TSD's Ben Love caught up with promising first-year running back Derrius Guice, who shared his outlook on a number of topics as he is making the jump from local Catholic High School to the Bayou Bengals.
---------------------------Ben Love: Since you've gotten here, over the summer and now into Fall Camp, do you feel more comfortable?
Derrius Guice: Yeah, I'm a lot more comfortable now since day one. The beginning of camp is mainly playbook, playbook, installs, installs. So I wasn't really comfortable at first because I didn't really know anything. Now we've been here two weeks, and I'm pretty comfortable with the playbook, my surroundings. It's just more fun and relaxing now.
BL: A lot of people will say if you're a running back or maybe wide receiver, if you're athletic enough, you can just play. But it sounds like they really want to make sure you guys know what's going on out there.
DG: That's one of the main things for our running backs. Frank Wilson wants us to know the concepts. We can call a play and know exactly what we do, but he also wants us to know what everybody else does so you can be more relaxed on the field and more comfortable in knowing what everybody does.
We've got to know the linemen blocking schemes, the receiver route combinations. We've got to know a lot of stuff. On one play, if you don't know what the linemen are blocking, you can get the quarterback sacked if that's your protection. It can happen that quick. With the receivers, if you run the wrong route, you can run into the receiver because you don't know what they're running. There's just a lot we have to know. And learning the concepts is one of the main things I have to focus on as a freshman.
BL: When you come to a place like LSU where coach Frank splits the carries in the games, in the season as a whole, what's your outlook on that as you compete for your spot in year one?
DG: My outlook on that is seize the moment whenever the opportunity presents itself. So whenever you get the chance, you've got to always make the best of it and do what you've got to do.
BL: How was that first scrimmage for you?
DG: The first scrimmage was great. I feel a lot more comfortable with the plays and being aware of what's going on around me. It showed last night. We as a whole did really great. Leonard (Fournette) and Darrel (Williams) were patient. They had some tough, powerful runs. Me and Nick (fellow freshman Nicholas Brossette) had some again tough, powerful runs. We're still learning. We've still got a ways to go. It's only the beginning.
BL: What about kick returns? Is that realistic for you?
DG: It can be and it also cannot be. Whoever Coach (Les) Miles wants to be on kick returns, that's who's going to be on kick return.
BL: Who's the fastest freshman on the team?
DG: Donte Jackson
BL: Are you close?
DG: I'll say I'm pretty close. I'll say I'm pretty close.
BL: You're the first guy in a while to come from Catholic High to LSU. You take some pride in that?
DG: I take a lot of pride in that. Coach (Dale) Weiner did a great job with us, and I respect him a lot for that and Catholic High for making me a man and maturing me the way they did because it carried on here. You can tell that I came from Catholic High to here because of the way I present myself and act because you've got to remember you're not just representing yourself.
---------------------------LSU fans can also watch Scout's video footage below of Guice working out at Army All-American Game practices last winter. Keep in mind he spent a good bit of time working with the receivers as well.