It was a tough thing for Ejuan Price to do. A pectoral injury kept him from playing in 2012. He was forced to take a redshirt. It was the first time in his entire career--including his youth and high school days--that he had to miss a season.
"I'm just trying to get a role, I want to be on the field so bad," Price said. "I'm just trying to get out there on the field. I definitely need to get out there."
Price played in 13 games as a true freshman, starting five. He finished with 27 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for losses and four sacks. He is best remembered for his two sacks and two tackles for losses in a game at Iowa, just his third collegiate game.
He knew in training camp that he was going to have to persevere a redshirt in 2012. It didn't make things easier once games started, knowing he couldn't help his team.
"I knew basically, in camp," Price said. "Every time, watching those games, it hurt me knowing I couldn't help at all--just watch."
One other change, one that is minor compared to coming back from injury, is switching back to the 4-3. In high school, at Woodland Hills, Price said his team's defense was a little of both. If he got anything from having to sit out last year, it was a year to better readjust to going to the 4-3, after Paul Chryst took over.
"I feel like I was adjusting, but right now I'm getting better," Price said. "It's basically the same."
Price also has a new defensive coordinator this year, with Matt House getting promoted. So far, he likes one difference with what House is asking the defense to do.
"Just letting the players play, and letting the players' strengths, that's good," Price said. "Any time we get a chance to play the game, you always get excited about that."