After watching the Demons through three practices and six days of preseason camp, he is confident he’s taking over a well-stocked unit.
“I like what I see. We’re moving around good, they’ve been coached up good, and I think we have a chance to be really good,” said DeLoach, a veteran of 35 seasons in coaching, including five stints as a defensive coordinator and stops at UCLA and Texas A&M.
Monday, following the first workout in shoulder pads by the NSU veterans at Turpin Stadium, DeLoach said senior nose tackle Lesley Deamer looks like an anchor for the Purple Swarm defense.
“I like big Deamer in the middle. He has a chance to be an outstanding player. I think we’re real good down the middle. That’s not saying we’re not good on the outside, but we are unproven on the outside behind our ends,” said DeLoach. “D-Rose, the safeties, and our interior, they’re pretty good and we’ll play to that strength down the middle.”
Two-time All-America middle linebacker Derek Rose is the focal point of the Demons’ stop troops. Behind him at the safety slots are NFL Draft prospect Jamaal White, honorable mention All-Southland Conference standout Brashard Booker, and veterans Bert White, Cortez Paige and Calvin Morton.
Head coach Bradley Dale Peveto liked the performance of his veterans in Monday morning’s session.
“We took a step forward. Usually there comes a time on day 4, 5 or 6 where you stumble backwards, and that hasn’t happened. We’re still making progress.
“It was a really good day on both sides and on special teams. We worked on punt block techniques and alignments. We’re practicing very hard, very physical but very smart at the point of attack, protecting each other,” he said.
Offensive coordinator Todd Cooley said adding a greater degree of contact contributed to a productive morning.
“I really liked our run game today. We did a better job executing it today with shoulder pads on for the first time. We did a pretty good job of blocking. (Senior tailback) Sidney Riley has looked good and did again today, and (junior transfer tailback) Rob Walker lived up to our expectations today with some nice cuts.
“Today was the first time we’ve seen some blitzing, and it was pretty good for us. I was excited about how we performed,” said Cooley. “The defense was flying around, I thought it was a good practice. We’re trying to get our offense installed in the first seven days so we’re loading them up and it’s a challenge. “
Tuesday will be the final day of split workouts, with the 27 newcomers and a few returners working at 4:40 p.m. following the 9:40 a.m. veterans session. Wednesday morning at 9:40, all 95 players practice on the first day of full pads, then go through Fall Sports Media Day activities beginning at 1.
The Demons’ first two-a-day practices are Thursday, with another set Saturday. The first extended scrimmage of camp will be Saturday at 9:40 a.m. or 6:50 p.m., with that being settled later this week.