Transcript: Vols S Theo Jackson Friday interview

KNOXVILLE, TN – SEPTEMBER 03, 2020 – Defensive back Theo Jackson #26 of the Tennessee Volunteers during 2020 Fall Camp practice on Haslam Field in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Theo Jackson, Sr., DB

On the defensive backs …

“I feel like we will be a strength of the team because we have the most experience in the back end. Most of us have been playing since freshman year and we’ve all built up that camaraderie together. I just feel like with us being that close and listening to Coach (Derrick) Ansley, we can be a really good defensive backs unit.”

On playing alongside Trevon Flowers and Jaylin McCollough …

“I feel very comfortable, same as they feel. Us three, especially, are very close because we play the same positions; we play left and right safety. I feel with us three being close and being the quarterbacks of the defense, we are really good. All three of us are really close to Coach Ansley, so he guides us through it when we have trouble.”

On playing a lot of positions and matching up similar to basketball …

“Honestly, I feel it helps because it adds value to a player. At the next level, they look for versatile guys. Right now, (Ansley)’s building that. If someone goes down, we’re all versatile enough to play that different position so we can fill that void.”

On conversations off the field and how that helps on the field …

“Off the field, we challenge each other in everything. Off the field if we want to play video games, we challenge each other. If we want to go shoot hoops, challenge each other. It’s always a competition with us and even in practice we always challenge each other – who can get the most picks, who can cause the most forced fumbles. It is just always a competition with us.”

On replacing Nigel Warrior off the field …

“The biggest thing we lost was his overall leadership. I’m trying to take over that role being a leader for the backend. I’m just trying to make everyone closer by calling up DB meetings just to get in extra work or just going in with Coach Ansley to get the install so I can teach the young guys the install before practice or meetings. I feel like his leadership was the biggest thing we lost.”

On replacing Nigel Warrior on the field …

“We are really just trying to find the right guys. He had played strong safety and he had played it very well, so we are trying to find a playmaker to put in that position.”

On the cornerbacks …

“I’ve seen better technique from them this fall camp. Coach Ansley has been on our butts about technique, technique, technique. If you win with technique, then the only thing that can get you out of phase is your eyes and all that. I feel like us being better with technique and our corners being better with technique has really helped.”

-UT Athletics

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