UH Receivers Series - Darian Lazard

"I just fell in love with the coaching staff at the University of Houston. At the time Coach Sumlin was here Coach Levine was actually the one who recruited me. They stayed on me and kept telling me that if I came to Houston it would be the perfect fit. I also really like it here and it is close to home and that played a big part in it. " - UH receiver Darian Lazard

RS - You originally committed to Utah, why did you decide to transfer back home to the University of Houston?
DL - I just fell in love with the coaching staff at the University of Houston. At the time Coach Sumlin was here Coach Levine was actually the one who recruited me. They stayed on me and kept telling me that if I came to Houston it would be the perfect fit. I also really like it here and it is close to home and that played a big part in it.

RS - What are you majoring in and what are your ambitions following school?
DL - Kinesiology. As far as when I leave school, my high school coaches played a big role in me being the man I am today, so if I can help young men as far as getting into school and be somewhat of a father figure than that is what I want to do.

RS - What position(s) will you be competing for this spring?
DL - The ‘H' Slot receiver. Same as Ronnie Williams.

RS - What are your personal goals for the spring and upcoming season?
DL - Obviously to be a starter, but to contribute and make plays. As for the team goes we want to win every game and whoever is getting the job done I will root them on. Hopefully that will be me but if not then I will cheer on whoever it is.

RS - Has it been frustrating waiting in the wings for two seasons?
DL - Of course it is frustrating, coming out of high school you are the man. It is a real humbling experience. You sit behind Tyron for two years and watch how he does things and how he competes. You are not getting better on the field but I take mental notes and seeing how he works. You cannot go wrong with that.

RS - What do you feel like you need to work on the most heading into the spring?
DL - Everything! There is always room for improvement. If I can get better, stronger, faster, stay on blocks there is always room for improvement just taking it little by little and getting better every day.

RS - How difficult has it been learning this offense and playing without thinking so much?
DL - Coming in as a freshman and playing with high expectations it is very difficult. The coaches want you to get it and get it fast, but as time goes on it gets easier and easier. You go out there and there is no more playing and reacting. I am at the point now after being here for two years that people are now asking me questions which feels good to be able to tell people you got to do this or you got to be able to get to this many yards and things like that.

RS - What challenges will it present to have a new offensive coordinator and staff and learning to do things his way now?
DL - Every coach has his own way or personal style they like to do things, but I don't think it will be too difficult. We are doing what we have been doing. A tweak here and a tweak there but for the most part we just got to go out there and make plays.

RS - Do you have any comments on Coach Levin being named the new Houston coach and what that means to the team?
DL - I am extremely excited about Coach Levin being the new head coach. Like I said, he recruited me and stayed on me. There were plenty of times he was at my high school watching me and coming to my games, even during basketball season he was at my games. Him being head coach I was extremely excited for him and still am. He will keep us right and keep the winning tradition around here and is a great person outside of being a great coach.

RS - Is it even more motivating when you see the staff sign such a talented group of receivers on national signing day?
DL - Yes it is motivating. Those guys come in and are going to want to compete and play as well. It makes me work harder and know that I can never get complacent that there is always room for improvement and you got to keep working. There is always someone trying to take your spot.

RS - Does it add any more pressure knowing the offense has been one of the nation's best and will be replacing all four starting receivers this fall?
DL - I don't think it is any more pressure. I feel like the receivers we still have here can play ball. I feel like every receiver we have out there is capable of making plays it is just a matter of getting in a rhythm. A lot of us will be playing major roles for the first time so it will take some getting used to in the beginning but I expect the offense to keep rolling.

RS - Having played with such a veteran group of receivers last season do you feel you were able to learn from them and was there anyone in particular who has helped your development the most?
DL - Playing behind Tyron, he has helped a lot as far as helping me with my craft because he played the same position. Overall as a receiving corps from Patrick (Edwards) to Justin (Johnson) to Tyron (Carrier) and EJ , those guys just work so hard and they have fun doing it so you cannot help by enjoy watching them compete and play at such a high level. That has trickled down to everyone. You see guys younger like Daniel Spencer carrying on the traits those guys have passed on.

RS - What is the atmosphere like amongst the receivers with such a heated competition for spots in the rotation.
DL - We are having fun. It is always fun to compete. Like I said the best guys will play and everyone hopes it is them, but if not you are going to cheer on your teammates. But if they fall off you are sitting right there to let them know hey I am right here waiting.

RS - What do you feel your role on the team and what type of attributes you bring to the team?
DL - I feel like I am going to have to step up and make plays this year. I have been here for two years playing behind Tyron and the other guys and I feel like it is my time to step up and make plays to help this offense and team win games.

RS - If you were to name a starting four, not including yourself, who would they be?
DL - Not including myself, Gino Collins, Daniel Spencer, Dewayne Peace and Mark Roberts.

RS - Are there any final words you would like to say to all the Cougar fans out there?
DL - Make sure you are at all the games. It is still going to be exciting. Don't think because we don't have Case and the rest of those guys that it isn't. The show is still here! We are ready to roll.


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