Kicking It With Brent Garber

Over the last five years the Blue Devils have been blessed with a sound kicking game, if little else. Before he leaves the Devils in May, <i></i> had a chance to speak with fifth year senior Brent Garber about his career, coaching changes, and his future.

Saturday was an exciting game Brent, can you tell us about the onside kick play you guys ran and the field goal you made?

After the Maryland game we talked about how Maryland had adjusted to our one hop kick and we needed to counteract that. We came up with the pop over the week before and it worked well. My line up is the same for both onside kicks so I think that threw them off. In terms of the field goal, well, that's my job. I just went through my usual routine.

Kicking is a lot like putting in golf and free throw shooting in basketball. Can you tell us about your mental preparation?

Kicking is exactly like a 3-4 foot putt, you should make it. The only reason you will miss it is if you let something get into your mind. I try to focus on repetition and imagery. I also did a little work with a sports psychologist. The day before games I get myself real worked up. I think about what might happen. Then on game day I am completely relaxed. I go into a mode when I go on the field where I block everything out. It is all about having confidence.

Tell us about your senior year? This is your fifth year at Duke, what is it like being in your last season?

It is very special. This group of guys we have this year have been together for a long time. After last year I considered not returning. I was having some back problems. But this is a special group and we all had high hopes. I also wanted to be here a year with freshman Alex Feinberg who is a kicker from Thomasville, GA like me and went to my high school.

Carl Franks has been at Duke the whole time you have been there. Can you tell us about what it was like for you and the team Saturday to not have him on the sidelines for the game for the first time? Did it feel like a void on Saturday and will a void be felt after the last game of the season?

With no hard feelings toward Coach Franks, no, we did not feel a void. It felt different but not in a bad way. I mean, did you see our sidelines Saturday? It feels like we started a whole new season with Coach Roof. The team is real excited and pumped up now. It was different in a good way.

Did the team quit on Coach Franks at halftime of the Homecoming game against Wake Forest?

I can't say anyone quit on the team. We did come out fired up for the second half. We have had games like that before, just not against a team like Wake Forest. I'd like to think no one on this team quit.

What is the longest field goal you have ever made?

I once hit one from 71 yards in practice. It was while I was practicing on my own. In our practices, we usually do not go further than 50 yard out because we typically won't attempt anything beyond that in a game.

What are your plans following college? Do you desire to kick in the NFL?

I would love to go to the NFL. If I get invited to any try outs or to the NFL Combine I will definitely go. From the rumors I have heard from coaches and scouts so far, some teams may be interested in me as a kickoff specialist. I am stronger than I am accurate when it comes to kicking so that may be an option for me.

When you have completed the football season and graduated from Duke University, what will you miss the most?

I have had the opportunity to work in the athletic office this past semester and I have been a football player for 5 seasons. Duke University athletics has such a unique and close atmosphere. It is a very personal place. Also, I have been a Duke Football player for the last 5 years and that is kind of how I have identified myself. It is weird to think I won't be a Duke Football player anymore after this season.

What drew you to Duke initially?

The combination of great academics and being able to play Division I football. At many other schools, football players only have football going for them, but not at Duke. Everyone is very level headed here. Also, this part of the country is gorgeous and Duke has a beautiful campus.

This is kind of my staple question Brent, what is in your cd player right now?

I like a lot of different types of music, right now it is either Counting Crows or Pearl Jam.

Have you watched ESPN's Playmakers and if so, what do you think of it?

I have seen a little of it. It seems overly dramatic. It reminds me of the movie Any Given Sunday. What goes on in their locker room is nothing like what you see in a college locker room.

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