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With the additions of Za'darius Smith and Jaleel Hytchye, Stoops and his staff have started the talent injection off on a good footing. I fully expect Smith's teammates Jarran Reed and Lauren Jackson to join him here at UK. One advantage with signing JUCO players is they get to enroll early, be here for spring practice..get more comfortable with thier assignments than a typical prep recruit who has to wait untill late summer to report.
Stoops likes to rotate his D-Linemen, keep them fresh. THis will force Cobble, Rumph, and the other current players to up thier game..they will now have competition for snaps. If we land a couple more highly talented DL recruits..I think our defense could surprise some people next year. From a depth standpoint, Linebacker would seem to be the weakest link on our defense going into next season. I think Eliot will find a way to get the most from guys like Simpson, Forrest, McDuffen..and Pancho Thomas and Khalid Henderson. Forrest and Simpson could develop into two very athletic and productive will backers. Both have a good blend of size and speed. Forrest at 6'3 230 and Simpson about the same at 6'2 225ish. I really think Josh Forrest will become a star under Eliot's coaching...the new staff brings a lot of fire and confidence with them, and we should see a huge difference next year in terms of excitement. A welcome change to the rather meek UK teams under Joker..I think Joker was too relaxed, too cool..you have to be pumped up and have some swagger about you in football.
I dont expect a top 10 defense or anything..but a noticable improvement and a D that allows in the 22-24 point per game range.
D-Line looks much better with the addition of Z.Smith at DE. Huguenin,Graffree,Newton,Douglass,Bell..possibly Dupree and Paschal will be the others to vie for playing time. Huguenin could blossom under Brumbaugh and Eliot..has the tools..just needs the motivation and know how. Graffree could be a interesting piece of the puzzle at DL. 6'4 270ish quick, strong, Should be able to hold up at the LOS. Could be a siutational type player starting out..playing in the jumbo sets to stuff the run. I think Alvonte Bell could be a huge add if he recovers 100% from his injury. 6'6 250ish with long arms and good quickness.
Stoops will get the most out of our db's. I think we have some really good young players in our secondary..they are in need of some good coaching and motivation. Harmon,Quinn,Tiller all looked like capable SEC corners late in the season. Daron Blaylock has all the physical tools to be an athletic and punishing SS. Twin Zach could wind up being even better. Lowery and Faulkner will be better under the new staff, as will the rest of the holdovers and incoming kids like McClain and Hytchye.
Overall, I think there is reason for optimism when it comes to our defense in 2013!
And if a guy or two like the Alexander twins pick UK? Then this defense would take off talent wise.
Exactly. I really hope we land the MacK twins. Really hope Stoops and staff land a good LB or two..but..as I said in the OP, Forrest and Simpson have the chance to shine under DJ Eliot..
Myself..I think going the Juco route was a smart move..Bama,LSU, ect keep a couple Juco Dlinemen around at all times it seems.
I cant wait to see some SEC quality, fly to the ball, knock the snot outta ball carriers pumped up type DEfense being played in Commonwealth!!
Talent wise on D we're in better shape than 2-10 suggests most certainly. I'd take that to the bank all day. Especially consider what we're putting together in this class. Just need a few more JUCO's and a couple big time high school talents that can contribute right away.
Yep.Agree 100% tWhit. We will get those couple more Juco's..Im calling Jarran Reed..Come on down! Another 4 star DL for UK to play with next couple years. I think Lovell Peterson will help our D-Line as well. And hes also a heck of a center. As for the other Juco..I think Lauren Jackson is UK's to lose..he's a high 3 star if I remember correctly. Big kid at 6'4 290.
I think Pat Graffree will wind up a very solid DE that can slide inside in a pinch..Stoops likes to keep a couple of those tweener type DE/DT's around..verstility is an asset.
JOsh Forrest is 6'3 230ish..still growing and getting stronger..former WR/DB at Paducah Tilghman has a nose for the ball and a boatload of athleticism for a Will Lb.
The big key is the fire and inensiveness that this staff will bring and instill in our players. IMO..Joker never got his kids pumped up enough. They seemed to be relaxed and calm..players attitudes often mimic thier coaches as we know...
If things pan out on the recruiting trail like I think it can...we wont even resemble the 2012 squad at all..as far as attitude and on the field performance.
I'm not sure how it will shake it with individual players. I've been burned too many times trying to guess. Which players will come to the forefront and shine from the leftovers and which kids we'll end up signing and making a difference for us will depend on hard work and how they fit the new scheme but I think it will be a good enough mix for us to get excited about.
I liked the Minter defense but the problem IMO was it was too complex for college football. It works great if you're the Ravens and have unlimited practice time, but full time students given 20 hours a week of practice - not so much.
The Stoops defense is a plain vanilla 4/3 zone. So it should be easy for guys to be able to understand their alignment, pick up their keys and execute. Once they get used to the base defense they can build multiple looks into it as they go along. AS BBD pointed out above we have a lot of mostly young talent that should be ready to step up this year, and augmenting it with some quality JUCOs will make it stronger.
A simple defense is a fast defense.
"Ignorance is constricted awareness" - Deepak Chopra
Minter's defense was not sound. It did not adjust to motion. The way it was set up was to identify a strong side and weak side. Go back and watch the uofl game. They'd line up with their strength to one side and then shift the strength. We didn't adjust. Happened to us all year.
I think the secondary will be much improved, simply by having a year of experience under there belts. Then add a Hytchye and Willis to the fold and get back a healthy Faulkner and a qualified Caffey. These 4 may be better than anything we had last year, but, guys like Harmon, Tiller, Quinn, Blalocks, etc aren't slouches, by any means.. I really think the system Eliot will play will also help these guys out..
I don't think that's a problem with the system, but more coaching and on the field decisions. I think Minter's system could've been decent here. We never saw what it could've done with better talent and experience across the board....the talent was lacking. Minter could've fielded a defense way better than what we saw, but would it have been a defense good enough to help us do well in the SEC?
That being said, we are better off now. We have a sound and proven system and coach.
Jackson won't be here but I think we may get Reed. Graffree is a DT and doesn't fit Stoops' DE profile. Dupree and Paschal will almost certainly be moved to DE. I look for us to bring in one or even two more HS DE's in addition to Bell as we just don't have many on the roster. Juco Willis at CB would also be a welcomed addition IMHO.
What's the deal with Jackson you are the second person that has said that?
If we land another solid CB to go along with Jaleel I think we may see Harmon moved to safety if he doesn't slide over to WR due to need. We haven't had good safety play in a while and with his instincts, size and athleticism it only makes sense (if both corner spots are taken care of) for him to go back to the free safety position. Stoops will put his best 4 db's on the field. JD done very well at times but he doesn't have great speed. Quinn is small but he's going to be very good (to bad we couldn't redshirt him), Tiller has good potential as well, Jaleel may end up starting as a true freshman and Nate Willis is a great athlete with NFL tools. I believe our secondary could lead our defense if we land Willis or the 5 star kid. The quality of a entire defense is dictated by the secondary, a defense is only as good as the back end. GO CATS!!!
Who is jackson?
DL Lauren Jackson 6-4/280 East Mississippi JC
This post was edited by IamRV 15 months ago
I hate to pile on, but I will. We were outnumbered at the point of attack on 70% of the snaps.
Good points made by all of you. I love the Stoops D..allows his kids to play full speed..dosent slow them down with too much responsibilites...its a read and react type..heavy on zone with Stoops own version of a hybrid Zone-Press coverage..mixes man press with classic zone...Stoops isnt a big blitz guy..he does blitz..but not all that much. Stoops relies on his front 4 to get to the Qb..lots of coverage sacks..hes VERY good at creative pass rushing and disguising where the pressure is coming from.
I think with the addition of Za'darius Smith, We will be Ok at De..a weak spot on paper going into 2013..I think Bud Dupree could blow up at DE.
Dupree had 6 1/2 sacks and 12 1/2 TFL as a true soph playing wlb for the first time i think he may stay at olb.
Yeah..he could Quag. I could see him staying at OLB..and playing De in pass rush situations..at 6'4 250 Dupree has the size,body,speed that Stoops likes in his WDE's. Either way..I think our D will be so much improved under Stoops/Eliot. Huguenin could be a double digit sack guy under Stoops. Jimmy Brumbaugh will have our DL playing at a high clip..and DC Eliot will no doubt take time out from coaching the linebackers to help out with the DE's..his forte at FSU was developing DE's..just ask any Noles fan.
A lot of guys COULD do a lot of different things BBD in reference to Huggenin being a double digit sack guy. We'll have to wait and see.
You are right of course..tWhit. Speculation is part of the fun though..dont you agree? Hopes and goals..sucesses and failures..its all part of what makes college football the greatest sport..IMO. I just see a lot of potential in huguenin..kid had 17 sacks in his lone season in prep school. I think we will see a lot of the holdovers bloom..I really feel one of the biggest reasons Uk failed under Joker was he was way too laid back..too easy on his kids. Stoops is a fire and brimstone type compared to Joker..
Yeah speculation is part of the fun. I guess I'm more cynical that I used to be considering so many guys underachieved under Joker compared to what I thought they were going to do. I just wanna see what happens under Stoops this first year before I start getting back to predicting things like that. But by all means speculate away. I was just saying.
Hop you are exactly right, I cried about that all the time on here and on BBK before it went members only. Another problem with the hybrid is the SEC is a big physical conf, the 34 Hybrid we ran expected a 220# SAM to do way to much. I also don't understand why we would only use a sub package on 3rd down even if the offense went empty-5 wr's on first down. I don't see how Minter expected that same base to defend a 4 wide set one play and then a 2 TE I formation the next... The Hybrid we ran would be perfect in the Pac/Big12 as a base but in the SEC I will always favor a conventional defense until teams spread us out then it's time to use a Sub Package.
This post was edited by todd 15 months ago
Here is an example of a 3-4 Hybrid getting beat by Amari Cooper. He is a Freshman and could not stay under the route and the SS moved on the fade. TD
I've always been a fan of getting hands on wr's especially speed guys. Knocking wr's off their stem is the best way to stop the play above. ND would have been much better off in press 2-man.
I agree. I hate to see receivers get a free release. Especially when ND was rushing only 3. That is disaster. Like a 7 on 7 tournament.
The hype machine that is BigBlueDawg strikes again...lol. Just kidding man.
Reed is a good possibility, but not sure Jackson even has an offer at this point. I do agree that our defense will improve, hell we have nowhere to go but up. Just keep in mind that this team was 2-10 and the defense was a big part of that. Forrest, Thomas, and Henderson are all guys who could have bright futures. As for Simpson, I am skeptical of his ability to cover like 4-3 OLBs need to be able to do.
Dupree will not "possibly" be vying for playing time, that guy will start. He has produced on a high level in the SEC, Smith has not. It will be interesting to see if CMS finds a way to get them on the field together, as they both are built for the same position (WSDE).
Our schedule is BRUTAL in 2013, so even with an improved defense, I think 2014 is a year for optimism. 2013, is a year to temper expectations and just look for competitive spirit. I just want to see us not get blown out and give up like we did multiple times this past year.
This post was edited by MossCat15 15 months ago
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