Red Raider Gridiron | Alston Adjusting; DL Breakdown

John Weast

Demetrius Alston is adjusting to the defensive line after coming off an injury last year, plus we get a breakdown of the defensive line.

We get to know a bit about defensive tackle Demetrius Alton, who we find out (maybe it's just me because I don't recall this news) that he broke his leg coming into his sophomore year from JUCO and had a tough time adjusting (via LAJ).  Alston talks about how tough it was to keep pace:

"I think in the fall, I was just trying to keep up with the pace," Alston said, "coming from junior college and just looking at guys like Kerry Hyder and watching them play and how they go about things. The spring is kind of the time to step up. I got in the weight room a little bit and got a little bigger."

The article mentions that Alston is also up to 270 and holding it well and is helping Alston compete at this position. And defensive line coach John Scott, Jr, talks about how it took Alston time to adjust:

"I think it was a little tough on him when he initially got here," Scott said, "because he had basically sat out almost a year with that leg injury. So when he got into camp, he had been away from the game for a while. As fast as our offense goes and as fast as we practice, I think it was a tough adjustment for him."

This should serve as a bit of a warning in that sometimes it does take a year for some of these JUCO players to adjust.  I know that I'm going to have certain expectations about these JUCO guys, I think they all need to get a shot to play and I think they will, but it's not easy to adjust.  It just isn't.  Most of the time, it takes a year to adjust.  I hope the curve is much quicker than that for most of these guys.

We also get a line breakdown for the defensive line (via LAJ).  Essentially, Williams gets Scott, JR. to talk about Alston, Branden Jackson who is at defensive end, and Zach Barnes, who is backing up Jackson at defensive end.  Plus, a bit about Jackson Richards, who Scott, Jr. says is improving his technique and footwork.

"Branden Jackson did a really nice job for us in the scrimmage (before spring break)," Scott said Tuesday. "Jackson Richards is getting better with his feet and technique. You see him looking like a different guy than he looked at times in the fall and last spring, so we’re really excited about him."

Scott, Jr. says that Barnes is eating 6,000 calories a day, which sounds like a lot.  There's also a discussion on Kenny Williams at linebacker, but those quotes are from yesterday's notes and video.

Links:

The big news yesterday was the fact that the college athletes win their first court battle in the Northwestern players attempt to become a union (via SB Nation and Sports Illustrated).  I haven't had time to fully understand the implications of this so I'll reserve any judgment or discussion about this later.  I am still trying to figure out how the IRS isn't going to consider a scholarship and all of the aid and travel as not being income and how the students pay for that tax bill on an annual basis.

Really good article from the Ubbenator about early enrollees (high school players that end up attending college starting in the spring semester) (via FSSW) and Kingsbury talks a bit about how he tries to make it comfortable on the high school players:

"You really want to make sure it's a comfortable environment for them. That's a big change, even the school aspect of it. I just want to establish a comfort level when it comes to football," Kingsbury said. "You know there's going to be some rough moments."

Q&A with Texas Tech signee QB Patrick Mahomes (via Rivals).

Tight end rankings from SB Nation's draft expert, Dan Kadar (I do think he's really good at what he does), and has TE Jace Amaro as the second best tight end (via SB Nation).

Action:

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