David Douglas will be a junior this fall and checks in at 6' 3" 330. He is one of the strongest men on the team and we will be looking for him to make a solid contribution to the OL this 2004 season. I caught up with David and asked him a few questions, and here is the interview.
Q. David, give us a strength update on yourself from the weight room.
We are having a amazing off-season in the weight room. Coach Slaughter and the weight staff are doing a great job in getting us physically and mentally prepared for our 2004 season. As the off-season has progressed I have become much stronger. I have increased my squat by at least 50 lbs and I have all intentions to increase it further.
Q. Tell us a little about our bowl game in Hawaii and how the trip was for you.
The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl was one of the greatest experiences I have had in my career. Although we did not pull it out in the end I still believe we came out with many positives. We showed the nation that the Houston Cougars are a tough physical football team. We live by the motto, "shoot every bullet you have and then throw the gun at them." We expect to win every game we play no matter who the opponent is. The game also gave our very young team much needed experience as well as gave the university much deserved publicity. Besides the extremely long plane flight the trip was terrific. The island was beautiful, the climate was wonderful, and there was so much history to be learned about the islands. Although Hawaii was great I haven't made any plans to return next year. I plan on seeing Elvis!! Thank ya, Thank ya very much!
Q. Compare this team coming up this fall of 2004 with the team from last year. What are our strengths and weaknesses the way you see it?
Of course we've lost some leadership of some great seniors like Farouk Adelekan, Rex Hadnot, Brandon Middleton, Johnathan Pritchett, Damien West, Matt Mattox, Jaron Barganier and many others but we have players who are stepping up to fill those leadership roles. The bulk of our team will be returning for next year. Our strengths are that we are a tight knit group. We fight for each other because when it comes down to the wire we want to be able to count on each other. As for our weaknesses I'll make you a deal. How about you tell me if you find one and we'll discuss it then.
Q. What in your opinion are some of the major questions to be answered this coming spring practice?
Well of course one of the major questions on everyone's mind is who is going to step up and fill the shoes of Rex Hadnot. The truth is your guess is as good as mine. We have extremely qualified candidates for the position with Sterling Doty, Byron Alfred, Jeremy Davis, John Harrell, and Taylor Cobb. We have such a abundance of talent and athleticism on our offensive line that anyone of us could play the position. This spring should prove to be very interesting and extremely competitive.
Q. From the freshmen class that redshirted this past fall, who do you think will make big contributions this coming season of 2004?
I believe Bennie Swain will do an excellent job in stepping up and and filling the void Brandon Middleton left. When you see Bennie in practice you can tell that he plays extra attention to his fundamentals. In addition he has Coach Phillips to direct him so I believe he will make big contributions to our 2004 championship campaign.
Q. Who in your opinion was the toughest opponent we faced from C-USA this past season, and who do you expect to be tough in 2004?
I believe the toughest opponent we face this past season was ourselves. We, as a team, made crucial mistakes that cost us greatly in some games this past year. You take out some of those mistakes and we're 12-1. We're a year older now and a year wiser and you we will be a better fundamental football team next year. As Coach McGaughey would say, "and you can take that to the bank!"
Q. Who was the toughest DL from C-USA this past season and which individual lineman gave you the most problems?
Conference USA is such a competitive conference that it is had to pinpoint the toughest D-Line or D-Lineman, but i can tell you what team had and will continue to have the toughest and most physical O-Line in the conference. I'll give you a hint, they wear red and white and are often called, "The Coogs".
Q. How far do you think our team can go this coming fall, and do you think we can make a C-USA Championship run?
I firmly believe our team can go extremely far in the fall and we can and will make a run at the C-USA Championship in 2004. We haven't thought about anything less since we boarded the plan headed to Houston from Hawaii.
Q. How do you think we will fare with the two top 10 teams on our schedule this season?? Miami at home and LSU in Baton Rouge?
Like I said before we expect to win any and every game we play. We don't care who they are or what they did the year before or in the past. If you come to our house, we're prepared to beat you. If we go to your house, we're prepared to beat you. It doesn't matter who you are, we will be prepared to take home the "W".
Q. Give us your assessment of our DL in 2004.
I think our D-Line will be excellent. They are all returning from the last years team minus Farouk. I believe Joe Clay, Eddy McCray, Kendrick Goss, Kade Lane, Marquay Love, Matt Bentley and all the other D-Lineman will be ready to shut down the run and hurry the pass next year. Even though the O-Line is going to have to beat up on them a lot in the spring, lol.
Q. What do you do with your spare time when you are not studying, working out or attending classes? Do you hang out with the OL's?
In my spare time I like to rest. Sometimes I read Nelson DeMille novels and sometimes watch television shows like: the Simpsons, Smallville, Comic View, The Surreal Life, My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance. I like to watch crazy shows like that. As for your question do I hang out with the O-Line the answer is yes. I hang out with them a lot. Roy Swan is one of my closest friends. He is like a brother to me. If you ever came to our meeting rooms or locker rooms you would see that the offensive line is a very close group. We crack jokes and kid around with each other all the time. It takes all 5 offensive linemen to make a play work so naturally offensive linemen share a bond with each other.
Q. What would you like to tell CoogFans today?
Hey CoogFans! I would like to thank all of ya'll for supporting us. I believe we have the greatest fans in the country. 2003 was an exciting season and I can't wait for 2004. I hope to see all of ya'll September 4 at Rice Stadium. I've got two words for those Owls, "Bring It!" I also wanted to say, Hey Mom, Dad, and Tanisha! Love Ya'll.
Thanks for visiting with us and good luck in 2004. We fans are very proud of you guys and we know how hard you are working and we appreciate that. We are excited by the progress in 2003 and also are excited by the fans who are coming back by the thousands to join in the rise of the football program.
* Images courtesy of Pete Medrano