Joker Phillips has been hesitant to play his freshmen in years past. The talent has been there in the underclassmen, but he’s always opted to play the veterans for their experience. This year, however, he has a new philosophy on age and experience.
“To heck with that,” he said. “Let them play.”
Joker believes this year’s freshmen have just as much talent, if not more talent than the guys in front of them. Like he said yesterday, he’s going to simplify the defense to get them out there early and gain some experience. He plans to put them on the field now, so we’re not calling them inexperienced if someone like a Martavius Neloms or Avery Williamson goes down to injury and a freshman is thrown into the fire on the road in SEC play.
Yesterday, he mentioned linebackers Khalid Henderson and Pancho Thomas as two guys who will see time at linebacker. Today, he spoke highly of cornerbacks JD Harmon and Fred Tiller. Look to see a lot of them against Kent State as well.
To heck with it.
Put the most talented guys out there and let them learn as they go.