RS – Anthony, can you tell us what other schools recruited you out of Pearland?
AE - Oklahoma, UCLA, Baylor, Arizona and Kansas St.
RS - Which factors influenced you to attend the University of Houston?
AE - I wanted to be a part of something special, I knew the people being recruited by UH and knew we had a good chance of being something special soon. Also, being close to home where my parents could see me play a lot and being able to go home and eat some home cooking was a deciding factor as well!!!
RS - What has it been like having the opportunity playing in your hometown in front of your family and friends?
AE - It's awesome! I think playing in front of your family and friends is what separates college football from the pros. It feels so good to know when you are playing at home that the people who knew you when you were carrying a football, even when it was too big for you, can still watch you play and see how far you have come.
RS - What would it mean to you being a part of bringing the hometown program back into national prominence and to its previous glory days?
AE - It would mean a lot because that is part of the reason I came to UH and it has been my goal to bring it back to the prominence that UH deserves.
RS - What are you currently majoring in and what are your ambitions following school?
AE - I'm majoring in Public Relations and I want to sell real estate or insurance when I graduate.
RS - Please explain what the team's progress has been over the spring, for instance, how much farther along do you feel this offense is at this point than during the fall?
AE - I think the team is heading in the right direction and that is a testament to the leadership we have with Coach Briles and his staff. I think the offense has come a long way since last fall because we have a better understanding of what we are supposed to do and the purpose behind some of what we have been told in the past.
RS - What preparations can you do over the summer to work on the offense as a team and/or individually?
AE - Work on my speed and agility as always and also become a better receiver out of the backfield.
RS - Give us a little overview on what newcomers Ryan Gilbert and Anthony Alridge will bring to the table.
AE - They will bring another side to the offense other than what Jackie and I will bring. They are both good receivers out of the backfield and will bring a good change of pace.
RS - Do you think it will be difficult incorporating these talented backs, along with Jackie Battle and yourself into the game plan?
How many carries, ideally would you like to have a game?
AE - Who knows how many carries each of us will get because every game is different, but we learned throughout the spring that the coaches are going to try to incorporate all of us in the game plan and try to use all of our talents equally.
RS - Individually, what do you hope to accomplish for this year and beyond?
Do you set any personal goals like total yards, yards per carry, fumbles etc.?
AE - Well, the only goal I try to set is to eliminate fumbles and dropped balls, and other than that is to do my best in every game and not let the team down by having a sub-par game.
RS - Has it been difficult to learn an offense, which uses so many formations, without an actual playbook?
AE - No we do the same plays day in and day out and it becomes habit after awhile.
RS - How do you feel the offensive line is progressing and how would you compare them to last year's?
AE - They are young but they are growing more and more everyday. It's hard to compare our line last year because we had arguably the best center in the nation last year with Rex and most of these guys are just now getting their feet wet in college football.
RS - Who is your favorite lineman to run behind?
AE - Roy Swan or David Douglas, those two guys can move and Swan doesn't take any mess when he's been out there runnin' and someone gets in his way. Dave doesn't even know his strength, but when he gets to runnin' you better watch out.
RS - Are there any newcomers on offense who you feel will step in and contribute right away?
AE - All of the new comers that will play have no room not to step up. They may be young but they have some big shoes to fill and there is no reason they can't find some way to make it work. But, if I had to pick I would say. . . Donnie Avery.
RS - Who was the toughest defense you faced last year and why?
AE - Either Memphis or Southern Mississippi because they both flew to the ball. I had a better game against Southern Miss. But that's because we ran the ball in that game more.
RS - What is your expectations and goals as a team next year?
AE - To be better than we were the year before and to meet our full potential.
RS - Who do you feel will be our toughest competition for winning the C-USA championship next year?
AE – C-USA is a good conference and it's open every year but I don't know all the teams lost players in different key areas and it just depends on who executes the fundamentals and techniques week in and week out.
RS - Please explain what your experience in Hawaii was like and how you think it will help the team/program and its development?
AE - It was great we had fun and got to go somewhere to do something that most people spend a lifetime wishing they could go and do. It was a good experience for the program because we got to see the benefits of our hard work and since we were so young it gave everyone incentive to continue to work hard to be in a better bowl in the years to come.
RS - Do you ever read CoogFans and what do you think of it as a source of fan interaction/information?
AE - I don't read it all that much but I think it is a good place for fans to talk and be connected to UH football.
RS - Are there any last words you would like to say to all the Cougar fans?
AE - Buy a season ticket for a yourself and a friend we need all the support we can get and it is a lot easier to play when you have 35,000 screaming Cougars behind you!!!!
Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview with me Anthony. You are off to a terrific start in you career as a Cougar and we all look forward to following your continued progress over the next two seasons.