KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) —Tennessee defensive coordinator Rodney Garner has been coaching in the SEC for 32 years. Garner is searching for a new leader on the defensive line after Matthew Butler graduated. One name sticks out for the defensive line coach.

“I think Big O is a tremendous leader,” said Garner. “He’s been crowned as one of the faces of the program. If you’re gonna be that and to whom much is given much is required. He’s gotta make sure that everything that he does, meets those type of expectations.”

Omari Thomas is just the start to a solid defensive line. Garner was full of inspirational quotes for his position group.

“We’re too thin, and we’re not talented enough, not to get better every day,” said Garner. “We gotta get comfortable being uncomfortable, so we can be comfortable later.”

His players even understand what it takes to work under the veteran coach.

“It’s something I love,” said Tennessee junior pass rusher Tyler Baron. “I love playing under coach G. Everybody can say what they wanna say, but at the end of the day, he’s the best doing what he does, and he cares about us deeply. There is not really much more I could ask for from coach.”

Elijah Simmons added that it’s hard playing under Garner. The 32 draft picks shows Garner’s respect within the football community.