older guy on my way out.
On how he started college early
I started school early when I was little, and then I graduated early from high school, so I started at 17. So this is my third spring ball, and the beginning of my junior year class-wise.
On how it suits him better to play weak-side linebacker as opposed to SAM
Now, playing at that weak-side, especially when we go nickel, I’ll come off the field. And me being a bigger body on that weak side when they’re running powers, back leads, it’s better. I can still run with anything – cover a slot. Plus, it’s me being on the field more, rather than playing SAM and only having the edge, now I’m back behind the ball, and I get to make more tackles, make more plays.
On the early enrollee freshmen on defense
I’m really impressed with Jaelan Phillips coming in. I mean, this is his first time being with the team and you really can’t tell. He’s gotten a few opportunities with the 1s, and I can’t tell he’s a freshman; he’s already with the vets and everything. Also, Darnay Holmes, he’s making strides playing with the 1s. With him too, there’s no drop-off. Both of them (Holmes and Phillips) are ready to go with the 1s anytime.