STORIES OF THE DAY
Today's interviewees were LB Sam Eguavoen and WR Bradley Marquez. Eguavoen is another guy that I didn't remember speaking much last year. Eguavoen did say he's playing the Will linebacker spot and that it is him and Will Smith. He also talked about how conservative the defense was last year, putting a lot of people deep and could just run up the middle because of the lack of support. One other thing to note is that he said that the defense more confusing for the offense and that the offense doesn't know where the blitz is coming from, which is something that I think we cannot say happened last year.
Marquez is going to be one of my favorite players and I hope he sticks around. He said he's cleared to play and he's 100% right now. He's excited to play in Midland, which is where he's from, and his family is going to be there. I don't necessarily know why a player becomes a player that you choose to really root for other than just wearing the Red and Black. Maybe it is because he's so well spoken and does seem like a pretty good guy. I think I could say that about a lot of these players.
DEFENSIVE LINE DEPTH CHART | Good work from the LAJ as they have a notebook with a bit on how LB Chris Payne is making an impact, Branden Jackson and Pete Robertson battling for that "Bandit" position and a look at the defensive line. Let's get to the defensive line first:
Defensive tackle (boundary): Kerry Hyder, Sr.; Jackson Richards, Jr.
Nose tackle: Dennell Wesley, Sr.; Anthony Smith, Fr.
Defensive end (field): Dartwan Bush, Sr.; Delvon Simmons, Jr.
Bandit outside linebacker (boundary): Branden Jackson, So./Pete Robertson, So.; Chase Robison, Fr.
Inside linebacker (boundary): Will Smith, Sr.; Sam Eguavoen, Jr.
Middle linebacker (field): Blake Dees, Jr.; Zach Winbush, Jr.; Micah Awe, So.
Raider outside linebacker (field): Terrance Bullitt, Sr.; Chris Payne, Jr.; Kris Williams, Fr.
This makes sense. Especially the "Raider" position. Just to remind you, the boundary refers to the short side of the field and in terms of a cornerback it is usually a bigger cornerback that can help with the run, while the field is the wide side of the field and the cornerback is usually smaller, but quicker to cover more space. I think the same thing applies here in that Bullitt, Payne, Williams, Dees, Winbush and Awe are the smaller of the linebackers listed.
There are also a lot of quotes from Co-Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith in that notebook, including his thoughts on Payne at "Raider" and the battle between Jackson and Robertson at "Bandit". Here's Smith on Payne:
"He’s just a smart kid," Smith said. "He picks up the defense. He takes coaching. You tell him one coaching point, he gets it. You don’t have to, every day, keep repeating yourself. He’s been really impressive.
"And he’s a tough little (player), too. He’ll come downhill when he sees run. He attacks receivers. On screens and stuff, a lot of guys want to wait for it, let them get to you. He hits it. He knows when he’s force and when he’s not. He’s a good football player."
FORTENBERRY LOOKING TO GET IN THE MIX | Last, but not least, the LAJ has an article on offensive tackle Rashad Fortenberry, who is trying to get into the mix at the right tackle spot. I didn't know that Fortenberry had a back issue last year and the coaching staff is hoping to get a medical redshirt for last year so that he would still be a junior.
VISUAL OF EVERY COLLEGE SPORTS MASCOT | From PopChartLabs, this is described as a taxonomic breakdown of every college mascot. It's a cool visual.