VandyMania talks with Rick Logo

VandyMania spoke with Commodore defensive line coach Rick Logo about several subjects including Quavian Lewis' transition, the incoming freshmen, the races for Chris Booker and Ray Brown's positions and more.

VM: The 2006 defensive line showed remarkable improvement over the 2005 version. I know you'll give all the credit to your players but what are some of the things you may have given them that might have provided them a better chance to be successful?

RL: We have a bunch of great kids here. I wish I could say that it was just me but I'll tell you, Coach Fowler our defensive coordinator and when you have a great linebacker corps standing behind you; Marcus Buggs, Jonathan Goff and those type types of guys and those secondary guys back there that can cover, it's so hard to take a lot of that credit. They have a lot to do with our success on the football field. The thing that I try to make our kids understand is that its just not about understanding what we do up front but understanding where everybody fits in Coach Fowler's defensive scheme. I think our kids were able to see the bigger picture rather than just talking about the offensive tackle and center but understanding why we are doing certain things because if they don't this is where we are going to be exposed at. So I think they have a better understanding of why we are doing things, not just because we told them to do it but understanding why we do things. With Coach Fowler's pressure defense and the things he's doing us up front; disguising a lot of things and moving us around, being able to put kids in certain positions, has definitely increased our production level as far as what we did. I think the credit is not just the defensive front, Coach Fowler, Coach Belin and Coach Bryant; their kids have done an excellent job of making us right [laughs], they can cover a lot of our mistakes. It makes us look good. I think the chemistry of the defense, when you nurture all that stuff together and mix everything together basically everything starts up front and everything has a domino affect on our linebacker and secondary.

VM: How is Quavian Lewis handling the transition from linebacker to defensive end?

RL: It's a big transition for him right now. Playing with his hand down there's a lot of different things that Quavian is learning. The good thing that he has been doing out there is that he's been showing a lot of athletic ability. We are transitioning him down to defensive end and trying to simplify some things for him. You know, some of our zone defenses he'll drop to coverage. He's making the transition, not as fast as we'd want him to right now but I think there's some athletic ability stuff that's he's doing through the spring practice that show some signs that he's going to be a pretty good player. We've got some ways to go with that but as far as him doing what we've asked him do for the most part he is. We are just working on it day by day.

VM: What players are in the lead to take over for Chris Booker and Ray Brown?

RL: Of course we have senior Gabe Hall that backed up Ray Brown, he's definitely been stepping up his game. We have Greg Billinger that played as a true freshman, he's definitely worked hard in the off season to also put himself up there in the mix. Of course we have returning starter Theo Horrocks who has played both spots for us up front. Chris Booker, we have Steven Stone who backed him up last year that is stepping into his shoes, has filled into the role. Broderick Stewart, another young man who played behind Curtis Gatewood and has been able to transition and play both sides. We've been able to experiment with Quavian Lewis being down there and that's certainly a guy that can help us as far as depth is concerned. We've got some younger kids, Teriall Brannon has shown some good signs as a true freshman, that's working hard out there. Those younger guys right now that are trying to fill those shoes of those two guys; the good thing is that we just don't have one person; we are able to move people around.

VM: Can you talk a little about the freshmen coming in, Robert Ashabranner, T.J. Greenstone and Theron Kadri; which of them do you think are going to be able to come in and help out as freshmen?

RL: I can't really tell you if they could. We would like to definitely red shirt all of three young men that come in. Probably from a physical aspect T.J. Greenstone would probably have a chance to help us. But again, you don't want to overwhelm a young man to come in here and put all that pressure on him. I think if I had the choice I'd like to red shirt them but if they definitely come in during the summer and pick up a lot of this stuff, Greg Billinger is a perfect example, he was able to step in and learn and been able to take that role. It's basically how much they can intake but if I had a choice I'd red shirt all three of them.

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