At the Media Luncheon today I chatted with senior strong safety Jesse Sowells. Jesse is one of the team captains this year and gives CoogFans his views on the upcoming season.
DD – Jesse it looks like you are a little larger than you were when I interviewed you last season, what are your physical stats right now?
JS – Right now I'm 6'1/2" and 200 lbs. and getting geared up for the season, I'm really excited.
DD – How do you see your role this season?
JS – Coach Dimel and the staff are looking to me for leadership and to teach the younger guys from my experience. By the way, I like hitting.
DD – Who is backing you up at this time?
JS – My back up is Tristen Robertson, the 6'1", 205 lbs. red-shirt freshman from Dallas. I'm helping him along each day so that we have solid depth at the strong safety position and he is doing a great job. We currently have a tremendous secondary.
DD – I want to ask you a question in regards to technique on man-to-man coverage and timing-route coverage. When do you look for the ball in these situations, it seems as if the secondary is waiting for the receiver to give a sign or make a move to the ball before anyone looks back for the ball, is this correct?
JS – Yes, that is the way we are taught, to watch the receivers eyes in man-to-man coverage and to run with the receiver and break him down.
DD – If you look back first, I guess that you have lost him for a split-second?
JS – If you look back first even if you are in close contact and can feel him he has got an advantage, especially in a timing-route.
DD – Have you improved on your speed over last year?
JS – Well, I ran a 4.3 in the spring. Scott Kellar and his staff have done a fantastic job with our conditioning, we have LBs running 4.5, DLs running 4.7 and our secondary running 4.3-4.4 and that is a big improvement over what we have had since I've been here.
DD – Are you the fastest guy on the team?
JS – (Chuckle) I don't want to get into that, but I feel like I'm right up there.
DD – Do you feel good about the Defense as a whole?
JS – We are solid, Hanik and I are going to lead the way in the secondary. We are very vocal and going to make sure that this defense than last year's unit.
DD – How is school progressing for you?
JS – Great, I got some hours in this summer and I will graduate in December.
DD – That sounds fantastic, Jesse, do you want to keep playing after this season?
JS – Yes, that is every players dream to play in the NFL.
DD - Who are the defense's leaders on the field?
JS – Ronnie Braxton at LB, Hanik and me in the secondary and Bryan Hill on the D-line, we are the guys who keep the fire lit.
Jesse thanks for your time this afternoon and I know that you are going to have a great season. Remember that the CoogFans are behind you all the way.
Eat ‘Em Up!