Checking in with Cortney Vincent

CLEMSON - Clemson linebacker Cortney Vincent may not be a household name with Tiger fans just yet, but that could very well change by the time the 2007 season comes to an end.

Vincent saw action on 123 plays during the regular season last year, recording 20 total tackles in 12 games. This season, he's in line to more than double those numbers.

Directly after Saturday's scrimmage, spoke with Vincent about his increased role on the team, especially as a leader, and much more for this report:

Cortney, we've heard coach Bowden talk about your play a good bit this spring, especially from a leadership perspective. Do you view that as one of your key roles for this team this coming season?
Vincent: Yeah. You can say I see my role as a guy that wants to keep the enthusiasm of this team at a certain level. I think that was something we kind of lacked towards the end of last season. I'm going to bring 'em together and keep this team motivated.

I've talked to a lot of players on this team since spring practice started who are saying that was something that was lacking at the end of last year. Is that an area of concern for you right now in regards to the coming season?
Vincent: Well that's what we've been talking about a lot since the season ended, especially as a defense: keeping everybody's spirits up and keep flying around the ball.

The defense seemed to play better in Saturday's scrimmage. Was last week's scrimmage a motivating factor for you Saturday?
Vincent: Yeah. That played a big part. We knew we had to come out and step up and do some things better than last weekend because the offense was moving the ball on us a good bit. I think we did a better job out there.

There are obviously some spots that have been left open by some good players who are no longer with the team, like Gaines Adams, but there still seems to be a lot of talent out there this spring. What can you tell us about this defense right now?
Vincent: The one thing I can say about this defense is that we work hard. These guys bring it everyday. I mean, we all know we are going to work every snap, every play. They are going to work. We never stop.

I have to ask you this question because I've done it with every player I've talked to this spring: who do you like at quarterback right now for this football team?
Vincent: Right now, all the guys are playing good. I don't know. Everybody looks good. Cullen- he's a good guy. He's a good quarterback and I feel like he can lead us. Cullen, I came in with him and I know him. He's got a good mindset so he'll be alright for us.

You guys open with Florida State this year. Is that something as a team you are already talking about in the locker room as opposed to opening with Louisiana Tech or Temple?
Vincent: Florida State is Florida State. You know, we think about that everyday right now. From now until the end of the summer that's all we are going to be doing is thinking about Florida State and that night when we start the season. Top Stories