Q&A with LeRoy Hill

<b>Greensboro, NC</b>- "Well right now I'm 228, 229. I played last year about 210, 215. Its not like I really wanted to gain weight, it just happened. My quickness is still there though," said Clemson LB LeRoy Hill during ACC Media Days on Sunday.

It seems like expectations have risen a lot for you and the rest of the team this year.
Hill: Yeah, it definitely makes you want to step up your game a little bit. Everybody needs to step up now. We finished last year strong and we open up with ACC games this year, so we've got to start strong. We can't mess up.

Looking at your play as an individual, is it possible in your eyes to duplicate your production of a year ago?
Hill: I hope it's possible. Last year, we had a great defensive front with Donnell Washington. He demanded a double almost every single play. Hopefully, my d-tackles will be able to some of the same things for me again this year. The main thing though is to win. I just want to win. I don't care about tackles for loss or none of that. I just want a 'W.'

Your thoughts on your teammate Anthony Waters who has to step in for John Leake this year.
Hill: Just like John Leake helped me out in the past, now it's time for me to pass the torch on and help him out now. He's progressing real good, and he's got the position down pat I think. He probably played almost 200 snaps last year, now it's just time for him to step into a fulltime role.

Explain how having a good defensive line frees you up to make big plays.
Hill: Well, a really good d-tackle requires a good double team. And on the other side of the ball, you've only got 5 offensive linemen on the other side of the ball. Now if you've got two great tackles, then there's 3, maybe 4 linemen working on them. The more pressure the d-line can put on the offensive line, the more it frees me up, and it will free Waters up to make more plays.

Wake Forest is a team that has obviously given you a lot of problems the last two seasons. When did you guys really start preparing for them this year?
Hill: We started in the spring. We had the offense run some of their plays against us. As soon as camp starts though is when we'll we focus on them a lot more. I know we are a little worried about those guys but hopefully we'll have a better game against them this year.

What is it about Wake Forest that gives you guys so many problems?
Hill: Well they've always got a huge offensive line and a real small running back. That's one thing, but the misdirection and the option game means everybody has to be in the right place at the right time, there's no room for error. It's just the discipline and trying to play them without making any errors. I think it will be better playing them during the first week this year, that way we can just go back to playing normal football the rest of the season.

What are you up to in terms of weight this year?
Hill: Well right now I'm 228, 229. I played last year about 210, 215. Its not like I really wanted to gain weight, it just happened. My quickness is still there though, I'm still running a 4.45.

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