Emerging DL Jamari Lyons discusses his recovery, role, and energy on the field

by | Sep 14, 2023 | 0 comments

Jamari Lyons, a defensive tackle for the Florida Gators, made a big play last week against McNeese when he forced a safety. In a media gathering, Lyons shared his excitement about the play, as well as his experience recovering from shoulder surgery and his role on the team. He also discussed the team’s focus going into the game against Tennessee and the importance of maintaining intensity on defense against the Vols’ fast-paced offense.

What was going through Lyons’ mind when he forced a safety?

“I was really just showed up with excitement, hearing the fans explode when I made that play. Just something I can’t even feel in my head and get over at all. I’m very excited just to make the play. My first big play in the Swamp.”

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His recovery from from shoulder surgery

“February, my senior year, I tore a ligament, I had to repair it. Coming here was kind of hard, I was out of shape. I didn’t work out in high school so I was out of shape. I wasn’t really practicing on my craft or anything like that. But towards that season going on as we go into summer workouts, spring workouts and stuff, I got better, I got more in shape. I start feeling more like me again.”

If he feels he has a knack for getting into the opponent’s backfield

“Yeah, I’d say I have a little knack, but as I grow older and play more on this college level it is more of not getting in the backfield and more doing your job when you play.”

On Sean Spencer stressing his role

“He stresses that a lot, especially as a nose, my job is to, I’m at the center of attack, especially dealing with the center. I’ve been mostly have to maintain my gap and stuff and make sure like everything in case one of the linebackers come back and clean everything up for us.”

The most difficult aspect of returning from shoulder surgery

“What was the hardest part is the conditioning. I wasn’t used to Gainesville heat. I wasn’t used to none of that so the conditioning was very hard for me. Something I got used to.”

On if he had multiple shoulder surgeries

“It was just one. Yeah, my right shoulder.”

The focus going into the game with Tennessee

“Our focus has been right on. We’ve been mainly focused on the goals, just winning this game, we’ve been focused on our job and how we’re supposed to execute it. So I see that the players are locked in. They’re not playing around. We get into meetings on time. We’ve got our notebooks in our hands. We listen to Coach Napier, Coach Armstrong. We’re just locked in.”

How important it is for the defense to maintain its intensity against Tennessee’s fast-paced offense

“It’s very important. They run tempo as we know. So it’s important for us to get back to the ball, find the ball carrier, find the center, wherever to line, just to get back to the line and be ready.”

On the current leader of the Wild Dogs chant

“Tyreak Sapp.”

On if Lyons wants the role

“If I get it, I get it. I love the chant. I love how it sets us up. And if I do get it I’ll be excited.”

His energy on the field

“My energy is pretty much just, since I didn’t really get to play a lot last year, I take every moment and just run with it. Every moment, every chance I get I just run with it. And I just got a lot of energy, a lot of excitement just from making a few plays, doing the little things to get hyped and that’s just the player I am.

Screaming after Utah tackle

“That was my first tackle, first everything, so I had to get that one out.”

Difference in defense vs. last season

“The difference between this year and last is more of our execution. How we execute plays, how we execute our techniques and our job on the field. We’re more buyed in this year than we was last year Way more familiarity as we get older and go on.”

Third-down defense

“We’ve got a very aggressive scheme, I think, I guess. I think it’s very aggressive, but yeah we’ve got a very aggressive scheme and it’s just like”

Coach Armstrong this week

“He’s excited, he’s lit right now. He’s excited right now, he gives a lot of great energy, he just wants us to do our job and execute and be as good as possible. Very more so than last week, especially with Tennessee, very tough opponent”

Armstrong’s demeanor

“He’s been a little bit of everything. He’s harder on us, yelling at us, making sure we’re running, getting to the ball, getting back to the formation. When he’s coaching, being a coach really just telling us how this is supposed to run, this or that, coverages and all that stuff”

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Offseason physical changes

“When I first got here, I was 330 … overall, I lost like 30 pounds I would say.”

Photo credit: Molly Kaiser, UAA Communications

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