Green: Plebes will be in the Mix

Buddy Green (USNA Photo)

GoMids' Adam Nettina caught up with the veteran defensive coordinator at Media Day this past Thursday, and got the scoop on which plebes may see the field in 2010, who has the inside track at cornerback, and what the Midshipmen defense will have to do to stop Maryland in week one. Check out his exclusive interview below!

Adam Nettina: The question on everyone seems to have is with the linebackers. You've got four good ones to replace this offseason, and Tyler Simmons is coming off of injury. What can we expect from guys like Caleb King and Max Blue on the inside?

Buddy Green: They work really hard and they had a good spring. Caleb and Max, even though they haven't played a lot, they've played a lot of snaps for us on special team. I think they'll be a big plus. It's a good transition when a guy has some experience on special teams and the next year he gets the chance to step in and compete for a starting role.

I think we have some good young guys. (Matt) Brewer for example, had a good spring, and is a guy who did a lot of things in the spring. Even though the experience factor is not there the leadership factor is with Tyler Simmons. I think he'll do a good job leading that group, but it's pretty wide open.

Adam Nettina: It seems like a lot of talk this offseason was centered on the incoming class of freshman, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Will there be an opportunity at any position for a plebe to come in and earn playing time?

Buddy Green: We've always had a philosophy here that we're going to put the best ones on the field. It doesn't matter what year they are. I've got to say this is the best looking class we've had come through the doors since I've been here. They're good looking guys, (but) how quickly can they learn? (NG Barry) Dabney and (NG Chris) Mayes and (DE Jarnel) Dobbs up front… Kinsella, a big 6-8, 290-pound kid at one defensive end…Vinnie Mauro and (Michael) Huff at linebacker – just to name a few guys. There are a lot of names I could give you that are good looking guys. Now can they get ready quick enough to help us? We'll going to give them a chance and see.

Adam Nettina: Can you say a few word's about the secondary. Wyatt Middleton, Kevin Edwards, and Emmett Merchant have really matured over the last three years. Is it safe to say they're among the best defensive backs you've had in your time here?

Buddy Green: I think what they've done on the field speaks volumes for our success. They were thrown into a situation their freshman year where we lost a ton of players with injuries. These guys were on the field the first time we beat Notre Dame. They were all three on the field, starting. All three of them were starting as freshman and played a lot of games. We had some growing pains…their second year all three of them had outstanding year, and I think last year was an example of the experience and the maturity that they have grown. I think all three of those guys were outstanding last year. I know they worked really hard in the offseason and are looking for a better year this year. It has been a growing process where they've come through for us and made so many big plays in big games over the last three years. I hope we stay healthy this year and they make more. Adam Nettina: With that experience in the secondary, there is still that one cornerback spot that remains open following Blake Carter's graduation. Can you tell us who will be in the mix for this position and what to expect out of the competition in camp?

Buddy Green: Right now it's Kwesi Mitchell and David Wright. Kwesi has a little bit of an upper hand right now because he played a lot of ballgames last year. He played nickelback, he played safety, he played corner. He's got a little more experience than David Wright, but there both right up there on that top line right now and competing for that spot. It's between those two guys for that spot.

Adam Nettina: What are your initial thoughts on Maryland. Is it a different gameplan than the situation you faced against Ohio State in the opener last year?

Buddy Green: They are very talented. Very talented and very big. They give you a lot of the same problems that Ohio State does in the respect that they can give you a lot of formations. They have great speed on the perimeter. Their wide receivers can go. They will probably be as talented as any group we play as far as the speed and size on the outside. Their running back are deep. I'm not sure we've played a team that has been as deep at tailback. We played – maybe, last year – one great tailback but we haven't played a team that's this deep at the tailback spot. Talented quarterback, talented big offensive line…it is a very similar preparation to what we faced last year when we faced Ohio State because (Maryland) is a very talented football team.

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