I wrote for today’s edition of The Gazette about freshman outside linebacker Wale Lawal Jr., who was forced to make his first career start last Saturday against Wyoming because of a bunch of injuries.
Lawal, who likely would have been on the junior varsity if not for the injuries, according to defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter, played well making eight tackles, including a sack.
A bit more on Lawal that I couldn’t fit into the paper:
-I asked DeRuyter what Lawal does well.
“He’s what you would call a natural football player,” DeRuyter said. “He fits where he needs to fit. People are so multiple nowadays, a lot of times a young player will get confused about where they need to fit. And yet 95 percent of the time he’s right where he needs to be. And for a young guy to go through everything they have to go through on the hill and still be able to pick up our package and all of our pressures, and all the multiple formations he’s got to deal with and still be able to perform at a high rate, he’s really been impressive that way.”
-As for what he needs to do better, DeRuyter said, “Just maturity as a player, both physically and understanding the package. But for a kid who’s a freshman, he understands it as well as any of the young freshmen that we’ve had here. So that gives him a chance.”
Also, here’s a good piece from The Salt Lake Tribune about Utah at midseason.
And The Gazette’s hockey writer, Joe Paisley, looks at the Air Force hockey team’s early struggles.