I interviewed Byron before he arrived on campus as a recruit in Art's first class and I thought that it would be interesting to see what a year in the system has done for him. Read his thoughts here and enjoy.
DD - Byron, last season was an exciting one for sure. How hard was it to redshirt?
BA - Well I used last season as a "preparatory season." I was able to sit back and learn from Rex Hadnot, Matt Mattox, and Brandon Evans among others. I watched how they prepared for games and how they had fun while playing. I was able to learn the plays and basically prepare myself for this spring where I planned to earn playing time. As a football player and competitor, I had a burning desire to be out there playing, especially when I saw how well my fellow classmates were doing.
DD - Was being part of Art Briles' Houston Cougars what you thought it would be?
BA - Being a part of this team is a great thing. Everything is so promising over here. It was exciting to be a part of the success of this past season, but it is even more exciting when we think of where this program is heading.
DD - Were any of your family, friends and coaches able to come up for the games last season?
BA - Well that has to be the best part about playing in Houston for me. My parents and friends didn't miss a home game last season.
DD - Enough on ‘03, let's talk about ‘04. Tell us your current numbers (height, weight, bench, squat, 40).
BA - I am 6' 3'' 290 lbs. and gaining. As far as strength and speed numbers go, we don't really max out, but I can say that I am much stronger and faster than I was when I showed up.
DD - What has the spring been like?
What are you able to take from it to prepare for the coming season?
BA - The spring has been spirited. It is competition in its purest form. You really have to try to get yourself in game mode every practice because you want to be noticed on film by the coaches. Everyone is out there competing really hard and it is a beautiful thing because our offensive line, as a whole, is just blossoming into a strong force capable of being the nucleus of our team.
DD - Any thoughts on playing Oklahoma and Miami?
BA - Well it is definitely something that we think about everyday. I think that we have a good group of leaders on this team that are going to lead us into battle. That should handle all of the ‘butterflies'. But when it boils down to it, we look at them just like any other team and we will go into those games expecting to win.
DD - What's your perception of C-USA?
BA - I look at it as the name that we want to see on our conference championship rings next season.
DD - Have you fully acclimated to college life (school, sports, etc.)?
BA - Well it has been an easy transition for me because I am so close to home. I am able to go home anytime I need to and spend time with family. So I get to have some of "Mom's cooking." As long as I can have that all of the rest of this is a piece of cake.
DD - How are your studies going and have you decided on a major?
BA - My studies are going well. I am majoring in electrical engineering. I must stay organized because time management will be essential in this degree plan.
DD - Last year you warned us to watch out for "The Rocket" and whoa, were you right. Should we expect more fireworks from your PA teammate?
BA - Of course, Ricky is a gifted athlete. He is working hard to learn the defensive schemes so that he can really show all of his talents. He is a great DB.
DD - Byron, do you have anything to say to the CoogFans out there? BA - To all of the CoogFans out there I would to say thank you for your continued support. We have been working really hard to give our dedicated group of fans something to be proud of. The good times are back. Last season probably shocked a lot of you, but this year success should be expected. We believe and you should to!
Byron, thank you for your time, there are many of us that are quite anxious to see you on the field. Good luck in ‘04.