Bigger, Faster and More Fun

Last year it looked like Terrence Wheatley would never play football again due to a bad wrist injury and two failed surgeries. A third surgery, however, proved successful, and the junior CB played in the spring, and has had a productive summer, putting up his best strength numbers and even clocking a sub-4.3 40 in May. Inside, Wheatley talks about the young DBs, the new D, and how fun football is.

BSN: How's your summer been?
Terrence Wheatley
: It's been good. I wish it would cool down a little bit, but it's OK. Workouts are going good. I'm trying to help out a couple of the new guys.

BSN: Who's that?
: Chapelle Brown, the corner from California. Jalil Brown and Jimmy Smith. They're all here, so I'm trying to help them out, get them up to speed.

BSN: How are they looking?
: They look good. They're all competitors, which is something we need, you know? That's all a DB does is compete. Chapelle's a little bit small. He's only about 5-8, a buck-60. Then again, that's how I was, too. I told him, ‘If you just work hard, you'll be fine.' But everybody looks good. Some (of the new players) look like they can come in and play right away. We'll have to see how the competition pans out in fall camp.

BSN: How much do you weigh right now?
: I'm about 185, closer to 190. I haven't been this big ever.

BSN: What about your strength numbers. Are they going up?
: Oh yeah. I bench about 350; squat close to 600. They call me the machine in the weightroom for some reason.

BSN: You guys did your 40s in the spring, what did you run?
: The first one I did in 4.29, and the second one I came back in a 4.27. So averaging the two, they've got me in an official 4.28.

BSN: So you're carrying this weight and you've kept your speed?
: Yeah, I'm actually faster than I've ever been. And I think it's just I'm a lot stronger. When you're more powerful you can accelerate a lot better.

BSN: I was trying to think, when was the last time you played in a game?
: UTEP (in the 2004 Houston Bowl).

BSN: How fun is it going to be when Montana State rolls around?
: I can't wait. I just want to go out there and dominate every day; dominate at practice, every play, every player. It's just fun because of what I've been through (with the wrist injury), you don't know if you're ever going to play again. And then to be better than what you were after something that serious – this is fun.

BSN: What about 7-on-7s, how are those going?
: Those are going well. Everybody's out there working hard. The linemen are doing their thing. It's a little bit rusty, but everybody looks good for the most part.

BSN: I asked Dusty Sprague the other day who are the toughest cornerbacks to go up against and he kind of broke you guys down. Who are the toughest receivers in practice?
: Dusty, just because he knows all the tricks of the trade. He has deceptive speed. You look at him and you don't think he's that fast, but he's faster than you think. And then Patrick Williams. He weighs 200 pounds; he's a big guy and he runs like a 4.3, so you don't see that every day. That's hard to cover. Those are the main two that are just hard. I want to go against them every time because if you can cover them, you can pretty much cover anybody. Because you've got a guy who's a possession receiver, and you've got a guy who can flat run by you.

BSN: How has Blake Mackey been this summer? How's his leg doing?
: He's doing good. He kind of favors it a little, but then again he hasn't really taken any full contact in about two years. But he's still fast. He looks good. He's a lot bigger than what he was. He just needs to get his confidence back, then he'll be ready to go.

BSN: Coach Brown was explaining how the corners are going to be playing up on the line a lot more this year. What do you think of that?
: I like that. I don't like the whole (7-yard cushion). When you play so far off, the receiver can basically do whatever he wants. But when you go up an press, it limits the number of routes they can do. They can do fades, slants and that's really about it. And then with a guy like me who's got a lot of speed, if you're already in his hip pocket, then you're fine. But playing off, it's a little more difficult.

I like the style. It's a little more aggressive; you can do a lot more things with the defense. You don't really have to roll the safeties over the top if you've got two guys that can walk up and say, ‘Alright, you're not going to throw it.' We haven't played like that before, so we've just got to get used to it. Everybody's liking it from what I hear.

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