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Jay Drew
Jay covers BYU athletics for The Salt Lake Tribune. You can follow him on Twitter @drewjay.

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BYU's Van Noy on Cougar defense: "It is time to keep the ball rolling."

Be sure to check out Tribune columnist Gordon Monson's profile of BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy in today's Salt Lake Tribune. The piece includes some interesting thoughts from Van Noy on why he decided to return to BYU for his senior season, and what his parents have purchased to insure Kyle's financial future is protected in case he suffers a career-ending injury this coming season.

I happened to chat with Van Noy after practice on Monday, but the conversation took on a different slant.

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Here are some excerpts:

On what Van Noy is doing this spring and whether he's going full-tilt in every drill and team session:

"It is a little bit of everything. Sometimes I will be coaching. Sometimes I will be participating. So I am trying to get the most I can out of this spring, trying to stay healthy and continue to work hard, and try to help the young guys learn the system and understand what is like, the process you go through at BYU.

It is fun to be out there running. It is fun to help. I am really happy about that, and I will continue to grind to get better."

On whether he feels some pressure to be a team leader:

"I am kind of the guy that leads by example. I don't say much. If people have questions, they can come up to me. I am nice. I think it is more of me coming out of my comfort shell to be more vocal. So I am learning, just like they are. And I am trying to take on more of a leadership role.

Right now, I want to be there to support guys, because it is a hard time for the learning curve. That's all you can do out there is support them. I am kind of their friend right now."

On what they are doing to build on last year's top-ranked defense:

"We don't have to change anything, just have to continue to work hard. We can't necessarily get overconfident of the year we had. We just have to start from scratch. It is a new year, new team, new players. And we have to continue to stay hungry. The older guys and the newer guys need to step up. It is kind of like a cycle that we have going on now, and it is going to continue to roll after we leave. And the next bunch will understand.

So we kinda have a strong foundation now. It is time to keep the ball rolling."

On what the offense is doing and what he's noticed being different about this group:

"The accountability factor. I think you have coaches that push them to the next level, kind of like the coaches on defense. Now, everyone is on the same page communication-wise, everyone is preaching and teaching the same things, the same values, the same effort part. So it is kinda neat to see it on both sides and see it all develop with the offensive guys starting to mesh. We are starting to get more rivalry going on even though we are still friends.

It has changed the whole environment to have the offense and defense's mentalities the same. So it is good."

On Ziggy Ansah and whether him going first round, perhaps No. 5, blows his mind:

"No, not necessarily. I talk to him all the time, still. Me and him stay close. We will always be close. It doesn't surprise me at all, just because the player he is, and what he can be. It is cool to see him smiling and happy, and able to soon make a difference in the world, especially for his family."

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