Listen to Audio (3:12)
Do you prefer the current offensive system or the system of the previous staff?
“I’m good with whatever the coaching staff wants. I think having a little bit of pro-style, having the spread come in… just having a little bit of both does good for the energy around this place. I think everybody is excited to hopefully put up more points on the board.”
How are you health wise?
“I would say about 80-85%. Just trying to progress day by day.”
Did you spend anytime studying the current offensive system by watching film and studying the work of the new staff?
“Yeah. I spent three weeks on the couch with my ipad with the Southern Miss plays and then tried to learn as much as I can by talking to Coach Anderson right when Coach Fedora got the job. We were in contact just trying to learn the system as fast as possible. I had three weeks on the couch in a cast, so I was good.”
Listen to Audio (3:30)
What was the focus on the first day of spring practice?
“Really just tempo. Tempo is everything in this offense and as a team. I think Coach Fedora came in really stressing the tempo of this entire organization, changing it up a little bit. We went out here 27 periods. We were usually doing 12 or 13 periods, but he boosted it up to 27. We had to keep that tempo that we started at the first session off and we did a pretty good job.”
How hard was it to take the news that there would be no postseason this year?
“I think it was a blow to everybody at this University, especially all the seniors. That’s who I really feel for, because, for me, we still have years after, but these seniors, they don’t really have the opportunity to go to that last postseason game. I think everybody coming in with Coach Fedora and his entire new staff… really wanted to go somewhere further and unfortunately things happen for a reason, but I think we’re going to come out and have a really good season and just play hard.”
Listen to Audio (2:41)
How was practice different today than it was under the previous staff?
“It’s very different. Running around all the time. There’s yelling and screaming going on, there’s music playing in the background, so it’s very different. It’s fun, but it is very tough.”
You were in an orange jersey today. How much of practice were you able to go through today?
“I was able to go through the majority of practice. Do the majority of footwork and engaging with my right arm, but just keeping my left arm out of it. We’re still progressing in rehab and haven’t quite been able to get where I’m able to press and pull on people.”
Listen to Audio (3:04)
How was the first day of practice?
“It was great. Coming from the defensive side, very fast. You know the offense is high speed, very fast and I think the intensity was a lot better today coming into the first day. Doing ‘Blue Dawn’ and all that, it was ok, but coming into the first day I think it was very intense and we are going to have to improve it.”
Have you considered transferring?
"No, I'm here. Here until I die, man. Let's do it."
What does the ban on post-season play mean to you as a senior?
“I mean it kind of hurt just because I would be able to play another game if we get there, but at the same time… we’re a family, let’s just bond. That will bring us closer because since I’ve been here I’ve been through a lot of adversity and this is just another step to add to my timeline. Like I told the seniors and some of the guys on the team, we just got to bond, get closer and it will make us better as a team if we just bond and try to win 12 games for this program.”
Listen to Audio (1:55)
As a senior did the opportunity to go elsewhere ever cross your mind?
“Not at all. I’m at home right here in North Carolina. I’ve been here since day one and at the end of the day all you can ask for is to win 12 games and to go any other place I’d be crazy, so I’m at home.”
What is it like getting all this new stuff thrown at you as far as the playbook and schemes?
“It’s crazy. It’s all coming at you at once, but that’s part of football. You got to learn on the run, so you come out here and look at the situation like we’re in now with a great coaching staff. They’re coming from a winning school so they come here and they’re going to throw a lot at us, but we got to be willing to take it all in, because obviously it worked previously, so we got to be willing to take it in and for our program to continue winning.”
Listen to Audio (3:02)
On the learning curve associated with the new offense:
“I just described it as being thrown into the fire later. You just cook fast. I think we’ll get it all eventually and it’s just about the meetings and just practice. We practice, we meet, we practice, we meet and then when we correct what our mistakes were and I think eventually we’ll get in the swing of things and it’ll all just come together.”
Did you take any time to study Coach Fedora’s system from his time at Southern Mississippi before you began practicing?
“Right after the bowl game is when you got to start looking. My dad is all on top of that kind of thing, so right when I got home he had a bunch of stuff for me. What I’d have to do to be a be able to run in a no-huddle offense, because I guess he just know everything.”