Brinson Confident He Has Shot at No. 1 Spot

With all the attention paid to Jewel Hampton's injury this summer, fans looked to Jeff Brinson as a possible replacement. Well, Hampton appears ready to go but that hasn't changed Brinson's approach. He's still shooting for the starting RB position. Read how Brinson feels about the competition in this HN.com interview transcript.

Q: What's the feel like this summer compared to last year when you were fresh on campus?

Jeff Brinson: It feels great now, getting your feet a little wet into the program and kind of getting the routine down; waking up early in the morning with your mindset right. I feel 10 times better than I did last year at this time.

Q: Last year, you had some asthma issues or some respiratory issues that bothered you during camp. Can you talk about that?

JB: I have asthma. I came up here from St. Pete. Iowa is totally different. I had to get adjusted to the climate change. It kind of set me back a bit. But all in all, we got it under control and I feel better about it.

Q: Is it something that hindered you throughout the season or did you guys get a hold on it pretty early on?

JB: It took a while to get it under control. I think I got it totally under control about November or December. It took a couple of months to actually get used to the weather and adjusting to the climate.

Q: In your mind, did that cost you a chance to get on the field as a true freshman?

JB: No, I actually think it helped me to get prepared mentally and physically. I don't think I was prepared for it. Having the asthma symptoms early on helped mentally get focused for the games next year. It was a good thing for me.

Q: What was it like doing your apprenticeship underneath the Doak Walker Award winner?

JB: Watching Shonn (Greene) was just amazing – his running style, hard-nosed running, finesse if he has to, staying low. Everything Shonn taught us last year was tremendously perfect. He was a very humble guy on and off of the field. It was just a pleasure watching him.

Q: What did you learn about your game last year?

JB: A lot of the new guys on the running back corps had to get used to the speed of the game as you go from high school to college. It really picks up. The intensity picks up. You have to be more mentally prepared even more than physically to go through the hard aches and the hitting and stuff like that.

Q: How has your blocking come along?

JB: My progress and the progress of the other running backs has been great. We really focus on protecting, blocking. That's one of our main drills we do. If we keep critiquing that and getting better at it, we're going to be one hard team to stop.

Q: How would you categorize your running style?

JB: I think I categorize myself as a back that is a hard runner. No matter if you get the first down, it's four yards and a cloud of dust. I'm hard-nosed and like to hit people. I like to wear them down until the fourth quarter. That's how a lot of people see me. That's my style compared to Jewel's finesse. All of our running backs have a unique style.

Q: You gave up a chance to play in your home state of Florida to come to Iowa. That doesn't happen a whole lot. What got you here?

JB: First, I really do like Iowa's civil engineering program. It's one of the tops in the nation. That was something I liked from the get-go. Also, the people here are so friendly compared to being at home, where they're not as friendly. When I came here, I felt like I was at home already. It was a perfect fit for me.

What do you feel will be your role this season? Jewel got the experience last year, but there seems to be room for a few of you other guys to contribute.

JB: Right now, everything is equal. Coaches are basically putting us at like a starting line. We're going to take it day by day and see which one progresses. By the end of camp, we'll determine who is No. 1 and who is No. 2.

Q: So, you feel like you're on even footing with Jewel going into this camp?

JB: Uh, yeah, all of the running backs are equal right now.

Q: What do you have to do to separate yourself from the pack?

JB: I just need to continue to work hard and continue to be focused and give my best through every practice.

Q: What areas of your game do you need to show the coaches you have improved from last year?

JB: Just hard-nosed running. That's No. 1.


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