Thompson talks about key personnel changes

Thompson talks about key personnel changes

It's no secret that Arkansas State University Defensive Coordinator John Thompson has to figure out how to replace some very vital pieces of his Sun Belt Championship defense team. Go "Inside" to see what Thompson had to say about some expected key personnel changes this spring.

It's no secret that Arkansas State University Defensive Coordinator John Thompson has to figure out how to replace some very vital pieces of his Sun Belt Championship defense team.

One of those key positions and question that Red Wolf fans are looking forward to being answered this spring is who will replace Don Jones.

During an interview this morning on AStateNation Sports Radio (95.3 FM or 970 AM The Ticket) Thompson shed some light on who will be battling for the position this fall.

"We are expecting a lot from Kyle Coleman," Thompson said. "He played the position some this past season and did well."

It also appears that there may be another athlete, a former offensive player that will get the opportunity this spring to show what he can do at the position.

"We are moving DeKeathan Williams to defense this spring, and get him some snaps at the Wolf position," Thompson said. "He got some looks there during bowl practice, we are looking forward to seeing him on this side of the ball."

Williams signed last year with the Red Wolves as a running back and red shirted this past fall. With the depth at the running back position, the move to defense makes sense to get him a look on the other side of the ball.

"DeKeathan will get a shot at the position," Thompson said. "Charleston Girley will also get a look at the wolf nickel back."

According to Thompson, Rocky Hayes, a true freshman last fall, will return to the defensive side of the ball this spring and will work on learning the corner position.

"He will get a lot of time with us this spring to have a chance to learn our defensive system," Thompson said. "He showed up well at times during fall camp at corner, but just needed more time to learn our system, this spring he will get that shot."

Thompson also explained that Hayes will still see action on the offensive side of the ball.

"He will play some both ways," Thompson said. "I'm excited about having him at corner, he will really help us on this side of the ball."

Another former offensive player that will see action this spring is Kelsey Collins.

"Kelsey will help our depth at corner," Thompson said. "With Andrew Tryon out this spring due to shoulder surgery, it will give us an opportunity to look at several athletes at different spots."

Tryon is out, and it appears that it will be questionable if defensive lineman Darius Dunaway will be ready to practice during next month's spring practice sessions.

Thompson did say he was excited about a couple of red shirt guys this past fall to step up for his defense this spring.

"Darrius Rosser and Quintaz Struble need to have a good spring," Thompson said. "Both really look like that they are ready to go and compete for playing time. They have done a great job in the weight room and excited about seeing them play this spring."

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