The media’s Q&A with Venables after the scrimmage

MEDIA: How well is Austin Box playing right now?

BV: “He is getting close to really being where you want him to be. A lot of what I am just talking about is just mental, where you won’t beat yourself. That is not to be taken the wrong way that he is just the surest guy we have and not the best player. He is also a very good athlete and a very good player. He is dong really well. He still needs to polish up his game, but he has come a long way.

“He didn’t have any background at linebacker coming out of high school. He is a lot like Rufus (Alexander), who was a 190-pound defensive end coming out of high school and when he got here he had never been in a linebacker stance.”

MEDIA: What has been your take on Daniel Franklin so far?

BV: “He did pretty good. He has some suddenness to him and quickness. I always knew that he had that quickness because I had him in camp. Daniel has good instincts and he fills the gap. I like him. He puts his head down and he will hit you. He needs to work on some technique things, but he made some plays tonight and put his nose on the ball a few times.

“He is a physical player and he had a real nice break-up from a big hit. He could have intercepted it as the ball hung on the tight ends back forever, kind of like a spindle just sitting there spinning there on his back. All he had to do was reach up there and pick it off, but he made the hit and he is doing a good job at middle linebacker for us.”

MEDIA: How did Keenan Clayton play?

BV: “Keenan had a real good scrimmage and showed up in a lot of plays. He has picked right up where he left off in the spring and is playing with a lot of poise, passion and he is playing smart. Keenan is one of the most athletic players we have on our team, and when he plays with confidence like he is right now he is a very good football player. We need him to be to be good on defense this season.”

MEDIA: How are Brandon Crow and Lamont Robinson playing?

BV: “I keep pictures of players on my wall of players at my position who have contributed to our program, and Gayron Allen is on that wall. He is a great example of a guy who was not the most talented guy on our team and who had to wait his time to get on the field, but once he did he was fundamentally sound and played some great football for us. I point to him with guys like Brandon and Lamont and tell them they have to keep pushing, they have to keep developing and they have to keep working because their time wll come in some form or fashion on this team. Brandon is working at both the MIKE and SAM, and Lamont at the SAM. Both have a good chance to play on special teams for us, and so far both are having good springs.”

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