Experienced Secondary Consistently Making Plays in Camp

Experienced Secondary Consistently Making Plays in Camp

KINGSTON, R.I. – A week into training camp, there is a noticeable air of confidence among the players on both sides of the ball.

Each day, big plays are being made by the offense and defense. One area in particular that has stood out is the secondary, which has seen a number of players stepping up and creating turnovers in practice.

Redshirt freshman cornerback Momodou Mbye and sophomore safety Myles Ross have come up with several interceptions through the first seven practices. Mbye and junior safety D.J. Stewart each had a pick Monday afternoon. Corners Rashod Dickerson, Isaiah Hill, Ahkema Evans and safeties Nas Jones, Abdul Ibrahim and A.J. Baxter have shown the ability to make plays as well.

"We have a lot of returning veterans with experience, and everyone has been locked in mentally," said Stewart, who started all 11 games at safety last season. "Every day we come out and want to get better. From the players on up to the coaches, we want to improve as a team."

Backing up Stewart's point about the experience of the secondary, the returning players have combined to play in 150 games for the Rams. This despite the unit having just two seniors – Ibrahim and Hill. The secondary has five guys who appeared in every game last season – Stewart, Jones, Dickerson, Ross and Mbye.

At the safety spot, Stewart and Ross have been working alongside each other with the first defense, while Jones – who started every game a year ago – and Ibrahim have been with the second unit. All four are getting significant reps and will see plenty of the field this season.

"Myles and I are roommates, so we are able to talk all the time," Stewart said. "We go over film together all the time. We are getting to every meeting on time and asking lots of questions. That's really true for the all the DBs, and the defense as a whole. Whether it is the safeties, the corners linebackers or the D-Line, there is a focus on improvement every day."

Asked who among the defensive players had stood out in terms of making a jump from last year to now, Stewart wasn't concerned with individual praise.

"I believe everyone has made a jump in improvement this year," Stewart said. "There is no I in team. What matters is that we are improving as a unit. We are all working together. We win together and lose together."

The Rams will hold the first full-speed scrimmage of training camp Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in Meade Stadium. It will be free and open to the public.