2002 Incoming Freshman: Lamon Means

When the University of Arizona's Desert Swarm defense has been at its best, there has usually been a hard-hitting free safety swooping in to lay a solid lick on a receiver to set an aggressive tone on the gridiron. Over the years it has seemed like a steady stream of bruising free safeties has graced Arizona football dating back to the days when Chuck Cecil was roaming Arizona Stadium to bring the wood on receivers in the late eighties.

In the interim, names such as Tony Bouie, Brandon Sanders, and David Fipp have kept the tradition alive, but it's doubtful if any of those standouts had a better combination of speed, strength and size than a young man from Houston named Lamon Means. Cat Tracks spoke to the soft-spoken Texan on a Sunday night after he had just returned from church.

CT: Lamon, did you get out to Tucson for spring ball?
LM: No sir, I didn't.  I only went there on my recruiting trip.

CT: How many recruiting trips did you take?
LM:  I took three visits prior to my visit to Arizona. I just felt comfortable with the coach and the players at Arizona.

CT: Where were your other trips?
LM:  I went to Syracuse, Purdue and Oklahoma State.

CT: What did you think of Tucson?
LM:  Tucson is really nice.  The weather is different because it's hot, but here (Houston) it's really hot and we have humidity. 

CT: What coach recruited you?
LM:  Coach Rob Ianello recruited me.

CT: Did you go to that same high school that a lot of our players went to?
LM:  Galena Park is where I went.  We're in the same school district but it's two different schools.  You're thinking of like Michael Jolivette.  He went to Galena Park North Shore.

CT: Do the two schools play each other in football?
LM: We don't play them because they are 5A and we're 4A.

CT: How did your team do this year?
LM: We had a down year.  We were projected to make the playoffs but we went 4-6.

CT: You also played on offense didn't you?
LM: Yes sir, I played running back and wide receiver on offense.

CT: Did you like playing offense?
LM:  My primary position was free safety.  It was like we had a guy that was real good playing running back but I played when he got tired.

CT: Did you play any other sports?
LM: No sir, just football.

CT: When did you start playing football?
LM: I started playing in 1992 in youth football.  I mean in Texas, and in Houston, football is like everybody's life.  Football is Texas.

CT: Do you think you'll be playing as a true frosh?
LM:  Yes sir, I anticipate playing as a freshman.

CT: What's your size and speed?
LM:   I'm 6-3 and 190 and I run a 4.45 forty.

CT: How would you describe your play as a free safety?
LM:  I'm like aggressive.  I like the contact and I fly to the ball.

CT: What player was your host on your recruiting visit?
LM:  Michael Jolivette was my host.  

CT: What are your thoughts on the future of Arizona football?
LM: They say that the defense in the spring game went good.  I think I can come in and help us with what we're trying to accomplish.

CT: Did you get to watch any of the special on Arizona Football on ESPN?
LM:  I caught a few minutes of the special on Arizona football.  I saw the part where Tony Banks was talking about Coach Mackovic, and the guys thanking the coaches.  I remember that defensive tackle thanking the coaches and thanking Coach Long. I think Coach Long is like one of the reasons why I came. We had a good conversation when I visited.

CT: Why do you think Arizona has been getting so many players from Texas lately?
LM:  The Texas schools, they don't really recruit regular players, they only recruit Blue Chippers, but Arizona has been out there recruiting me and watching me since the eleventh grade.

CT: What awards did you receive this year?
LM:  I was defensive player of the year in my conference and a candidate for top Player Of The Year in the Houston area; I was in the final top 8 in the Houston area for POY. I was a unanimous All-Area. 

CT: Well Lamon, that sounds pretty much like a Blue Chipper?
LM: I think they go more by your stats to determine a Blue Chipper.  I was not an interception specialist as a free safety.   I had about 105 tackles and  85 solo tackles. I am the type of free safety who would rather come up and put a hit on you and cause a fumble rather than go for the interception.

CT: Have you been doing anything special to get ready for college football?
LM:  I've been lifting weights and basic workouts.  In Texas, weightlifting and running is a big part of the program so I try to keep myself in shape.

CT: What are you benching?
LM:  I'm benching 295.


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