Eubanks Prepared for Another C Competition

After starting for two seasons, Rafael Eubanks was beaten out by Rob Bruggeman for the No. 1 center position last fall. With the latter moving on to the NFL, Eubanks looks to reclaim his spot. He talks about the competition, the return of his roommate, Dace Richardson, and more in this interview transcript.

Q: Does it seem like your time here has gone fast?

Rafael Eubanks: It's gone by really fast…really fast.

Q: Is there a sense of urgency for you or is that cliché?

RE: It's a little bit cliché, but still it is the last time around. You want to leave with a bang. You always want to leave a good impression and it usually your senior year is a way of doing that.

Q: You started for two years. You got a taste of what that's like. Last year, you lost the center competition, had some injuries and didn't get out there much. Where do you see yourself now?

RE: Just kind of the same way. I just want to go out with a bang. I want to take the experience that I have from the past and bring it to this last season and hopefully do well to help my team.

Q: You've been through a center competition with Rob (Bruggeman) last year and now you have two guys (James Ferentz and Josh Koeppel) competing with you. How do you see this thing shaking out? How do you view it going into camp here?

RE: Well, the thing about it is that it's exciting for all of us. We know that we have to raise our games to be able to play. So, how ever it ends up, we're happy because we know it's going to help our team out.

Q: You switched over and got some looks at guard last year. Is that something that's in the mix again this year?

RE: Yeah, to start off it's going to be center for sure. But we like to have our guys be versatile and play up and down the line. So, if ever I need to go in at guard, I can do that, too. So, I'll probably get a look there in camp as well.

Q: You came in with Dace. He's been through a lot. What was it like for you to watch what he went through last year and seeing him back?

RE: Well, you come in with all these guys. I've been living with Dace. He's been my roommate for the past two or three years. I've been there with him personally. It's been up and down for him. It's been a struggle. I'm probably more excited than he is that he's back out here and hopefully going to be able to do what he loves.

Q: You've seen him before injury and now after. What are the comparisons there? Coach (Reese) Morgan said he's not going to be what he was.

RE: That and he's been out for about a year and a half, two years. The biggest thing is his demeanor. He's really excited. Not that he wasn't excited before, but he's just really excited to get another chance and really kind of prove himself. I think a lot of people kind of doubted him for a while. They weren't too sure what was going on. For him, I think he just wants to go out with a bang, just like we all do.

Q: How has he looked?

RE: He's looked good. I was surprised in the spring. We were all expecting him to be pretty rusty. In spring, he looked really good. Hopefully he can continue that in camp here.

Q: James Ferentz came out here and answered some question about his off-field transgressions last year. It seemed like a standup thing to do. Is he that type of kid?

RE: Yeah, he's kind of faced the fire for that; faced the noise; whatever you want to say. He's come to us after what he did and realized especially with the position he's in with coach and everything, he's stepped up to grow up past what he's done. We appreciate that. He's a young kid, but he's got to realize that we're on a big stage.

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