Jen Smith on UK Football

Q&A: Kentucky’s D.J. Eliot discusses Southern Miss prep, camp standouts

D.J. ELIOT

“It was good to get back to work after the day off yesterday, start preparing for our first opponent. The players were fired up, excited to get going. They were into it. They were attentive. Still have some things to clean up, but I’m pleased with the progress. And I’m pleased with the attitude and the attention to detail. We had a full-padded practice, so the emphasis was being physical and hitting. And we’ll have plenty of those throughout the season, and we’ll move on from there.”

On the biggest thing he got out of camp: “I think that our linebackers that didn’t have any experience that got better. By the end of camp, they were catching on to what we were doing, so I was pleased with that.”

On any advantage facing a coordinator he’s so familiar with: “I think our advantage is the same as their advantage. I think I know him, but he knows me, so I don’t think it’s one way or another.”

On how you scout watching film of offense last year or Southern Miss last year: “We do both. We watch our own offense from last year for some of the scheme and then we watch the Southern Miss film from last year for some of the personnel.”

On any specific people who have stood out last few days of camp: “Courtney Love stepped it up I thought in the last scrimmage and through the rest of camp. And I think our secondary, I could always talk about those guys. They’ve played well. And then Courtney Miggins has played well for us as well.”

On what Miggins has done that the staff likes:Courtney, he’s always been a good athlete. He just wasn’t as skilled a technician last year, getting here so late. And now he’s been able to take his athleticism and apply the technique to it. He’s a good defensive line now.”

On if Miggins has taken on a leadership role:He has. More by example. He’s leading by example more than anything, but he has taken on more of a leadership role.”

On progress on stopping the run: ”Our offense does a very good job running the ball so we’ve improved on stopping them, which is good, because I think that they run the ball very well. We’ve gotten better against them every day and throughout training camp.”

On how many outside linebackers he feels comfortable with playing right now:I think we’re gonna have about four, or five. Four or five in the rotation right now.”

On if De’Niro Laster still see time at outside linebacker:Yes. He will see some outside time.”

On if he thinks Courtney Love feels any pressure to perform after so much talk about him this summer: “I’m sure he feels pressure, but he’s the type of person that can handle that because of that type of character.”

On players behind Alvonte Bell and Courtney Miggins who have stepped up: “I think T.J. Carter stepped up and played well. He’s got a lot of talent. He’s had some really good flashes this training camp.”

On what Matt House has added to defensive staff: “Coach House brings, one, a great energy and enthusiasm, but then on top of that he has a lot of experience in the NFL and as a defensive coordinator. So he’s been able to bring some other ideas to the table as well.”

On how playing against UK’s tight ends have helped linebackers: “Well, it’s good, because they’re in coverage situations a lot with those tight ends. So, being able to have to cover an athletic tight end only makes them better.”

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