STORIES OF THE DAY
Today's interviewees were IR Jakeem Grant and LB Micah Awe. Not having the opportunity to listen to much of either of them last year, it was really neat to listen to them, especially Awe. I think I've heard Grant a couple of times before and he expressed that he's rotating with IR Jordan Davis and that he is a speed guy and head coach Kliff Kingsbury is looking to get the ball in his hands even more. I do like Grant's confidence and I don't think he lacks for any sort of confidence.
Awe was more interesting to me because I just don't recall hearing from him. He said that he's running middle linebacker along with Blake Dees and Zach Winbush. He said that he weighs in at 210, although Co-DC Matt Wallerstedt wants him to weigh in at 220. He said that he isn't sure he can add that weight, and that he doesn't believe that size isn't a concern. He also really emphasizes how much having energy is important to the defense and he said that this was the one thing that he really took away from last year and that is the biggest difference between the best defenses and all of the rest. All you need is energy. Much like Grant, Awe is confident that he can do the job at middle linebacker. He said he met Danny Amendola and he said he's bigger than him and Amendola is making millions. If he can do it, so can Awe. Awe is also a petroleum engineering major, so that's interesting.
The LAJ recaps the Grant interview and I thought this was telling:
"This offense is much quicker and I like it," Grant said. "You have more of an option to sit down in your routes, or to keep going and beat the dude, use your speed. (Kingsbury) came in and said, ‘You’re not going to do one specific thing. If you feel like you can beat him, then beat him. If you feel like he’s playing you too hard over the top, then sit him down."
This was thought to be one of Neal Brown's biggest differences in his offense versus what Leach had run, which is that the receivers have more freedom in their routes, while Brown had set routes. The downside is that the receiver and quarterback have to be reading the same thing from the defense, which is why there are so many reps right now. It has to be second nature.
Co-OC Sonny Cumbie also talked about Grant's progress:
"It’s kind of a natural progression for him," Cumbie said. "He kind of took his lumps as a redshirt, and then last year he had the success he did. ... Confidence-wise he’s in a really good place, and I’m not surprised at all with his development over the course of the last three years."
The LAJ also has a summary of the Awe interview as well.
VIDJA BOARD A.K.A. RAIDERTRON | There is video embedded, but the LAJ also has a construction update on the new video board, also being referred to as RaiderTron. Some of you have asked about the speaker situation at Jones AT&T and there are apparently speakers embedded in the video board and the thought is that everyone is going to have the same crystal clear (Are we clear? Crystal) sound. Here is bit gathered via the LAJ and Vice Chancellor Michael Molina who spoke yesterday:
Michael Molina, Tech vice chancellor for facilities planning and construction, said the structure includes 275 tons of steel above ground and 54 tons below ground, embedded in about 400 cubic yards of concrete. Six piers on the west side of the structure and six on the east go almost 50 feet deep.