DAVE DOEREN: It was a good spring.
We got a lot accomplished. I was really pleased
with how hard our guys practiced and put the
momentum from the end of our season, winning 4
of the last 5 games, and entered the off-season
with a lot of good energy, good confidence. Guys
learned, as a young team, the do’s and don’ts of
preparation, I think, and saw the results in how we
played at the end of the year.
It was fun to be the head coach here this
spring. There was just a lot of competition a
various positions. The way Jacoby and Jalan
threw the ball around.
We had several players we held out, just
being banged up like we were after the Bowl
game, trying to get David Grinnage and several
defensive linemen healthy. So a lot of young guys
were able to take part in the drill work.
Saw great strides on the offensive line.
Tyler Jones at left tackle had a great spring, got a
lot better for us. Will Richardson got better and
better and better as we went.
It’s good to have our inside three back,
Quinton Schooley, Joe Thuney, and Tony Adams
are very veteran, good players with good chemistry
playing well together.
Alex Barr returns. The guy has three
years of experience on the O-line and is very
motivated to have a great senior year.
Benson Browne and David Grinnage,
Jaylen Samuels did some good things at tight end.
I had a receiver, Bra’Lon Cherry, had a really good
finish to his spring. He was a little banged up at
the beginning and finished really strong.
It was great to have Gavin Locklear back.
He had an injury last season in the summer. One
of the best leaders in the receiver room and did a
nice job being a constant presence for the
We moved a young man over to receiver
named Elliott Davis from DB, and he did a nice job.
He was probably the most explosive player. And
Jumichael Ramos probably made the most big
plays in the position group. Running back, Matt
Dayes and Shad Thornton and we have a
freshman that’s here already, Reggie Gallaspy,
that had nice springs for us.
On defense we have a lot of players back
with experience. If we counted the other day,
there’s nine different guys in our secondary, if you
include our nickels, that played for us last year —
three linebackers, five or six defensive linemen.
So excited, even though we’re young,
we’re experienced. Experienced sophomore
teams, experienced junior class, probably the
biggest question mark going into the fall will just be
the production at the kicker and punter position
because we lost such veteran players there, two
So the kids here competed hard this spring
and was impressed with them, but it’s going to be
about game day for that position.
Spring game here was tremendous, had a
great crowd, a lot of people here supporting not
only the football team, but the Kay Yow spring
game raised over $16,000. So very thankful for
that. Look forward to a good summer.
Q. I know you brought up Jacoby
(Brissett) and Jalan (McClendon and just what
you can say about each of them individually,
how they looked through the spring.
DAVE DOEREN: Yeah, they looked great.
Both of them can make every throw. They’re very
competitive. Jalan is going through kind of a
learning curve we saw Jacoby in two springs ago,
how to manage the clock and how to take care of
the huddle, and when we want to go fast, how to
operate. He’s got tremendous leadership skills,
very competitive and super coachable. It’s fun
watching him progress through the spring.
And Jacoby on the other side of it has just
turned into such a great manager of what we do
and very consistent, doesn’t have a lot of change
in his personality, good play, bad play. Just keeps
playing, and excited to have both those guys in the
Q. As far as how you kind of look at it
going into the fall, is Jacoby the guy for you?
Or is Jalan someone who can fight his way
getting the opportunity? How do you view your
quarterbacks going forward?
DAVE DOEREN: Jacoby is our starting
quarterback, there’s no doubt. He’s a senior. He
played his butt off as a junior, excited for him. But
also excited to have a guy as good as Jalan
behind him. You can look at Ohio State and see
how important your next quarterback is, and for
them, the next and the next.
We’re not going to enter the season with a
controversy or anything like that. We’re just
excited about the quality of both of our guys, and
we hope that we can get Jalan some great minutes
and get him ready to be the guy in it case that
Q. Coach Doeren, can you talk about
how Darian Roseboro acclimated himself as a
freshman that graduated early from high
school, from Lincolnton?
DAVE DOEREN: Absolutely. I just met
with him today. Had a great conversation. He’s
grown up a lot. I’m just really glad he was able to
come in early. He has such a great family. I knew
homesickness would be an is
sue, and it was. I’m glad he didn’t have to go through that during the
But he got over it pretty quickly and is
really acclimated. Took a lot of reps with our
starting defense because Mike Rose is out for
spring with an injury. So he was the beneficiary of
a ton of repetitions, and I know that made him so
much better. He had two great plays in the spring
So excited for Darian. Now it’s just going
to be a matter of getting some shape so he can
play the way he wants to play every snap, and the
conditioning factor that’s just completely different
than the high school level.
Q. He played all over the map in high
school, including offense. Is there any thought
to do that with him at your level, or do you see
him as a defensive lineman specifically?
DAVE DOEREN: He’ll be a D-lineman. I
have used D-linemen in goal line packages before.
If we get to the point where we feel he can help us
win, we’ll have that conversation. Right now he’s
trying to learn what side of the ball he’s on and do
all the things we need him to do at D-line, so I think
it’s premature for that.
Q. Coach, what have you seen from the
defensive units as a whole this spring that has
impressed you more than anything else?
DAVE DOEREN: A lot of the guys are
back. So the chemistry, their ability to
communicate with each other and know where
each other is going to be. We do a lot of things
offensively here. So you have to be able to adjust
and make your calls and adjust your rules all the
time. You just see how well they function as a unit
Last year there were three new starters in
the secondary. So there was a lot of new things
happening, there was new starters at every
position. We have a lot of guys back that have
taken valuable game reps, and it’s just a lot more
We’re building off what we did last year. I
think we finished the season bringing a lot of
different pressures, and it helped our kids. We’ve
built on that here in the off-season. The guys are
excited about what they’re doing, and they
understand what’s asked, and where the strengths
and weaknesses of the calls are.
Q. Good afternoon. You’ve got some
holes to fill on the starting offensive and
defensive lines. How do those holes look to
you coming out of the spring?
DAVE DOEREN: I’m excited about our
D-line. Mike Rose is back. So is B.J. Hill, who
played in every game as a true freshman last year,
started almost all of them. Kentavius Street, we’ve
moved to D-tackle and had a really good spring.
Bradley Chubb was probably one of the best
surprises of the spring on the defensive line.
And then we had a number of players that
played last year that are coming back in the fall
from injuries — Monty Nelson, Justin Jones, Garrett
Bradbury. So we feel good about the depth, and
we recruited well on that side of the ball.
We’ve got four D-linemen coming in here
in less than a month. So excited to get those four
bodies in here too. Two defensive ends that are
6’5″ and 6’7″, and two D-tackles that are over 220
pounds. So we’re happy with the D-line.
On offensive line, I already mentioned the
three starters that are back, in Alex Barr and Tyler
Jones, had a really good spring, and Will
Richardson, who’s gotten better and better and
better. Bryce Kennedy, who we need to step up
this summer, and did some good things, just needs
to be more consistent.
We have a junior college tackle, Darius
Workman, that will be here in May, and three high
school tackles that will be here in June. So we’re
going to be a little bit younger filling those holes
possibly on the offensive line than we are on the
defensive line, but we like who we have to work
Q. Coach, last time we talked was right
after the spring game. I was wondering, now
that you’ve had a chance to go back and watch
the film, what stood out to you about that?
DAVE DOEREN: Well, the way we took
care of the ball on offense. There was a lot of
snaps in that game, and there was no turnovers.
Defensively, we tackled pretty well. I thought there
were some great runs by some of the backs, Matt
Dayes and Reggie and Shad had a really nice run
after the catch. The quarterbacks did a nice job
taking care of the football.
Defensively, I think we’re stopping the run
about our first defense very well, and the second
defense has got to step up a little bit. Part of that’s
the guys that were out of the game.
You just see a bunch of guys that know the
systems, that are playing within it and know whato do, playing fast.
And some of the backup guys, Shawn Boone played with the ones all day, did a
great job. Jermaine Pratt came in and did a great
job. It was fun to see some of the freshmen get
out there and make plays, Reggie and Darian and
James Smith Williams and Riley Nicholson and
Ford Howell. There are some young players that
just got here that are out here playing and playing
Really what I saw was what I thought it
was going to be. Offensive line-wise, I think we got
bodies on bodies. We picked up pressures pretty
well. We need to work on our vertical movement in
the run game, displacing people, creating some
bigger lanes for our backs. That’s why you play
those games so you can find the things that you’ve
got to focus on for the summer.
Q. Now that (Pharoah) McKever had a
full season on defense and is starting to feel
more comfortable on that side of the ball, how
much more of a weapon can he be for you this
DAVE DOEREN: It depends how strong
he can get. He’s a guy that was a role player a
year ago. Was a good pass rush, third down type
guy that could do a lot of different things in our
third down package. We’d like him to be a first-
down, second-down, third-down player.
When you go from receiver, quarterback,
safety, to D-line, there’s a huge curve when it
comes to playing the run. Pass rush, an athlete’s
an athlete. But in the run game, you’ve really got
to be able to bend and be strong and handle
double teams and different blocking schemes.
So for Pharaoh, his biggest progress is
going to come from his strength. He knows that.
He’s just going to grind all summer and get
stronger and stronger. He improved a lot in the
spring, and I think that’s the biggest thing, to see
him go from being a role player to an every down
starter is just going be to the lower body strength.
Q. How much weight has he gained
since the end of the season?
DAVE DOEREN: Not too much. He’s still
around the same weight. He’s just trying to make
sure he’s got the right weight, getting rid of body fat
and turning everything into lean muscle. He’s a big
old guy. I mean, I don’t even know his exact
weight right now. I met with him the other day, and
he said he’s been maintaining. So it’s really not
going to be his weight that matters as much as his