August 16, 2022

📝 Defensive Line Talks Fall Camp

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Ohio State held Day 11 of fall training camp Tuesday and the defensive line met with media afterwards to discuss team progress.

Larry Johnson, Defensive Line Coach

On his role at Ohio State:
“I know I have a job to do, to make my unit the best unit and that’s what motivates me every day.”

On Tyler Friday:
“I think what turned the table when he got hurt was how hard he worked in rehab to get back to where he was. You saw him every morning and every day grinding to get himself back. That was impressive to a lot of kids.”

On the energy in the building and in his guys:
“It’s a great defensive staff. Great guys and great people. I think it’s a really fun staff to work with. Coach Knowles has been the best. Our secondary guys are great. I think that’s important. When you got a good unit, guys are really close and get a chance to bond.”

Tyler Friday, Defensive End

On last year’s injury:
“It was definitely difficult, but I was able to learn a lot of lessons both on the field and off the field. I also became a better leader. I’ve got a great team of brothers here. Instead of one brother I have a hundred here at Ohio State.”

On becoming a leader despite last year’s injury:
“Being that I couldn’t affect the game on the field, I had to find a way to affect it off the field. I was just using my voice, talking to the young guys, and making sure everyone stayed sane.”

Jerron Cage, Defensive Tackle

On returning for another year:
“Everything I do is for two things: my son and my brothers, this D-line unit and really everyone on the team. I feel like this team is very tight and family oriented.”

On what feels different this year:
“It’s more than just football here. When you’ve got everything put together, you’ve got the family and you’ve got everyone trying to be on one accord and working hard together. Everything is different when everyone is working as one collective unit. When you’ve got a hundred pencils together you can’t break it, but just one pencil you can break.”

Taron Vincent, Defensive Tackle

On this year’s defensive line:
“We’ve just got a whole bunch of guys that play really hard. We work hard as a unit and we know how to push each other to make each other better.”

On the change in the defensive line for this season:
“We’re just playing fast. I think coach knows how to put us in positions to be successful so we just listen and work hard.”

Zach Harrison, Defensive End

On taking his game to a new level this season:
“I’m trying to be a game changer, be one of those players they circle on the scouting report. I’m just trying to get better every day, take it day by day, and improve my skill set.”

On the growth of the defensive line:
“The biggest thing for me is the energy. We’re just playing with so much juice and having so much fun out there. When defenses are playing fun and playing fast and physical, that’s the combination for a great defense.”

Tyleik Williams, Defensive Tackle

On the new style of defense:

“Coach Knowles’s defense is all fast. We want to go fast. We don’t want to be waiting and thinking. He tries to cut that out a little bit. He wants you to go and play.”

On how his game has improved:

“I think I’m definitely playing faster than last year. Last year, I was just thinking too much. With this new defense, you can just fly. You don’t really have to think too much.”

J.T. Tuimoloau, Defensive End

On the difference in his confidence level from last year:
“Going through that whole season just made me excited. Seeing everything and going against all these guys and then having a year under my belt just made me feel more comfortable. It felt great to have a whole season under my belt and then go out there and play.”
On his attitude for the upcoming season:
“Every time I step out on the field, I just try to be myself, have fun and be the best player I can be”

Jack Sawyer, Defensive End

On offseason training:

“This off-season with Coach Mick was a tough one but we all went to work every day with the mindset that we’re going to be the best in the country and we just compete each and every day. I think that’s why our unit is doing so well and continues to get so much better.”

On the pressure this year:

“I just try to take it one day at a time and I think our whole unit is doing well at that as well. We’re all attacking each day as it comes and I think it’s keeping us on track.”