Thoughts and opinion on true freshman tailback Dee Hart:
Dee Hart is a very bright guy, learns things quickly, is very instinctive on the field, and he seems to have a natural knack in space to catch the ball and has good ball judgment, so he is a guy we are going to try to develop as a punt returner. But it’s too early to tell. He has never been in a live situation, so this scrimmage coming up will be a time to be able to evaluate that. I think Marquis Maze has made some progress and has a better understanding of some of those things. But I have been impressed with Dee Hart overall. He’s a very bright guy, runs quickly and is very instinctive.
On the offensive and defensive lines thus far in spring practice:
One of the things we need to focus on since we’ve had pads on two days is having physical toughness up front. That’s one of the things we need to improve on defensively up front in being good tacklers and playing good fundamental technique. On the other side of that, the offensive line has done a pretty good job of getting a hat on a hat, blocking people and finishing, and the runners have done a good job of finding the holes, so that has been a good thing.
On the hard work that Dont’a Hightower has put in this offseason:
Dont’a Hightower has done a really good job this offseason. The offseason program probably got him over the hump. The last week and a half of the offseason program he started to look like he had the conditioning, the quickness, the movement that he had before. He started to look like that in the bowl practice. So each one of the cycles we go through he makes a little more progress. He really practiced well yesterday and today in terms of quickness, looking more explosive; I think he’s lost a little weight, which has helped him. We’ve been pleased with the progress he’s made. He’s done a really nice job from a leadership standpoint. I think last year he probably wasn’t quite ready with all the other things he was overcoming to make the kind of impact we needed someone to make, but this year he certainly seems to be ready and willing and has done a really good job in providing leadership, in terms of the effort he gives in practice and the attitude that he has. His knowledge and experience is certainly something that makes him more prominent.