Liberty football coach Hugh Freeze spoke with the media following the second practice of the spring.

On the progress of the team the first two practices:

“I’m really pleased with the first two days. Having not put pads on yet, I think we’ve gotten the most out of the time we’ve had. I think Dom’s done a nice job. Our team looks a little more physically-fit. We’ve had some lose a little weight, some gain some. I thought our defense the first two days have just contested every ball, whether it’s one on ones, that’s something that we were sort of missing I thought throughout last year. That’s been good. Offensively, I love the tempo to what we can play. We haven’t done it a whole lot yet, kind of building up to that. We’ve been inconsistent in throwing and catching. We’ve definitely got to improve that. I like the demeanor. We’ve got some good leaders. In the 2nd year, I think they’re starting to understand a little more how we like to practice.”

On practicing in the mornings during the week this spring:

“I typically have done mornings in the spring time. I’ve never done them in the fall. I love mornings, I’m a morning guy. They get up and lift all January, all February in the mornings. They’re used to it. We get good food in them. We get the workout in. We get to see them before the day. We know if anything is going on academically, or if something is going on that night, hopefully we’re way ahead on it. I love it. They had no issues whatsoever (Friday), brought a lot of energy. I think it will continue to be that.”

On transfer LB Anthony Butler and OL Bryce Mathews:

“I haven’t watched today’s film. I like Butler, he’s a quick learner, good football IQ, and obviously he’s played a lot of snaps, been pleased. We’ll see more when we get the pads on. Bryce has done really well. I think he’s going to be a guy that can play all five spots up front for us. He’s healthy, I think.”

On the offensive line:

“Those three (returning starters) are really good players. Jon (Graham) is looking good the first two days. Then you add Bryce. Cooper (McCaw)’s weight is staying up, pleased with him, and then these young guys are going to have to be ready to play. We’d like to sign one more hopefully between now and June.”

On JUCO DB Juawan Treadwell:

“Really good. I’m really pleased. Dropped two picks today, so I was on him about that, but he’s in the right spot. I really like what I see out of him.”

On true freshman DB Jerome Jolly:

“He’s going to be a player. Unless he does something crazy when the pads come on. That guy is physical man. He doesn’t look like a freshman. He’s competing. He’s got energy. He’s got a swagger about him. Again, as long as he plays as physical with pads as he does without, I think we’ve got ourselves a really good player.”

On redshirt-freshman Micaiah Overton switching from TE to DL:

“We always thought in recruiting that it could go either way. We thought he was going to be really big, and he is. He’s up to 275 now. You got basically a redshirt-freshman there to start playing, and we think he’s going to end up in the three-technique.”

On OL Jacob Bodden’s injury:

“He’s got a stress fracture. Unfortunately, he will miss the spring. He needed the spring reps because I think he’s got a chance to be a good player too, but we certainly need to get him well first, and we will get him well for summer workouts hopefully.”

On QBs Johnathan Bennett and Chris Ferguson:

“Both have good football IQs. Right now, the trainers want both of them to remain in the pocket, so we’re kind of careful. Chris, we only let go skele today, nothing else, no team stuff. I think he’s a little tentative still, as is JB. It’s been a long time, but they both have potential to be really good players.”

On QB Malik Willis:

“I think his leadership skills have come out some, which we’ve challenged him to do. Athletically, he is really good, but inconsistent in his mechanics and it causes his ball to sail from time to time. He knows it. Kent is very good at that stuff and will work tirelessly to fix any of those issues that we’re having. Really pleased, love his demeanor. He wants to be great. He owns everything – good, bad and indifferent. You like that.”

On the young receivers:

“We miss AGG, we need another one of those. I think CJ Yarbrough is going to be very good. We need Noah to really step up and be a player there. Demario is a really good talent. Need Khaleb to get back and the signees to get in to add a little depth to it. Shedro, move him to tailback some. Stubbs has shown great leadership as has Shaa, just need to be more consistent, but really pleased with the way they’ve performed the first few days.”

On DL William Green:

“Thinks too much. Love his body right now, it has totally changed. Love him as a kid. He’s just got to stop thinking and play and turn it loose and not worry about making a mistake. He wants to please. He’s a great kid and he just wants to please, but he’s got to quit thinking so much and go to work.”

On the RBs:

“A lot of competition there. I like that. Obviously, J Mack, his offseason, I told him today in individual work, I didn’t see him do half the things last year he’s doing this year. That’s incredible to see, really pleased with him. His reps will be limited in spring, know what he can do. He’s earned, in my eyes, the right to be at least co-starter. I’d like to see what some of these other guys can do – Troy, Peytton, Shedro, Frank. I think we’ve got some good depth there.”

On JUCO transfer DB Marcus Haskins and WR Jaivian Lofton:

“He’s not in school yet. He’s finishing up his work. We’re hopeful we can get him in our D term. That’s what we’re hopeful for, but not 100% yet, same for Lofton.”

On DE Brayden Monday:

“I think he’s played some with the 1s and the 2s, going back and forth. He’s gained 25 pounds. He’s a tough kid, hard nosed, wants to win, great Liberty fit kid. Going to play a lot of snaps for us.”

On JUCO DE Durrell Johnson:

“Freakish athletic. He’s already gained weight. He needed to do that. He’s up 12 pounds, hopeful to put another 15 o him before the fall, but you saw in the last period, he’s hard to handle off the edge.”