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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 6

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 26, ISSUE 6 57 VOLUME 26, ISSUE 6 57 At the latter stages of a player's career, Randy Mel- vin doesn't want to be messing around with what he calls "100 level" information. He doesn't have to worry about that with Jake Replogle. "He's ahead of most," Melvin said about Replo- gle's knowledge of the game. "You can talk to him at the 300 level, the whys and things he can anticipate that will help his game." That's not by accident. Replogle takes preparation seriously. And that means a lot of time spent watching film to glean the smallest bits of information: Which way an oppo- nent's shoulders are turned, how their feet are aligned, where the running back is lined up. Replogle's search is for any clue that could tip him off to the play. Oftentimes, it's that knowledge that allows him to utilize his quick first step or maximize his strength. "That's the thing that people miss, I think, with the D-line," Melvin said. "(They think), 'They just get out there and they play ball,' and there's more to it. If you understand, 'Well, if this guy is here and the back is here, only two or three things can happen, so it's a process of elimination, it can keep me out of trouble.' "Then also you become a guy (like Replogle) peo- ple can depend on and also you'll alert the unaware player. Working with him, he has leadership ability and the follow-up of now speaking and them seeing what he's talking about, now it becomes even stron- ger." Replogle credits former coaches Greg Hudson and Rubin Carter for different areas of growth, saying Carter helped him transform from a high school line- backer to teaching him the basics of playing tackle and Hudson gave him insight into the bigger picture of the defense and identifying offenses' purposes. But his film study of specific players has been key to his development, too. From consistently dissecting older brother and former Indiana defensive lineman Adam's games against Big Ten opponents to under- stand the value of having a motor to poring over film of former Nebraska DT Maliek Collins to examine his explosiveness, Replogle never stops searching for ways to see how he can be more effective. He watches himself, too, of course. A lot. During the season, he'll re-watch games about an hour or so afterward. Then he'll take a nap and watch again. And then again later that night. In the morning, he'll watch again at home before heading into Mollen- kopf and watching more with teammates and coach- es. "The thing that really impresses me about him is his knowledge about not only our defense but the opposing offense," classmate and end Evan Panfil said. "He understands schemes, zone schemes, he understands what the offensive lineman is trying to do to him, what point he is trying to get on Jake. Which is valid. He understands all the little keys that help you determine what potentially the play is go- ing to be. That's what I think has helped him to play as fast as he does. Because he really does play fast inside. And he understands reading the guy in front of him. He understands setting up a pass-rush move and counter the guy in front of him. He's just a really smart guy, taking nothing away from his play, but that's what's helped him be as great as he is." PREPARATION

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