The Minnesota transfer and Cleveland native will play an important role on this year’s defense, but where exactly that is will remain a mystery until September 3. D.J. Eliot has not provided any clarity leading into camp, but De’Niro Laster gave us a few clues today.
“I’m an athlete. I’m where ever my coaches want me to be, whether that’s inside or outside,” Laster said near the end of media day. “As of now, I’m outside, but who knows. I may be inside. Whatever is best for the team.”
Comfortable playing either outside or inside linebacker, Laster said learning both positions will not be a problem. It’s really just a matter of preference. Often called a “thumper,” the hard-hitter prefers attacking the quarterback.
“I’d rather rush the passer because I don’t even want him to get a pass off.” He added, “I feel as though I can cover pretty well too.”
Applying pressure on the quarterback is just one of the many concerns the defense will face this fall. A young and inexperienced group, much of that pressure falls on Laster and Courtney Love, a pair of linebackers that have never played for UK, but have D-I experience elsewhere. The pressure doesn’t create anxiety, only excitement to get back on the field.
“There’s pressure on our whole team. We know that, we understand that. We’ve worked hard all summer to prepare for this season. There’s definitely pressure, but we’re not phased by it.”