Defensive Coordinator Jon Heacock spoke about the challenges of mixing and matching lineman to create the best defensive line possible after Monday's spring practice.
"There are always moving parts in the spring, and how the kids handle it is what's important," Heacock said. "The key becomes that when you're moving those guys, all those moving parts, that you don't overload them and give them a chance to play football. If they don't understand it, you're wasting their time."
Heacock is seeing how junior defensive end Richard Gray does inside. On Monday, Gray lined up either on nose of the football or off the center's shoulder, and showed a very good initial burst off the ball. If he lines up alongside junior Roosevelt Nix, the Golden Flashes will have quite a speed combo along the defensive interior.
Heacock says moving Gray inside is like "robbing Peter to pay Paul," but likes how he's looked at tackle so far. If Gray stays there, junior Mark Fackler and Nate Terhune may receive more playing time at end.
Heacock liked what he saw out of Terhune as a freshman last year.
"[Terhune] is still on a learning curve now," he said. "He's learning and it's going fast. He's a great young kid and has a great motor."
Terhune had a couple of good pushes into the backfield Monday, including one play where he sniffed out a cut-back running play for a four-yard loss.
The Golden Flashes will also be able to add their 300-pound recruit Chris Fairchild to the rotation this fall.
Heacock also cited sophomore defensive back Chevin Meadows, senior Jake Dooley and senior Norman Wolfe Jr. as three guys on that side of the football are playing very well this spring.
Senior Spencer Keith and JUCO-transfer David Fisher continue to each get snaps with the first team, although Keith looked much smoother Monday. Keith hit Chris Humphrey in traffic for a good gain. Humphrey had a very nice practice, adding a couple more catches and a few tip-toeing the sidelines. Dri Archer also looked pretty good as the slot receiver in many sets.
Sophomore Trayion Durham continues to look rock solid. Durham admitted he came to Kent around 270 pounds, but is now at 245 and feels more explosive. He's also done much better in the passing game this spring. He says he'd like to get down to 240.
Kent State will hold its jersey scrimmage this Saturday at 10 a.m. A lot of movement on both sides of the ball could take place following the weekend.
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