As he and his teammates prep for the season-opener vs. Montana State, Hypolite is the old man on the block. Of the defensive tackles on the roster, only fifth-year senior Marcus Jones has any game experience (76 plays in three seasons).
Like most everyone on the team, Hypolite got bigger and stronger over the summer. Perhaps more than most any other position, Hypolite's size will be a factor as Jones is the only DT who tips the scale past 300 pounds, a benchmark weight for defensive tackles.
BSN: How much do you weigh these days?
Hypolite: I kind of fluctuate between 285 and 290. Somewhere between there. That's a lot bigger than last year.
BSN: Do you think you'll be able to maintain that weight through the course of the season?
Hypolite: I've pretty much been there all summer. I doubt I'll lose too much of it.
BSN: Looking at the defensive line, obviously the most experience is on the outside. You're the most experienced guy on the inside. As a unit how are you guys feeling about that? Do you take it as a challenge?
Hypolite: It is kind of interesting. Experience is always something you want. But I'd say if I had to go into the season with any four or five guys in the country, I'd probably go into it with our four or five guys, even without the experience. I just think we have a lot of potential as a unit and the experience – hopefully it won't play much of a factor. It's different being in big games, but right now we've just got to roll with the punches. Those are the cards we've been dealt. …we're going to play hard, work hard and get everything down and go from there.
BSN: Tell me about the two new guys, Eric Lawson and Jason Brace.
Hypolite: They seem like good kids. You just don't know yet, being freshmen. I remember last year being a freshman, you just don't know. It's kind of hard until you get into the flow, until you've maybe played in a few games, to really know where you're at. But they seem like some really good prospects, and hopefully they'll blossom and become really great players.