Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bigger, stronger Adeyemi hopes to save his best for last at UConn

You could go down the list of returning players at UConn and see the transformation in their bodies over the last year or year in a half. However, there might not be a player who has taken to Matt Balis' strength and conditioning program more than senior defensive end Kenton Adeyemi.

Adeyemi was listed at 257 pounds as a true freshman and played in the 264-266 range over the last couple of seasons. On the most recent roster Adeyemi is listed at 291 pounds and he believes the additional weight will serve him well especially in holding up against the run.

"I feel like I did what the coaches asked me to do," Adeyemi said. "They said it would not only help me but help the team if I got bigger in our defensive schemes to run the 3-4. Last year running the 3-4 and with me being 260 pounds wasn't ideal so I figured I would get as big as I can."

Adeyemi believes that the additional weight has not come at the expense of his speed or quickness. He is ready to bring more pressure from the left defensive end position. Adeyemi believes the defensive line, which combined for just 9 1/2 sacks a season ago, can be a more disruptive unit.

"I put a lot of work this offseason into my personal pass rush and from watching the guys, I can see we got a lot better at pass rushing as well so I think we are going to dial up a little more pressure this year," Adeyemi said. "Hopefully we can (rush the passer) on the edges a little bit more and get a little more pressure on the quarterback.

"I think the three of us (Adeyemi, Folorunso Fatukasi and Julian Campenni) can wreak havoc all year. I think we have one of the best defensive lines. We have Cole (Ormsby, who had 3 1/2 of those sacks) behind us, we have Mike Myers, Sean Marinan coming off the bench who can help us a lot so I feel like all six of us are deep at defensive line to help the team tremendously. (Freshman David) Ryslik is going his thing, he is coming along nicely. He came in, he is 300 pounds and has good size. We are hoping he could help us in the future."

Adeyemi spent a season at prep school after high school and then had a redshirt season followed by two seasons where he played in a total of six games and made four tackles. He has been very impressed by how quickly Ryslik had adjusted to the speed of the college game during UConn camp.

"It is real hard," Adeyemi said. "You go from being the man in high school to having to come here and realize you are a little fish in a big pond. He is working on the transition and I like his progress so far."

In the one practice and two scrimmages I have been at, nine of the defensive starters have remained the same while Marquise Vann has seen the majority of the time with the first-team defense at WILL (weak-side) linebacker while being pushed and occasionally spelled by Matt Walsh. However, both Adeyemi and Ormsby have been seeing first-team reps. Adeyemi believes the competition is good for both players.

"Me and Cole are pushing each other tremendously," Adeyemi said. "Cole is a tremendous football player, a tremendous D End, a real strong kid who is 260-270 pounds and strong as an ox. He definitely pushes me and I push him to get better every day "



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