SOUTH BEND, Ind – The defense of the Irish is taking advantage of their experience in the safeties position group.
The safeties are an interesting group of guys that are full of talent, veterans, freshmen and transfers with veteran experience, but the one thing that stands out the most, is how extremely quiet they are.
There to balance out the quietness, is their position coach, Chris O'Leary.
“He just likes to yell for unnecessary reasons. So, we just have to match his energy you know, when he when it's time to go with him or he's upset you know, we got to rise to the occasion,” Safety Ramon Henderson said.
“I try to be an energy provider for the guys. So be the example day in and day out and I expect that from the safety room. And then the defense as a whole, I just try to exemplify when I'm out there in practice, and I love what I'm doing,” O’Leary added.
Having success in his players over the years and now having veteran experience in players like DJ Brown Xavier Watts, and Ramon Henderson should be exciting for O’Leary.
“You know what to expect from certain guys, you've seen us play faster on defense. And it's exciting. And it's fun. And it's great for the younger guys to see the example that those guys are setting,” O’Leary mentioned.
Not to mention the addition of transfers, Antonio Carter II from Rhode Island and Thomas Harper from Oklahoma State.
“A lot of great players that came from the room. That was a big part of me coming here as well, just what they put the safeties have produced and stuff like that and in the DBS and talking to Coach Mickens and coach O’Leary, just learning as much from those guys as possible. I know their resume speaks for itself,” Harper said.
The defense credits their hard work and second year defensive coordinator Al Golden for their improvements this offseason but didn’t hesitate to give props to the “obvious” answer.
“Obviously, you can start off with Sam (Hartman). Really smart guy. He knows what he wants to do.
Knows how to read defenders really well, he knows what coverage you're going to be in probably nine out of ten times, so you know you got to be on your A-game when you go against him every day. Obviously be going against top notch guys all around just offense altogether. So uh, you know, you got to be nice and man. If you don't come down fast enough, somebody's gonna definitely hammer you down. Just all the above. You got to be on your toes with a head on a swivel if you want to live around here,” Henderson said.