The University of Central Arkansas has switched from a four-man front (4-3) to a three-man front with three linebackers (3-4) this season.
“It gives you a few more options and a little more versatility against the spread offenses,” said new UCA defensive coordinator Greg Stewart.
The UCA players have bought into the concept.
“It’s not much difference in the defensive front,” said senior defensive end Jonathan Woodard, “probably a chance to make more plays. But in the d-line, it requires you to be more physical.”
“In the old defense, certain positions got to make plays about every time,” said senior defensive back Dominque Brown. “In this defense, everybody makes plays.”
“I think it’s a faster defense than last year,” said senior linebacker Ricky Wyatt. “You have to play fast.”
“This is the most physical team I have been on,” said Brown, who was injured in the season opener last year at Colorado and is returning for his fifth season. “Every position is competitive and there are no days off.”
The UCA players give a lot of credit to Stewart for the effort during early practices.
“All practices, there is no choice but to go all out,” said Woodard. “He (Stewart) brings so much excitement.”
Of the three defensive players he brought to the podium on Media Day, head coach Steve Campbell had this to say:
Woodard: “He’s a great player but his humbleness sticks out.”
Brown: “He’s taken the younger players under his wing. I can see improvement in the secondary because of him.”
Wyatt: “He brings a jazz level to the defense. He comes to work everday with a smile on his face.”