HATTIESBURG — No Southern Miss player is better at breaking down the current state of the team than senior linebacker Dylan Reda.
The California native recently took the time to assess the USM defense and who he sees improving their game this season.
Reda on the defensive line - "I think (freshman defensive tackle) Dylan Bradley could help out some on the D-line. He's athletic, big and has good size. He's running with (the second team) and can help with the D-line. We've got Adam Williams, Khyri (Thornton) and (Rakeem Nunez-Roches). They're tremendous players, but with the tempo of the offense, they'll need a break some time. Bradley can step up and help. Daz McCullum is back and he'll help out at the end."
Linebacker - "I think Terrick (Wright) and C.J. (Perry) will give me and (fellow linebacker) Alan (Howze) a break when one of us gets tired or one of us goes down. We've got depth this year. Last year, it felt like we were young. Terrick was a freshman. This year, he's got the maturity. He's played with (defensive coordinator Dave Duggan) before. C.J. came along really well from the spring. I think both will contribute a lot on special teams. If we need them on defense, they're going to be able to fill in and help me and Alan out whenever we need them to."
Reda believes that the battle between the D-line and O-line is going to make the offensive front better headed into the 2013 season.
"The whole D-line going to help the O-line," Reda said. "The offensive line is something people worry about, 'Oh I don't know how the O-line will be.' Khyri is the No. 8 defensive tackle in the draft this year. Nunez will go to the NFL for sure. He's just an athletic freak. I think our D-line is pushing our O-line so much that they're going to have no choice but be better.
"I think the offensive line is going to figure out. They're young, but they're playing the best competition they're going to see all year. It will help them mature quicker. I'm not too worried about the O-line at all. They'll be fine once the Texas State game rolls around."