Emmanuel Moody is 100 percent and that is nothing new. A second bone spur surgery in his right ankle since last fall has the Texas born running back still a little gimpy. However, the negative attitude and dismissal that we have been accustomed to about those injuries has changed as Moody has grown older.
"It's my fifth year and my mindset has changed a lot since I was a freshman," Moody told the media on Thursday. "I am to the point where I am going to handle what I can handle and not worry about being a 1,000 yard rusher or focusing on goals that are far ahead. I am just going to stay even keel and have a good attitude every day. No matter what happens, just smile and be happy.
"With all the adversity I went through time after time…the transfer and the injuries and changes. Its just time I learned to change my character and change how I approach things. Now I am at the point that whatever happens in life I need to just have a good attitude with it. I know that football is just what we do, not who we are."
Moody is pushing through any pain he has now and expects all of that pain to be gone by the time the first game rolls around.
"It is getting there, I should be ready to go before the first game starts," he said. "I am still practicing and going all out. I went through all the workouts. I (just) don't know how it is going to be with the pads on."
Moody better be ready. With Tim Tebow gone, he and the other running backs are expected to pick up more of the load in the offense. That has the group stoked for the season, including running back coach Stan Drayton.
"We are excited," he said. "There are more carries to go around and Coach Drayton is ecstatic. We are just hoping to see a 1,000-yard rusher this year, hopefully for one of us."
Refreshing take from Moody who just wants the unit to succeed and not worried about personal goals. He also loves being a mentor for the newest member to the position, rookie Mack Brown.
"This is my fifth year so I have a really good grasp on the offense and the concepts and with Mack Brown coming in, I am being like an older brother and really teaching him," Moody said. "I am just taking that senior position and handling it the way I should."
Brown isn't the only rookie Moody is excited about. He believes the new 2010 recruiting class that Florida just signed will have a significant say in how this season transpires.
"It's a young team, we have like 40 freshmen," Moody said. "The attitude of the coaches is urgency so you can't have days where you relax. Every day is a learning day and the older guys have to be coaches too now. For the most part the team is looking good. Our goal is to make it to Atlanta and hopefully we will get there.
"Those expectations will always be the same. As long as Coach Meyer is here, there is nothing changing. We embrace it because we really believe in Meyer. He is the best coach…hands down. With the recruiting class we have this year…with the guys we lost, we feel good about the guys that came in. That defensive line is incredible how they recruited. Hopefully they will turn out to be the guys they recruited.
Moody added his humor on the day…describing the freshmen defensive linemen, starting with Sharrif Floyd, Scout.com's No. 1 defensive tackle for the 2010 recruiting class.
"Sharrif looks like he just stepped out of prison," Moody quipped. "He is strong, looks mean, he is 310 pounds, fast, chiseled for a lineman, and ready to go. Freshmen just don't look like that. Ronald Powell was the number one player in the nation and I heard he ran a 4.6. He looks like a veteran already. He is college ready. Dominique Easley looks really good too. We are counting on this class because we lost so many guys."
The motto for the season has been tabbed accountability. Accountability starts with selflessness. That selflessness leads to wanting your teammates to be prepared and ready to fight just as much as you. Getting the young and less informed guys ready to step in and contribute.
Moody gets it.
Moody was asked about the current situation at USC. The Trojans have recently been placed on probation and have a two year bowl ban and three year scholarship limitations. Having transferred from USC three years ago, Moody is glad he isn't a part of that mess right now.
"I am glad I'm not there," he said. "Thank God for that. I feel bad for a lot of the guys. I still keep in touch with a lot of the players. It's not fair for the seniors…for one person's mistake. I feel for them and still have the heart for them. The whole situation is really unfortunate and they should change the rules about that."
Follow Bob Redman on