May 27, 2008

Monroe wants to make instant impact

There are two ways that an incoming freshman defensive back can view the depth chart.

On one hand you'll have a unit that might have as many as many as eight or nine players in the mix for playing time heading into the fall. Of course, with that many players vying for positions on the two-deep depth chart, it means that almost every role in the group is open for competition.

Is the glass half-empty of half-full?

For Angleton (Texas) High cornerback D.J. Monroe, there seems to be little choice that he's positioning himself to be the ultimate optimist heading into his true freshman season.

"When I come in I expect to put myself in a position to get on the field," Monroe said. "I want to get onto the second-string and on the nickel defense this season. My goal is to come in and try to start on the second-team defense."

The 5-9, 165-pound Monroe has also been a player that many have hoped might get a look on the offensive side of the ball, but it would appear that he'll focus on defense early in his career.

"I talk to the coaches every other week and as of right now they tell me that I'll be playing mostly special teams and defense," Monroe said. "I might play a little bit of slot receiver, but as of now, I'm on special teams and defense. I'm not sure where on defense I'll be, but that's where I'll be."

While Monroe prepares for his final days as a high school student, he's taking a lot of pride in his state title in the 100 meters and spring relay.

"I had four underclassmen and my season was really based on them," Monroe said. "If they did well, I did well. I pretty much had the individual event wrapped up and I was ok with that. I was more focused on us doing well as a team. We were a little shaky at the beginning, but we finished strong."

In the process, Monroe cemented his reputation as one of the state's top athletes.

It kind of did prove something," Monroe said. "We didn't really have a good year on the football field, but I still came out as a champion at the end of the year. I left with a good taste in my mouth and I let Texas (fans) know what I can do."

If there's anything that might hinder Monroe from making a first year impact, it could be a bit of a late arrival. Although most of the incoming freshmen class will be reporting by the end of this month, Monroe isn't scheduled to arrive in Austin until later this summer.

"The last day of school is Friday and I think I'm reporting at the end of July," Monroe said. "I don't think I will be attending summer school. I'm going to wait until after my birthday because I have a lot family coming down."

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