Jen Smith on UK Football

Q&A: Thursday defensive updates from new coordinator Matt House


On how young secondary guys are coming along: “Cedrick (Dort) is doing a good job. He made a play today, an interception today. He overlapped in cover 3 and did a good job. Davonte Robinson is coming along. I think he’s doing some good things. Lonnie’s gotta keep coming. It’s been a year since he played football but now we’re halfway through spring. There’s a bunch of competition. I think those guys are embracing that.”

On young outside linebackers:“I’m excited about them. They’re getting better and better every practice. Jaylin (Bannerman), Jamar (Winson), doing a great job. Jordan Bonner is getting better every practice. Those three guys are really competing, which is good to see.”

On Adrian Middleton’s leadership:“Yeah, and we need to see more. Those guys up front set the tone. Yesterday we didn’t practice necessarily how we want to. I thought we were much better today. We came with a more physical mentality. Had better pad level.”

On other young defensive linemen he’s looking to step up: “T.J. Carter, Kordell Looney, Cross, those are guys all are going to play a role and need to keep growing.”

On if anyone on the defense has surprised him: “I don’t know if anybody has surprised me. Some guys are continuing to improve. I think Kash has gotten a lot better from last year to where he is now. I think he’s continuing to improve. I think Derrick Baity is playing better. There are a bunch of guys growing. I don’t know if anybody necessarily jumps out as a surprise, but there’s guys who have definitely improved.”

On offensive players giving them trouble: “Benny (Snell). I think Benny is -- I told Eddie (Gran) the other day, the way Benny is approaching every day, he’s doing a great job. He’s setting the tone on their side of the ball in my opinion.”

On what Kash is doing specifically that has been good: “I know this sounds cliche, but he’s playing the game. He’s not just worried about running the defensive call. He’s seeing more things. He’s in better football position. He just looks a lot more natural out here.”

On Davonte Robinson moving to safety: “He’s a guy that can cover a lot of ground. Obviously he’s fast. He made a play the other day in the scrimmage. A big time play. He played safety in high school so it’s something I think he’s comfortable with.”

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