Rick Minter: “(Young guys) are still green and eating Gerber”

Talked to defensive coordinator Rick Minter today after UK’s practice. His thoughts and a video.

On practicing in pads: “(The players) put on another 30 pounds and they kind of moved that way, actually. The sun came out today, pretty grueling. They flew around, they fought threw it. We got change gears now, get into two-a-days and try and get better.”

On who is standing out so far: “The first unit is the guys, they are (No.) 1s for a reason. Your linebacker corp, they’re all brand new, but they’re stepping up trying to play well. The D-line kind of control things up front, that’s where our wealth of experience is. We’re new on the back end in some places, so we’re fighting through those issues. But all in all, I’m pleased with the 1s. There is a gap between the 1s and the 2s as it is on a lot of football teams. The 3s are all still green and eating Gerber.”

On Malcolm McDuffen at Will linebacker: “There’s competition at Will right now. He’s one of those guys competing. (Demarius) Rancifer is competing. We’re looking at some other guys there right now. We’re just five days into it out of about a 20-22 day run in prep to get ready for the next game. He’s right there. He’s running with the 1s right now, but he’s being pushed.”

On freshmen catching his eye: “The kids are all coming hard. The linebackers are playing solid. The front guys are all good kids that we’re hopefully going to get in the mix some day and the back end guys are getting hard looks. As a class, I thought it was a good group. We signed, what, 12-13 guys that are coming in here as freshmen. We’re excited about those guys for down the road. As soon as they can help us, they’ll help us.”

On his defensive line: “The good news is when you’re trying to break in brand-new linebackers, like we are, we lost all those play-makers from a year ago, it’s good to have veterans and girth and size and experience up front, because generally your linebacker corp is a reflection of your front guys. When our front guys are playing pretty good, and you’re trying to break in new guys, it makes that job easier at least. It covers them up a little bit, makes less holes in there. Those D-linemen will make a few more tackles than normal. It’s good to have experience and size around those young kids.”

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