WKU Football wrapped its eighth team practice of 2017 Fall Camp on Tuesday evening, and the topic of discussion afterwards at Houchens-Smith Stadium was the defensive line.

In WKU’s three years in Conference USA, the best league offenses have been of the spread variety. Getting to the quarterback quickly is paramount to stopping those attacks, and the Hilltoppers have a wealth of veterans on the defensive line who aim to continue that pursuit in coordinator Clayton White’s scheme.

“I really enjoy this new defense, the 4-2-5 with a nickel in the game the whole time,” senior Tanner Reeves said. “I think it’s going to help us in the pass game a lot with five defensive backs and I think we can get a good pass rush at the same time with four linemen.”

Seniors Reeves, Derik Overstreet and Chris Johnson make up the front, with juniors Evan Sayner and Julien Lewis – as well as JuCo transfers Jaylon George and Carson Jordan – adding to the mix.

“You can tell these guys have a lot of experience and have played a lot of football,” defensive line coach Jimmy Lindsey said. “In my opinion, when you have a veteran group it’s more challenging to introduce a new scheme because they sort of have a routine.”

He continued, “So you have to first and foremost let them know you’re here to make them better and get them to buy in to what you’re doing as a position coach, and I think these kids have done a good job of that for us.”

The Hilltoppers hope to continue the success of their defense in 2016, which led C-USA in points (24.6) and rushing yards (97.2) allowed per game. WKU held four of its opponents to single-digit scoring outputs and boasted a 38-percent third down conversion rate against.

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Bryan Fyalkowski
Assistant Director of Media Relations
WKU Hilltopper Athletics