Khaliel Rodgers knows about life in the trenches, but Saturday will be the first time he’s went to battle from the defensive side…and he’s doing it against the defending national champions.
“It’s going to be a fist fight. It’s going to be a real good game.”
Since making the switch to the defensive line, Rodgers has been working hard to learn the ins and outs of playing nose tackle in Clancy Pendergast’s defensive system. He’s turned his athleticism into a weapon and is working to learn the skills to help make that shine.
“Just honing in on the technique,” Rodgers said. “When you already have the athletic ability, it's there, so you just have to learn the technique to use it.”
Rodgers has had a good mentor in 25-year-old graduate transfer Stevie Tu'ikolovatu. Rodgers said he often picks the former Utah Ute’s brain to learn more about the defensive line craft.
“He's been playing d-line damn near all of his life, so he's been giving me tips of how to do certain things. As a d-lineman in general, it's been amazing to learn from him.”
Watch redshirt junior Khaliel Rodgers talks about the transition to defensive line, what he's learned from graduate transfer Stevie Tu'ikolovatu and what he expects from Alabama.
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