R.J. Sumrall Q&A

If you missed the audio check out the transcript of this interview.

Q: Could you summarize how the scrimmage went from your perspective?

Sumrall: A lot of people stepped up and did a lot of good plays.

Q: Are you running a lot of deep routes? Running anything more than another?

Sumrall: We're doing everything…deep, middle, over the middle…everything you can think of.

Q: There's no one guy that's going to be the deep threat?

Sumrall: Oh no. It's whatever the defense gives us.

Q: When you look at the defense…not necessarily the Iowa State defense, but as you watch defenses unfold, do you have options to run different routes depending on what they throw at you?

Sumrall: Right now we haven't really looked at other defenses. We've been concentrating on getting better every day and how we can run our routes better.

Q: Are the guys throwing the ball to you…Bret and Austen are they looking pretty sharp?

Sumrall: Oh they're looking pretty good right now. Even Phillip…I'm liking them right now.

Q: Spring game you had a strong spring game between then and now….training camp…scrimmages…talk about the state of your game right now.

Sumrall: Right now I'm really focusing…I'm really detailed oriented with my coach. I'm stating focused on catching the ball, tucking it and keeping it tight…just running my route to perfection and trying to get open. Last spring, it was more of I wanted to have a base. Since now I think I have a base, now I'm working on the detail things to make myself even better.

Q: One of the priorities of this program was to get players bigger…stronger…faster. Talk about what happened to you over the summer in terms of your size, strength and speed.

Sumrall: Coach has really been working us hard. We've really gotten a lot faster and a lot stronger and also gotten a lot more mental strength. We've been focusing on this year coming up and we want to be really really good. We've been working our butts off over the summer and we've been stepping up in every area of conditioning, mental preparation.

Q: Did you gain any weight or lose any body fat?

Sumrall: For this summer, I gained about 5 pounds and really stable at that. I don't think I lost any body fat. I'm actually pretty low on body fat and need to gain some body fat.

Q: How much faster are you than at the beginning of the…the first day you met Coach Shepherd?

Sumrall: We really haven't run any 40 times so I don't really know how fast I am, but when I watch film I look more explosive off the ball and I feel a lot faster than I was last year. All the receivers know we've gotten a lot faster and more explosive.

Q: Talk about this receiver core…there's a lot of depth in this unit. Talk about the guys playing this position. Do you expect all of you to get playing time this year?

Sumrall: Right now we really haven't set up a depth chart or anything. We're just in groups and going out there and showing the coach what we can do. I think a lot of people are going to get reps because we're stepping up and showing the coach what we can do and they're liking what we can do. I think a lot of us are going to get a lot of reps and do a lot of great things out there.

Q: Run through the list of receivers that are making contributions this summer.

Sumrall: I think it's pretty much all of us…me, Todd, Euseph, Marquis, Houston Jones, Jake Williams, Joel Zitek, Milan Moses…we had a new guy that came in on 2-a-days…Kirkpatrick…Sandvig, he's been doing a lot of contributing. Every single receiver has been stepping up and showing the coach what we can do.

Q: We've been hearing a lot about him and his speed…just how fast is this guy from your perspective?

Sumrall: He's really fast.

Q: Is he faster than you?

Sumrall: I think he's the fastest receiver we have. He's a lot faster than me…I wish I had his speed. That's what I'm working for. I don't think we've seen his true speed yet. I think we've seen bits and pieces of his speed, but I think we'll see it later on.

Q: Last year this team struggled against the pass. Going against the d-backs, how are they looking out there?

Sumrall: Oh they're looking great. Everyone stepped up on defense. They really focused on covering us up and being very detail oriented. They've really stepped up. I was talking to one of them and he asked if he's gotten better. He's gotten way better…you can see the change and how much he's focused and everything. A lot of them have changed their mental process so everyone's stepped up…on offense and defense.

Q: Looking faster out there as a unit?

Sumrall: Oh yeah.

Q: How are they hitting? How's the hitting now compared to the defensive backs from last year?

Sumrall: Well, we have all gotten stronger so it feels pretty much the same, but I know they're hitting a lot harder and I really can't judge how hard they hit last year compared to this year because I've gotten a lot stronger and gained more weight. It's a lot more hitting…you feel it some times. Sometimes you're in the zone and you don't feel it. They hit a lot harder, but I just don't notice it that much.

Q: How's Bret looking out there?

Sumrall: He's amazing. He's really stepping up to all the pressure of being a quarterback and everything and managing the game and knowing what's going on and becoming a leader. I think he's even meeting my expectations.

Q: Talk about the running game. Coach Chizik said this team will have a running game and run the ball. Talk about how that battle's going.

Sumrall: I love watching it. You really don't know who's a starter and who's section. Right now you've got four great running backs that are stepping up and you don't know who's in what spot. I love watching it because you don't know what's going to happen…a big play here, a big block there, a big bit hit. They're all doing everything tremendous.

Q: How Jason Scales' running out there? Is he running north south or is he using speed and taking the corners or is he basically saying go ahead and if you can take me down, fine but I'm going to give as good as I can get.

Sumrall: Right now. We have been noticing that he's a powerful hitter. He runs north and south, but if he has to go east and west, he'll do it and then go north and south. If he has to run through you, he'll run through you. To me, he's everything you need. All of them are. They're all running north and south. That's what Coach Chizik wants. All of them have it in their mind that they have to run north south.

Q: How's JJ looking out there?

Sumrall: JJ's looking amazing. He's stepping up and can do some amazing things. He runs really smooth. We don't know if we've seen him run full speed yet, but he's a real smooth…he's got great vision from what I've seen.

Q: Talk about Cameron. He's a big back…230-235…talk about what he's liked now and then project what he'll be like in 4-5 years when Coach Shepherd gets done with him.

Sumrall: It was amazing watching him also. He's a powerful back. We were watching people just bounce off of him. His highlight reel from high school is the same. He's really fast…he moves really fast for how big he is. After Coach Shep gets him, I think he'll be more of a lean running back. He probably has some building up to do, but I think he'll be more meaner, more powerful and just hurting people.

Q: We had heard about Jason Harris converting from the defense, but now we hear about this back that's come out of almost nowhere. Talk about how he's doing.

Sumrall: He's doing good. He's really been stepping up. He still has that same speed and he has more power than he had before. I've known about him…all of us on the field have known about him…he's a great player. He's doing a really tremendous job stepping up and doing the job like a running back should.

Q: Who's emerging as the one unit and who's running as a two unit?

Sumrall: I really haven't been paying too close to the offensive line. They're doing a great job and they're blocking amazing. I focus on my job, but I think everybody's stepping up.

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