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Griz Q&A: Sophomore Alex Gubner finds the perfect solution to switch to defensive tackle | UM Grizzly

MISSOULA – Alex Gubner has found his home, hidden inside the Montana defensive line.

The sophomore has nine tackles for a loss, the team’s fourth most tackles, and 41 total tackles, tied for sixth most. He made 36 tackles and three TFLs in 2019 as a defensive end, although he had the scarcity of four interceptions as he dropped the line under cover.

Gubner’s production has taken off in recent weeks. He’s made six of his nine TFLs and 25 of his 41 tackles in the last five games.

Gubner spoke to to find out how his transition to the defensive tackle went for him.

Q: It’s been a while since we’ve caught up. Before I did, I was wondering what you like to do outside of football.

A: “I’m in Montana so I’m getting into outdoor activities like fly fishing. This summer I went with a few guys. I like to try to go shoot. To play golf. In fact, all I do is play football and school. I’m just trying to get into the outdoor stuff.

Q: Haven’t you done so much before?

A: “Not until I come here. My early years, I didn’t really do that. But I ended up getting into fly fishing and all that.

Q: Which of these do you appreciate the most?

A: “Golf. Because I’ve been playing golf since I was little. I really enjoy fly fishing right now too.

Q: How good are you as a golfer?

A: “I’m good for how much I play. Definitely not good by the standards of someone who plays a lot. But I can hang on to the course.

Q: Who is the best golfer on the team?

A: “I think it’s me. Mitch (Roberts) thinks he’s the best, and Pat (O’Connell) thinks he’s pretty good.

Q: Speaking of starting out, you’ve recently played offensive players. Was the move to the defensive tackle what you thought it would be?

A: “Yeah absolutely. I think I was the heaviest D lineman in my first year. I’m the heaviest now. I think I’m the best defensive tackle. That’s where I think I am. supposed to play. It’s great so far.

Q: Why do you think this is where you are supposed to be?

A: “I think I’m just able to play more games. I think this defense is very complicated, and I think it’s just easier for me because I’m in the middle and I’m able to wreak havoc, I guess.

Q: What do you mean by simpler?

A: “You have to move more as a defensive end rushing to the edge. I think I am physically built for the defensive tackle.

Q: With Eli (Alford) on rotation, how much has that helped you stay close to 100%?

A: “We all want to be fresh. Across the D line we are turning. We’ve got a bunch of guys going to play, and we’re touring. We are great guys. It gets tiring to run there compared to some of the linebackers who are a bit lighter. I think it’s easier for them to stay there.

Q: So what’s been the most enjoyable part of playing D-tackle?

A: “I think it’s more of a leadership position where I have to communicate with both ends and talk with the funders. This is probably it maybe.

Q: Looking at yourself, it seems like you’ve been unblockable at times in the last few games, but how have you been playing recently?

A: “I feel like I’m just doing my job. We have had a good race the last few weeks. We have been on a roll. I’m just doing my job. I think our defense as a whole has been really dominant. “

Q: As the season progressed, how did things start to click more for you?

A: “I think it’s just that I’m fine because our defense is doing so well. I think we had a little streak where we weren’t playing our best. I think everyone has synchronized. When the defense is fine, we are all fine.

Q: When these other groups of positions are working well, can you feel it makes your job easier?

A: “I see Pat (O’Connell) or Justin (Ford) or Omar (Hicks Onu) or Robby (Hauck) doing plays that get bloated and that energizes us. They play with a lot of juice. It’s contagious.

Q: Do you feel like you are finding the consistency you want?

A: “I feel like I’m getting more consistent every day. It’s the little things. I think I did it by being in the weight room doing the right things, doing the right recovery, at school, all just being organized and always focused.