"It's fun seeing these guys after having a whole year with them come out. A year ago, there was so much apprehension. Naturally, these guys were seeing a huge change in systems and their comfort level was so low they didn't know what to expect. Now I think they know the expectations. We're getting to coach a little bit more what we want to be coaching now." said 'Dogs Defensive Coordinator Nick Toth.
The Fresno State defense led the Conference in practically every statistical category last season.
The secondary returns three of its four starters with Derron Smith, Sean Alston, and L.J. Jones. So there's depth and experience for a repeat performance in 2013.
"I feel like I need to be better overall. Just come out and compete with my teammates and make sure that they're doing the right thing. Right now I'm the only senior in the defensive back room, there's a lot on my shoulders but I'm willing to step up and take the initiative and step up to better myself and better my teammates." said Jones.
Even though the 'Dogs are returning a number of key players. They've also lost a few, like ex-Bulldog All-American Phillip Thomas. But Defensive Coordinator Nick Toth told us who he expects will be future impact players.
"I think we have some upper classmen. Andy Jennings is a guy on the D-Line we expect to be the guy. Tyeler Davidson. I think those two guys we expect to be very special football players. We expect all those inside linebackers between, you talked about Patrick Su'a when he comes back from his injury. But he and Jeremiah Toma. We expect those guys to make plays."
And they'll need to make those plays to create an encore performance that matches that aggressive defense and what it accomplished last year.