Clay are we strong enough inside to play the 3-4

Clay i am concerned we don’t have A dominant NG and MLB to keep people from running inside on us,most teams that run the 3-4 have a NG that has to be doubled and I am not sure we have any like that.I am afraid they are going to ram up inside and we aren’t going to be able to stop it. what you think?

In terms of physical strength, I don’t think you can question Bijhon Jackson and Austin Capps, who likely are going to end up playing the nose spot. Those are two of the strongest players on the team. I think both should be able to eat some space, so it’s going to be more about how those around them tackle, play their lanes, etc.

we will see Bijohn hasn’t made any real impact since he’s been here and Capps we dont know enough about him yet,hope your right but I will have to see those two do it before I will beleive it,

This defense is better for Bijohn and Capps. It is better for Sosa too. I thought Bijohn looked good this spring. Our LB’s are critical to success on defense as a result of the depth issues.

During the spring, Jackson said something to the extent of he likes the 3-4 better because he has to do less thinking and more attacking. I’m not sure the 3-4 plays to everyone’s strengths, but I do think it plays to his.

sounds good,look forward to watching him and see if he can man up in the middle and demand a DT,

The key for Jackson is that he has to stay lean. If he lets his weight get out of hand, then I think he’ll have trouble playing enough snaps to be an effective part of the defense. He was lighter in the spring, but more than anything, he was leaner. If he stays lean, and his motor is fast, then he can be exactly what this defense needs. There are high hopes for Austin Capps, too. The wild card in all of this is Jonathan Marshall, a converted defensive end. He has the high motor to become a real issue playing this spot. I think Briston Guidry can also play here, too. I’m not saying they are in a perfect world yet for the nose tackle, but it’s got promise.

This is from our June magazine as far as Paul Rhoads evaluations of the defensive line. We’ll roll all of these coach evaluations through the site as we get deeper in the summer, but in light of Youdaman’s question, I thought it would be good to everyone see this:

From defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads:

78 Bijhon Jackson, Sr., 6-2, 335 — The nose tackle is one of the key positions in this defense, especially for the front. I’m really excited after what he showed us the last 60 percent of the spring. It’s easy to break it down in that percentage, too. We have five weeks of spring and the last three weeks we saw some real improvement. Honestly, what we saw were some things we didn’t see last fall as far as foot speed and consistency. He looked quick at the end of spring. In the fall, he’d play well for a play, but then fatigue would set in. We saw the opposite of that in the spring. What he can do is so pivotal for us and we liked the way he finished spring.

41 Austin Capps, So., 6-4, 309 — Like Sosa, he got quite a bit of playing time in the fall and that put him in a good spot to start the spring. He has the size and strength to play in this spot and give us quality reps. He needs to improve his foot speed just a little, but he’s capable of that. He can do more than he did last year and really help us.

42 Jonathan Marshall, R-Fr., 6-4, 299 — He’s got freaky strength and just good overall ability. He’s got skills to play multiple spots, nose and end. We can probably use him in a variety of ways. He’s still learning technique and how to recognize blocks. Once the light burns bright in those two areas, he has a great upside.

thank you Clay I appreciate it and make me feel a little better,my mind is strictly on football now as we are in the middle of our summer workouts with my team,thanks again for the info

If we get Emmet Gooden…jeez the following 2 years will be an outrageous rotation at NG.

Having enough quality linebackers is a bigger problem, to me. Last year we had one…Brooks Ellis…after Dre Greenlaw went down. Greenlaw is back and Ellis graduated…where are another 5 or so quality linebackers coming from? We did not have them last year. That is a fact.

I was thinking the same thing.

I worry about LBs almost as much as I worry about safeties.

We need D Harris to put it all together plus a healthy Dre and I think that will help. I like Randy at outside LBer.

But safeties… I don’t have too much hope for them this year. I’ve seen praise for Santos and his development. Not much on the others. I’ll believe we have quality safeties when I see it.

I suspect there is never a good time to transition. Having Marshall and Guidry (and several of the FR LB) redshirt last year meant they didn’t waste a year of eligibility and may have actually been on the scout team in the 3-4.

I see quite a few DEs and OLBs that don’t appear to have the size optimized. Michael Taylor is one that I worry will be undersized at DE and too slow for OLB. Alas, we have had this problem for the bulk of UA’s time in the SEC: running out of optimal bodies in terms of size, speed, and maturity (having to play players before they were really ready).

I am excited, though. It has been a while since I remember feeling this good about the front seven on defense.

I like Scoota a lot. He’ll start next to Dre. I still think LB depth is an issue.

Josh Harris is probably the next guy. I know Paul told Clay that OLB was the right spot for Dwayne Eugene, but he has the most experience of anyone other than Dre, so I wonder if he’d get moved inside again if someone went down. The staff was pretty complimentary of Grant Morgan and Dee Walker. I’m intrigued by Kyrei Fisher. Those 3 are all still very young.

Someone mentioned the safeties. I’m taking a wait-and-see approach with them.

I was told that Josh Harris is 3-4" too short but that he is much better than anyone knows except those on the team.

Yup. He’s undersized but makes plays in seemingly every scrimmage. Around the ball a lot.