When we signed Rocky back in 2002, I called his coach and requested an interview. During my discussion with his high school coach, I was told about Rocky's speed: "I've never seen anybody on a football field catch Rocky from behind." Looking forward to his debut this fall after an outstanding spring training, I talked with Rocky about what he expected when he hits the field on September 5th against Rice.
1. When you went into spring training, what did you think your chances were of winning the starting job at SS?
Rocky: I did not really know. I knew the coaches liked the way I played, but I knew it wasn't going to be easy trying to start.
2. On the eve of your first Division 1 college football game, what do you expect?
Rocky: I expect to win.... Of course I want to play good, but winning is the major thing that I would like to do.
3. Word is that the redshirt year is a tough one to get through, since you do not have the gameday experiences and yet you work with the team for an entire year. How tough was it for you?
Rocky: It is very tough. You feel like part of the team, but you feel like one of the worst players on the team. It is not easy. I compare it to a process, a growing process.
4. Your a long way from home, so how have you adjusted since arriving here in Houston and how often are you able to get home and visit with your family?
Rocky: I was never really homesick until I went back home for the first time last Christmas. When I came back, it was kind of hard. I missed my family, but the hardest part is not getting to watch my little nephew grow up.
5. Watching you work out, it is apparent that you have excellent speed. How fast do you think you are in the 40?
Rocky: I would say high 4.4 or low 4.5.
6. Our fans are beginning to talk about Rocky Schwartz as being a big hitter. Is this a reputation that you had in your high school days?
Rocky: I played quarterback in High School so I didn't actually get to do the same kind of hitting. When you play offense you can act like you don't see the defensive player and then at the last second lower your head straight at them and run them straight over. Usually quarterbacks don't try to run people over, but I did.
7. What are your goals for the 2004 Cougars?
Rocky: To play as a team... If we play as a team in all of our games, the rest will come.
8. Who do you think are the teams to beat in C-USA to get to the Liberty Bowl?
Rocky: TCU, basically we need to beat all of them. None of them should be taken lightly.
9. How tough is it to defend our wide-open offense?
Rocky: Very hard. You have no idea what is coming at you.
10. What will be the key for our defense this year in your opinion?
Rocky: If we play as a team and help one another out. If the d-line plays good, the backers play good, the DBs play good. We have to play together.
11. How would you rate our receivers after having worked with them in 7 on 7 practices the past two summers?
Rocky: They are very, very fast. The receiving core is going to be hard to cover.
12. There is some talk that you could be returning punts this coming season. Is this something you want and have you heard anything from the coaches on this?
Rocky: I have heard word that I am, but nothing is etched in stone. I would love to have the ball in my hands.
Thanks to Rocky Schwartz for visiting with CoogFans today. Never hurts a secondary to have safties flying around at 4.4 in the secondary. I know our fans are going to enjoy watching this freshman from Florida this season.
Good luck this year, Rocky!