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K-State Head Coach Chris Klieman, Players Address Media on Tuesday

K-State Athletics ReleaseAugust 25, 2020

Watch: Chris Klieman  |  Briley Moore  |  Josh Rivas  |  Kiondre Thomas  |  Wayne Jones

Wildcats Uncut: Chris Klieman  |  Briley Moore  |  Josh Rivas  |  Kiondre Thomas  |  Wayne Jones

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State Head Coach Chris Klieman and select players met with members of the media via Zoom on Tuesday to discuss the progress of preseason practices. Below are transcripts of all four individuals, while video and audio links are above.

CHRIS KLIEMAN, HEAD COACH

Opening Statement…

“Good afternoon everybody. We’re about 12 practices into what we would still consider fall camp. Even though school has started, we’re still into fall camp doing a lot of installations and double reps. We’re trying to evaluate a lot of players out there. I’m excited about the progress we’re making. We’re still a ways away, in my opinion, from being a seasoned team right now, but we’re still getting good work in. We still have the better part of two weeks before we play, and I’m excited that the guys are practicing hard, learning and continuing to improve. Looking forward to some football here in September.”

On the amount of players who have tested positive for COVID-19…

“I don’t think any in the last few. With all the students coming back, we’ll see how we’re going to be. I think every institution is going to be worried about that over the next few weeks to a month with all the students coming back. Right now, we’re testing every Wednesday.”

On true freshmen that have stood out in practice…

“Offensively, I would say Deuce Vaughn has really stepped up as a running back, Will Howard as a quarterback. There are a number of young offensive linemen who have done a good job. On defense, we have some defensive backs. Defensively, we don’t have that many true freshmen that are probably going to help us. There are a couple defensive backs and the two defensive ends from the Kansas City area, Felix (Anudike) and Nate (Matlack) are doing a nice job as well.”

On replacing the starting punter from last year…

“It’s a work in progress. Devin (Anctil) was such a dynamic punter for us. Jack Blumer, right now, is competing with what we hope to be Ty Zentner. Ty has been a little banged up, but we hope to have Ty back at the end of this week or the first part of next week to be able to compete a little bit more. We’re replacing an awful lot of our players on punt, as well, within our shield and within our front line. It’s been something that we’ve spent an awful lot of time on. It’s still an open competition at punter. We’ll play it out over the next few weeks and see who ends up being the guy.”

On the recruiting challenges…

“There are a ton of challenges, more challenges probably than positives simply because you don’t get the face-to-face interaction. Whether it’s kids coming to campus for an unofficial visit, kids coming to campus for camps or the fact that we’re getting into playing some games in September that they’re not going to be able to come and visit the school. In that respect, I think it’s difficult for all student-athletes when they can’t get on campuses to get face-to-face interaction. I think we’re doing the best job we can as far as reaching out and touching all those recruits as often as we can. Taylor (Braet) and Chuck (Lillie) do a great job of keeping us up to date as coaches and using our social media platforms, texting and calling when we can to stay on top of it as best as we can.”

On if any additional players have opted out…

“We’ve had a few. We’re going to support those decisions, and then we have to move forward with the guys who are going to participate and play. Rest assured, we will support those guys and will continue to supply them with the stuff they need from the academic side of things to mental health to athletic training, whatever it may be. I would think it’s going to slow down, even though you just don’t know because the NCAA came out and said that this year really doesn’t count. When you opt out of a year that doesn’t count. We need to make sure that we take care of those guys.”

On handling the frozen eligibility this year…

“That’s something we have not dived into yet. I know it came out on Friday. We mentioned it to all of the players on Friday afternoon that this is coming down with a freeze year, but we’re still learning more about it ourselves as coaches. We have to let this year play out for those guys to see how many games they play. For the seniors, is it a full season? Do they want to continue to play and continue to pursue football? Some of them are getting degrees, already have degrees or potentially have jobs. It’s something we know we’re going to have to handle here later in the fall, but with all the things we have going on and trying to finish up what we still consider fall camp, we just haven’t spent a lot of time on it.”

On if he’s talked with Skylar Thompson about the frozen eligibility…

“Not at all and haven’t brought it up simply because his focus, as well as every other senior, is on playing this year and not worrying about something that’s in your control but is so far away. A lot of those seniors are saying, ‘Let’s just focus on this year and play as much football as we can.’ Once again, we haven’t talked about it as a staff at all since it just came down on Friday. We had practice on Saturday, gave the staff off on Sunday, reconvened on Monday for practice. It’s just such a blur right now with the amount of practice and meeting time that we have with ourselves that it’s not an area that we’ve hit on yet.”

On what tight end Briley Moore can add to the offense…

“Briley is going to be a definite impact player for us this year. I think you can tell his exceptional physical skills, whether it’s blocking at the point of attack, running routes. He’s gained respect from our older guys really, really fast just because of how he works and the fact that he competes on every down. He’s going to help us. You can put him down as a tight end. You can flex him out. You can put him in the backfield. I’m really impressed with his ability to learn what we’re doing. I’m excited to see what kind of year he has.”

On rules for the team now that students are back on campus…

“It’s going to be difficult – there’s no question – because they’re still 18-22 year old college students. Last Saturday was really the first night that we’ve had off simply because we were in camp mode and had a lot of things to do in the evening. We talked about it as a staff. We talked about it with our leadership council. We can’t practice every Friday and Saturday night for the whole semester, so some of it you have to put on the leadership. You have to avoid large gatherings. You have to avoid groups of people where people are not socially distancing or wearing masks. You can’t say if this one is ok or that one isn’t ok. You guys know what we’ve been preaching and what our docs and athletic trainers have been preaching as well. You have to avoid the bars. You have to avoid large gatherings. You have to avoid anything that would put yourself or your teammates in jeopardy.”

On recruits being interested in K-State after other conferences shut down…

“Yeah I haven’t seen it yet. When you could see it is if they did open up recruiting and somebody would come to a game of one of the three power conferences that are playing to see a gameday environment – even if it’s not a packed house – as opposed to not being able to get on campus to a school that’s not playing. That could happen. On the flip side, it could happen in the spring where they’re playing games and bringing people on campus and we’re not playing games. We’ll see how that landscape plays out with the NCAA of how they’re going to allow students or student-athletes to come visit schools that are playing, and then what they’re going to do in the spring as well.”

On what the mindset of the new group of offensive linemen…

“Well, we have a really good defensive line to go against and exceptional linebackers, so they’re getting sharpened every day in terms of going against great competition. We’re going to have eight or nine guys that are going to rotate in and play until we can find the five or six guys that are going to be counted on for the whole year. I’ve been really pleased with all the guys up front. Coach (Conor) Riley has done a tremendous job. Noah Johnson, who’s a senior that’s a center for us, has kind of been the leader right now as far as being the vocal guy. I’m excited because we have interchangeable parts at guard and at tackle with probably seven or eight guys.”

On players taking online classes…

“We are going to kind of let the guys decide that over the first couple weeks of class, and I know a number of them – especially the older guys – have gone strictly online. There are a few older guys that will maybe go to a class, see what it looks like, see their comfort level, because there are a few classes that they really want to attend. If they feel comfortable that there’s not many students in the class, they’re socially distancing, we’ve encouraged those guys that that’s okay to do it. I think we’re going to find out an exact number probably in another week as guys finish getting their classes locked in because there’s some changes always in the first two weeks of classes with adjusting times and adjusting schedules. Rough estimate I’d say 70% of them are online.”

On the depth at nickelback…

“Will Jones is doing a really nice job as a redshirt freshman. He’s put on about 25 pounds and done an excellent job of learning what we’re doing, being more comfortable in the system. TJ Smith, a true freshman, is playing there. DJ Render, a senior, is playing there. Ross Elder is playing some free safety as well as some nickel, so we’re kind of using Ross (Elder) in a couple of spots. I think we have really good competition. Everybody has a different skill set. Will (Jones) is a tremendous man-to-man coverage guy and is learning how to do some of the other things. So we have competition, we have some depth there.”

On transfer defensive back Kiondre Thomas…

“He’s done a great job. He’s a really competitive young man. I’m excited for him that he’s taken the challenge to come to K-State to help our team, to help himself. He’s in the mix. He’s going to play an awful lot for us. He’s a real vocal guy, he’s a physical corner, gets his hand on guys. He’s a good size young man –  probably close to 200 pounds, 195 pounds. We’re really excited about Kiondre (Thomas) joining our program, and he’s going to have an impact this year.”

On watching the offensive line grow together…

“Noah (Johnson) makes that group have a lot of fun. He’s the guy that has all the energy coming into meetings, and he’s excited to practice and he challenges guys. I know that all those guys want to prove that they belong, that they can play at this level, that we won’t miss a beat. I know that we lost a ton of experience and it may take us a little while to gel with a brand new group of offensive linemen, but I’m excited about the athleticism amongst the group. I’m excited about the physical style of play and the fact that we have at least eight or nine bodies, if not 10, that really are getting a great look. I know that Coach (Conor) Riley wants to give everybody an opportunity so that we can build more depth and have more guys through a long season. ”

On Elijah Sullivan and Justin Hughes leading the way at linebacker…

“Justin is the vocal guy. He is a guy that brings energy every day and gets everybody else excited. Eli is a workman. He does his job. You can tell when Eli is on the field because our defense is that much faster. There’s some plays where you think it’s going to be a good gain, and all the sudden there’s Eli and it’s a tackle for a loss, or somebody looks like they’re open and Eli can close ground and get a pass break up. Both of them are doing a great job. Both of them are excited about playing with each other and they elevate our defense.”

On unique things at practice or in the locker room to get ready for an unusual season…

“Everything has been unusual. We’re using the visitors’ locker room as well as the home locker room so not everybody is together. Unless we use Bramlage (Coliseum), we don’t have team meetings. We’ve only had a couple team meetings. When we lift, we lift in groups of four as opposed to just offense and defense, it’s four groups to lift in. For position meetings, we’re using the West Stadium Club because it has bigger areas. There’s nothing that’s been normal about this camp, and the guys just have to overcome the adversity. The practices have been as normal as we’ve had, but other than the practices, there’s nothing that’s been normal. When you go up to eat and you get in line and somebody is serving you as opposed to you serving yourself in a buffet line and you have your mask on. Then you go sit with your position. ‘Well, maybe I want to go sit with a quarterback but I’m an offensive lineman,’ well you can’t do that you have to sit just with the O-lineman. They get tired of each other probably, but we’re trying to do all those things to mitigate the spread and mitigate the virus. Guys are probably getting used to it. It doesn’t make it easy, it’s just kind of our new normal.”

On this season being different for coaches…

“Once you tell us what to do one day, we can be creatures of habit for the next two or three weeks on it. That’s just become our new adjustment to things. If you have to go find somebody, you don’t know where you’re going to find them. You better look up their schedule. Are they Group A lifting, are they Group B lifting, or are they Group C? Which locker room are they in? Where’s their meeting room? Our wide receivers are up in the West Stadium Center, so all the sudden I need to go find a wide receiver. It’s going to take me a little bit of a hike. So then we’ve adjusted all of our time. Usually you go right from a special teams meeting to a positions meeting. Well, we have to add 10 minutes of travel time. So everything has been a little bit different.  ”

On the bond between Justin Hughes and Elijah Sullivan…

“They communicate, they feed off each other, and they ask each other questions. It probably helped Eli that he had to play the Mike linebacker position all last year where Justin has been accustomed to that. They can help each other figure out how we’re going to fit a play, as a run game example. I just think there’s a great comfort level for each of them to have their friend out there, their teammate out there that they’ve known for a long time. They’re excited to get to play together.”

On if he noticed the first practice for Justin Hughes after being out for so long…

“From a vocal standpoint, without question. I know that Justin, being out of football for as long as he was and missing spring ball, he’s got to work himself back into football shape and work himself back into seeing things because you just don’t see pictures and things come really fast. I was so excited for him on his first day out there. Boy, this has been a long time coming, not having spring ball. You could tell he was so excited and so blessed to be able  to say, ‘I get a chance to play football again.’ But I’ve seen over the last, probably four or five practices, the impact he can have as a football player because he’s starting to get his legs back underneath him. He’s starting to gain strength in his knee where he has more and more confidence. As he does that, it makes us all better because when he’s playing at a high level, it makes our defense that much better.”

BRILEY MOORE, SENIOR TIGHT END

On how he feels his skill set fits in with the K-State offense…

“My biggest thing is just trying to do whatever the coaches ask of me. With being kind of familiar with them while they were at North Dakota State, I saw things they did with their tight ends. They were really multiple as lining them up as a true tight end, as a fullback, split out wide. I feel pretty comfortable lining up in different places across the field. That’s what I’ve done the past few years. I knew that that was going to be a good fit and that I would, once I learned the offense and everything, be pretty comfortable with that. That’s one of the biggest places that I feel comfortable in this offense. I, hopefully, will end up being a good fit the more reps I get and the more practices we get into things. Just lining up in multiple places and doing whatever they ask of me.”

On his previous relationship with quarterback Skylar Thompson…

“We started playing against each other in about fourth or fifth grade in basketball. We became friends from there. We played against each other almost weekly. Eventually, we ended up playing with each other in about eighth grade in a Missouri All-Star Game. From there, going through high school, we always had a good relationship. He went to Fort Osage and I went to Blue Spring South, and we played each other once in football and a couple times in basketball. We always had respect for each other. You guys all know the type of person he is. He’s been that person since we were young – very mature, a great leader. There was always high respect for him. What’s crazy, looking back now, while we were even in college at two different colleges, in the summers we would come back. He would need somebody to throw to and I would need a quarterback. In the summers, in May while we had a couple weeks home, we would work out together, run routes. We both said it before, but every single time we’d just sit there and talk after, and we’d always say, ‘How crazy would it be if we were able to play together?’ Not actually thinking that that would actually come true. Looking back, where we are now, it just seems like it’s almost too good to be true.”

On his rapport with Skylar Thompson through the first few weeks of practice…

“I would, hopefully, say great. He is a great person off the field, most importantly. He’s a man of high character and high faith. That’s why I’ve always looked up to him. Now that we’re on the field together, knowing the same offense,  getting things down and getting a feel for each other with timing and, ‘What do you see here? What do you see on this play?’ I think we’re getting pretty comfortable playing together. I look forward to continuing that comfort level and just getting closer when it comes to things like that.”

On how excited he was to be part of this system after seeing how it worked at NDSU and K-State…

“A lot. That’s one of the biggest reasons going into transferring, my fingers were crossed, ‘I hope K-State calls. I hope K-State calls,’ because of the things that I’ve seen them do with their tight ends while I was at Northern Iowa. They always got the best of us. A couple times we thought we were going to get them, but I was 0-4 against them, so I got to see a lot of what they do on offense. Like I said, I was fingers crossed hoping because I know how much the tight end means in their offense. Once I entered the transfer portal, I ended up texting Skylar (Thompson) later that day. I tried not to text him before that I was even thinking about it because I didn’t want to jinx anything. I texted him later that day after I had talked to K-State a couple of times. It was almost a no-brainer from there.”

On the dynamic of big pass catchers between himself and Nick Lenners…

“I think when you have multiple guys, at any position, but in this offense at the tight end position that are able to stretch the field, be the point of attack in blocking schemes, I think that’s really hard for defenses to key in to. Just past us two, you have other guys like Mason Barta, Sammy Wheeler and so on. There’s so much depth at our position that I think, hopefully, we’ll get some matchup issues. I think it will be really good for us that we keep defense honest when they’re lining up against us because of the different things you can do whenever you have athletic people playing so many different positions.”

On what he has seen from fellow transfer Kiondre Thomas…

“I think as a guy that’s transferring in, and what I was thinking as I was coming in, it could be kind of a difficult situation, but the way that the team embraced all of us coming in, it really made us comfortable. You get to see him on the other side of the ball just play his game and be comfortable. Whenever you’re coming in as a transfer and you’re flying around the way that he does, he’s been able to show what he’s capable of doing early, and that’s because of the climate of the players and coaches in this program.”

On the first interaction between him and Skylar Thompson at K-State…

“I remember the first time we saw each other – we both just started laughing because we were on the phone a lot texting each other. Still to this day, we’ll just say, ‘It doesn’t seem real.’ I remembered we worked out once school had finished in May, like I said, we just started laughing and just talking about how crazy it was and how both of our paths ended up crossing the way that they did with an injury for me last year preventing me from playing my senior season. Now it’s just unreal. God definitely had his hands over the whole situation to lead us together to play our senior year.

On if he’s given any thought to the eligibility freeze mandated by the NCAA…

“Honestly, I haven’t thought about it too much. I’m just trying to attack each and every day and be ready whenever the opportunity to play football comes. Hopefully that’s September 12, but if something goes bad and that’s next fall or in the spring – whenever it is – I’m going to be ready and our team is going to be ready. I think that’s something we’ve done a great job of. I haven’t really tried to think too much about it. I’m just trying to attack each and every day just because it’s another opportunity to play football. There’s people across the country – college football players – that don’t have that opportunity. If I wouldn’t have transferred, I wouldn’t have had that opportunity. I’d be preparing for a spring season. So, right now, I’m just focused on today. Focused on how I can get better from yesterday’s practice, and how I can improve today and get just a little bit better today. When that time comes to think about that, I’ll sit down with my family, with the coaches and discuss that. As of right now, I haven’t thought too much of it.”

On what Chris Klieman and Courtney Messingham does with their tight ends that excites him…

“The tight ends, they do everything. They line up in a true pro set, or two tight ends on the ball and a fullback. You can get into any different personnel formations at any time. You can have two tight ends split out as slot receivers. You can run four verticals, you can run different concepts that normally you’d only do with true wide receivers, but they do a good job with shifting and motioning, and creating mismatches for the tight ends, and for really anybody – for the receivers, for the running backs. They just do a great job of getting those mismatches and really utilizing the skill set of those players. I was able to see that on the opposite side. Once all this happened, I started watching film and seeing what they were able to do last year and everything going so far in the past week and half to two weeks that we’ve been in camp. So I’m super excited about that. I’m just doing my part and doing what I can do to help the team.”

JOSH RIVAS, JUNIOR OFENSIVE LINEMAN

On what he’s improved on at K-State…

“I have just been working on footwork. Coming out of high school, I didn’t know how to pass protect to save my life. I mean, we never passed the ball (in high school). We always ran, so that was a big key for me was to work on my pass protection. I come in every day and just get better. There’s always something you can do to get better, no matter how good you think you are. There’s always something you can work on, whether it’s hands, the right technique for your feet, getting in the right position to block somebody. It really all depends. You just have to break down your film every day and look at it. Coach (Conor) Riley will say something in meetings like what someone needs to work on, and then we’ll just focus on that. If you have a bunch of things to work on, you’re really not going to accomplish one thing. What he likes to say is, ‘Take three things out to practice and try to get better at those three things instead of trying to get better at like 15 things.’”

On pressure being a leader for the line…

“I don’t really feel pressure because I trust every single offensive lineman that we have that they’ll do their job and they’ll do it the right way. If they have questions, they come up to me and ask. I don’t mind answering those questions no matter when it is. I’ve had a freshman that just got on campus. He texted me and asked me about certain plays and certain techniques, and it was pretty late, so I just texted him back and was like, ‘Hey, this is how you do them. If you have any more questions, just shoot them to me.’”

On the chip on the offensive line’s shoulder…

“I would just say because we know how big and physical we can be. Last year, we were physical and big, but this year, since we have a year under our belt in this offense and how Coach (Conor) Riley wants everything to work, I feel like we can all accomplish that together. Our communication about everything is just fantastic.”

On if the offensive line is ready for the season…

“I feel like, for the most part, we’re ready. Our communication has been phenomenal. You have young guys like Logan Long that came in that just switched to offensive line and is picking it up really well. KT (Kaitori Leveston) has seen the picture now. Ben Adler, his technique has gotten a whole lot better. Christian Duffie, he’s been doing everything right. Coach (Conor) Riley really likes how we’ve been getting to the hip on certain plays. Right now, I feel like we have a very good chance of playing.”

On skill players…

“The receivers I like right now are YB (Joshua Youngblood), Malik (Knowles), Landry (Weber), Seth Porter, and then there are a couple of freshmen running backs like Deuce Vaughn. When I was watching his film, it’s just how low he gets when he cuts. I could never do that and it just amazes me how some people can do that. He just looks really good out there.”

On being a young offensive line with something to prove…

“I think all of the offensive linemen have that little chip, trying to prove people wrong. We saw all of the stuff on Twitter during our little break that we had this spring, and they’re saying like, ‘Kansas State’s offensive line is going to be the weakest point of the team,’ or, ‘They’re so inexperienced. They don’t know how fast games move.’ Which I see that at a point, but this offensive line is just hungry to play. I feel like we have the capability to really not drop down to everybody’s expectations and being the lack of the team. Us five, whoever’s playing, will have a good chip, and we will be able to put it on and not be the lack of the team.”

KIONDRE THOMAS, SENIOR DEFENSIVE BACK

On how he’s been able to rise so quickly to compete at the cornerback spot…

“I think we’ve all done a good job competing with each other this fall camp. Since I’m an older guy and I’ve been in a system that runs a complex defense, I was able to catch onto things pretty good. All I really had to do was learn the terminology, and I felt like I would be fine for real.”

On his decision to come to K-State…

“Throughout the recruiting process, this was the staff that I felt most comfortable with. Coach Klieman had a pretty good winning culture at North Dakota State, and I knew that that would translate well here in the Big 12. That’s just something I wanted to be a part of for my last year.”

On what he wants to prove this year…

“Really just being consistent. I just want to be consistent and be able to show my talents however I can on the field.”

On his playing style…

“I just want to stay confident. You have to be confident to play this position. I would say smart. I feel like I’m a student of the game and I really pay attention to the details whenever it comes to watching film. Just being able to communicate with the guys out there and all be on the same page. As a secondary, we all have to run as one. I feel like that’s part of my job is to make sure we’re all a well-oiled machine back there.”

On making the transition to K-State seamless…

“The hardest part throughout this whole pandemic was getting to know the guys. When I first got onto campus, we couldn’t do too much with the virus going on. Whenever I came in, got settled and got acquainted with everybody, the transition was pretty easy.”

On how he would compare the cultures of K-State and Minnesota…

“Both are very family oriented. You can tell on both teams that all the players love each other and they get along. The coaching staff and the players have a very good relationship. The thing I think both coaching staffs do well is they ask input for the players and they actually take our thoughts into consideration. I feel like they do a really good job of that.”

On going against the high powered offenses of the Big 12…

“I think every defense’s objective is to stop explosive plays. As a defensive back, that’s one of our main purposes. Go out there, be technically sound, don’t miss any assignments, and you can pretty much stop those high-powered offenses. Just playing disciplined ball.”

On coming from the Big 10 which has postponed the fall season…

“I just, honestly, feel like we’re blessed to be in the position we are to be able to play the game we love this fall. You’ve got people petitioning to play and be in our position, so I’m just thankful that we get to play.”

On defensive back Wayne Jones…

“My first impression of Wayne Jones is that he’s a very smart player. Wayne is out there making all the calls, telling everybody what to do, all the checks. Wayne is just on top of his game. He’s on the next level when it comes to knowing the defense and what the offense is going to do. You don’t see that much from young players like Wayne’s age, so he’s really advanced in that aspect of the game.”

On what drew him to K-State…

“Once again, whenever I went through the recruitment process, these were the coaches I felt most comfortable. I had seen the type of coach that Coach (Van) Malone was back in high school, he had a relationship with my DB coach that I had in high school. Then Coach B.A., Brian Anderson, he was at Minnesota my true freshman year. That was the connection there. So, I felt most comfortable with these guys.”

WAYNE JONES, SOPHOMORE DEFENSIVE BACK

On true freshmen that have stood out…

“Tee (Denson) has been doing really good learning the defense and everything. T.J. (Smith), he’s been doing good. We’ve got a lot of good freshmen, it’s hard to just pick a bunch out because all of them have been doing really good this camp.”

On how he’s improved from last year…

“Last year was my first year really learning the defense. I had a pretty good understanding of everything, but this year, just finding out the details, learning more than just my position and what everyone else is doing around me has helped me a lot.”

On what impresses him most with fellow defensive back Kiondre Thomas…

“He’s a really good communicator. I know playing corner, they tend to get locked in a lot because they’re either playing man a lot or just on their own little island. When you’ve got a good corner that can communicate, it helps out the safeties to the linebackers and so on and so forth.”

On safeties coach Joe Klanderman also taking on the role of defensive coordinator…

“It’s been good. Being able to have him as the D Coordinator, he’s been able to change a lot of things to help us out a lot to put us in better position to make more plays.”

On his role change after losing Denzel Goolsby…

“It hasn’t changed a lot. Denzel was a great player here at Kansas State, and now that we have J-Mac (Jahron McPherson) back there at free safety. He’s been doing really good as well, communicating, learning the defense, everything. It’s not a big change, but we are still feeling each other out being back at safety because he was at nickel a lot so I didn’t really communicate with him. So, having him back there has been pretty fun this camp.”

On his role communicating with the rest of the defense…

“If I know what’s going on and I can communicate, I’m just going to communicate it rather than waiting for someone else to give me the call. I’d rather learn it and be able to give it to everybody else.”

On playing time and development…

“I definitely feel more comfortable. My redshirt freshman year I was still not trusting myself as much when I see things, but this year I feel more comfortable with what I’m doing. I know more, reading formations better, reading the quarterback better. So I’m looking forward to this year.”

On playing under Coach Klieman…

“I love it. I feel like we have the best head coach ever. When you’ve got a good head coach, it just makes you want to go balls to the wall all the time for him. I’d do anything for Coach Klieman and his staff.”

On having his third defensive coordinator in three years…

“I think you’ve got to be able to adapt to being in college football. That’s something you’ve got to get used to, being able to adapt because your coach can change any time, any year. Being able to be coachable and being able to learn what they want you to learn has helped me out a lot.”

On who has stepped up at the wide receiver position…

“Wykeen Gill, he’s been really good this camp, really good, making a lot of catches, a lot of competitive catches too. We’ve just had a really good camp, everyone’s been competing and balling. We’ve got a lot of depth this year, so there’s a lot of competition going on within every position. It’s just been a great camp.”

Copyright © Rocking M Media, 2020. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Rocking M Media’s express consent.

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