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It’s been a pretty quiet spring practice for Pitt as far as news and notes. Possibly the biggest piece of information is that redshirt freshman Kaezon Pugh is moving from linebacker to defensive end.
Pugh arrived at Pitt last year as a 4-star linebacker/running back recruit from Aliquippa High School. He’s a talented enough athlete that he’s fully capable of playing multiple positions but the Pitt staff sees him as a guy that can get to the quarterback from the defensive end position.
Pugh recently spoke to the media about his new college position.
Who brought up the idea of moving you to defensive end?
“Well Coach Narduzzi said to me that you’re capable of doing anything you want if you put your mind to it. So I told him I’ll do whatever it takes that will help the team win. I’m a team player, I just want an ACC title and I’ll do anything for this team.”
What’s the biggest challenge in moving from linebacker to defensive end?
“The details from position to position. You’ve got to start from day one, you’re just used to playing your old position and you just have to get used to a new position, come up with a routine.”
When you came here did you think a position change was possible?
“No, but like I said I’m pretty much a team player. I just want to get on the field. I just love winning games, even when I was back home playing for Aliquippa that’s all I wanted to do was win games. It feel real good to be a champion.”
When you were watching last year, did you watch or learn anything from Ejuan Price?
“Well when I came in, Coach Narduzzi did tell me that I would have a chance to play defensive end so every day I talked with Ejuan and he’d tell me how to get off the line and things like that. He helped me a lot so I knew a lot of little details from him when I came in this year.”
How do you think you’ve adjusted to end, are you comfortable yet?
“I’m still learning, it’ll just take time that’s all but I’m sure come first game of the year I’ll be ready to go.”
Coach Narduzzi said you’re a lot like Ejuan Price expect maybe a little bigger, that’s a nice complement
“Yeah, Ejuan always called me his little brother so I’ve always said I want to be like Ejuan so I don’t the comparisons. Ejuan was a great player and one of the best defensive ends in college. I loved watching him play, his technique was sound, he was strong, so that’s the player I look up to now that I’m playing defensive end.”
Being a player that was used to playing all the time and then having to sit and watch last year, how much were you looking forward to practice starting?
“Yeah, I was itching for it to start but when I redshirted, I was able to sit back, learning and getting used to the tempo of college. High school is a lot slower so I wasn’t feeling ready to come in but as the year went on I felt like I got stronger, made progress and paid a lot more attention to details.”