Torrian Gray chatted with the media about his defensive backs on Monday.
On Kendall Fuller : “He seems to be good in the meetings we’ve had so far. He has a great body, and I’ll know a little bit more after I see him [in practice]. We’re going to play him at nickel right now exclusively so he can just learn that and perform at that position. I’m excited about what he’s going to bring to the table.”
On why nickel is a good spot to start Fuller: “Well, we’re anticipating having Antone Exum back. You’ve got Antone and Kyle [Fuller} at your corners, and we feel we want to get him on the field somehow, and nickel is a good spot. But, he’s got to be able to perform at the nickel spot. It would be hard for a true freshman to come in and play corner and nickel at the same time, so we just want to put him at nickel and let him learn that and get good at that.”
On the plan for whip/nickel this year: “We feel we’ve got a better plan of attack for it. When there are two backs or two tight ends in there, Ronny Vandyke is the guy. When they’ve got three receivers in the game, get Kendall in there. You can still run your whole defense. He’s blitzing, he’s doing everything we’re running…he’s not only playing zones, or only playing man, so it’s going to be a full operational thing. Same position, going to be able to do the same things, but Kendall will be in there when they’re more apt to pass.”
On how Gray feels about field corner: “[Laughing] How do I feel? You’re going from maybe getting these guys read to oh [shoot] they gotta get ready [more laughing]. I’ve got a little bit of anxiety, but somebody normally steps up. Last year I couldn’t have said this because all those guys were true freshmen. I got one true freshman in the mix. Donaldven Manning , he’s gone through the rigors, Donovan Riley has gone through the rigors…they haven’t performed well through the rigors, but at least they’ve a year older, so I feel better about the predicament there. Brandon Facyson is another guy there. One of those guys is going to step up and perform, and probably a couple will.”
On how Gray feels about his safeties: “ Detrick Bonner , Kyshoen Jarrett , those guys are coming off last year when they were much better down the stretch. They had great springs, and they got a full year under their belts. I expect those guys to be big time this year. Also, hoping to feel better about our depth. I think Der’Woun Greene , if he builds off the spring, Desmond Frye only playing rover now, if he can build off the spring…you feel better about the safety position. Plus Greg Jones, once he gets back healthy, he gives us another guy. I think we’ll be ok.”
On the possibility of Charles Clark or Anthony Shegog contributing: “I’ll find out here soon. I don’t have enough information right now. They’ve got got great bodies, they both seem like they can run, they both seem like they’ll pick it up pretty good, but things have to start moving. I can give you more information after the first couple of practices. I like their demeanor, I like the way they are going to attack it.”