August 10, 2008

Sash ready to compete at safety

After a redshirt year where he got bigger, faster, and stronger, Tyler Sash jumped right into the competition for the starting job at strong safety in the spring, taking some reps with the first team. Now, the position battle continues in camp. Sash talks about the competition with Harold Dalton and Lance Tillison, maybe getting a chance to return punts, and more.

Q: Coming off your redshirt year, what's it feel like heading into this season?

SASH: I'm real excited. Anytime you can get your redshirt over, you're ready to get going.

Q: It seemed like you were one of the guys Coach Ferentz mentioned was close to playing last year. Did they leave that decision up to you?

SASH: No, it wasn't up to me. The coaches thought putting a redshirt year on me would help me out and I think it really did. I gained 15-20 pounds and switched from free safety to strong safety. Just learning the defense and stuff like that, the whole game slows down for you when you get some experience.

Q: Obviously, everyone wants to be out there playing, but looking back you're kind of glad you were able to redshirt it sounds like?

SASH: Yeah, I'm glad I redshirted now that I look back at it. During the time, I wanted to be out there playing for my home state, but I'm glad now.

Q: What was it like in the spring? You jumped right into a position battle at strong safety.

SASH: Yeah. The coaches say it's wide open and whatever happens happens. I'll see what I can do and if it's good enough we'll see.

Q: Can you talk about the other guys, Tillison and Dalton?

SASH: Lance and HD are great. They're good players. We're all real tight, real close. We try to help each other out no matter what it is. There's no bad blood or anything like that. We're teammates. If Lance sees something I messed up on, he lets me know and if I see something he messed up on, I let him know. HD is the fifth year senior, so he's been through it all and keeps us close together. It's good.

Q: Do they have you working on returns a little bit?

SASH: Yeah, punt return and kick return.

Q: Do you kind of relish the chance to get the ball in your hands again?

SASH: Yeah. Being primarily an offensive player in high school and then switching over to defense, anytime I can get my hands on the ball I'd love it. If I can help in any way, I'll do it.

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