Canidate Refuses to Let His Role Bring Him Down

When a player goes from the penthouse to the proverbial doghouse, one can expect to hear a fair share of discontent in their voice. However, last year's leading rusher, who is now listed fourth on the team's depth chart, told DevilsDigest that he's taking his new status in stride.

15 carries may have been an average game output for him last season, but that is the total number of carries the sophomore currently has to his credit. Canidate who led the team in rushing in 2002 with 493 yards has seen his stock dramatically slip this year. Nevertheless, his confidence remains stronger than ever. "I know what I'm capable of doing," he said. "There are certain things you have to deal with in football, and this is something I'm going through. Even though I'm a backup, I don't feel like a backup. I feel I'm better than most backups because I have the experience. Being the lead rusher last year, and not starting now - it affected me. But this thing affects different people in different ways. I still feel good about it."

While Canidate does exhibit a lot of resolve in his voice, he does admit that he hasn't been totally immune with what has transpired this year. "It's a hard transition to take," he stated. "This is something you have to overcome, and I'm overcoming it. It's a big test to my character but I'm handling it pretty well. I was brought up in the right atmosphere, and I don't mind competing. This is all about competition, and I'm blessed to be in the situation I am right now."

He added that he's been receiving very helpful guidance from all his brothers, including Trung who is currently playing in the NFL. "All my brothers are football players. They all give me good advice that helps me carry on through the days and I appreciate it."

Canidate has been seeing the vast majority of his gameday snaps on special teams. He told us that he's content with that task, and doesn't take it lightly. "I'm pretty pleased playing special teams," he claimed. "Sometimes in football you have to figure out your role, and right now my role is obviously on special teams. That's what I'm doing, and I'm taking it as it comes. I have to let people know that I will give it my all no matter where I play. I don't really care if I play on special teams, because it's a big part of the game."

The entire team, much like this running back, is experiencing trying times these days. Canidate believes that the team has to take his approach, and not let the current situation take a stronghold on them. "We really are over the mental hump," exclaimed Canidate." We just keep beating ourselves, and lose tough games. It's all up to us. The way we play is the way we practice. There's nobody on this team that is feeling sorry for themselves. We know what we're capable of doing. Teams capitalize on our mistakes, and we have to find another way to get a win."

When we asked him what advice he can give fans that are worried about his status and the state of the team as a whole, he pragmatically replied: "Keep your head up like me (smile)! That's the only thing you can do."

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