I can tell you from first hand experience that this group of players has influenced the next generation of Hurricanes lineman like no other. After speaking with young guys like Orlando Franklin, Joel Figueroa, Harland Gunn, and Tyler Horn the importance of the seniors in their careers has already been told.
Here is a little sneak peek to the article as I will give you the transcript from Coach Stoutland from this afternoon. He is a guy that doesn't pull any punches and is very passionate about his players, so what he has to say comes from the heart.
I hope you guys enjoy and be on the look out for the full article in a future addition of Canes Time the Magazine.
On the unit's final week of the regular season and potentially final week of their collegiate careers:
This is the last week for those guys, for the regular season. This is the last time. These guys were here for five years, and this is their last Tuesday, and tomorrow is their next Wednesday, and the next day is their final Thursday practice. That is an emotional deal for them.
On what kind of men the seniors have grown in to:
All three guys – including Cyrim Wimbs (as well) – all of them bring are accountable guys. They come in every day, watch their film they do everything they are supposed to do. They go into the game plan and find out what they are supposed to do so to make sure there isn't a lot of busts or anything like that.
I am proud of who they are and how they went about conducting them this season, because if you had a guy who wasn't prepared and wasn't showing he was emotional about the game then it is hard to coach with guys like that. That isn't the case. I appreciate who they are and how they went on about their business.
On the comradery between each guy:
They are a close group. They do a lot of things together. I've coached at other schools during the time I've taught college for 24 years, and this group is a close group. I've had groups that were splintered groups. This is one group. They go out to eat together, and have barbeques together. They are not a splintered group. I think the older guys have taken the younger guys and taken them under their wing and showed them the right way of doing things.
Coach Stoutland also speaks a bit on each of the starting interior lineman specifically.
Offensive Left Guard, Andrew Bain:
One of the most well-prepared guys. During the week, he watches more film then any other guy I've coached in my entire life. It takes a lot of pride in knowing all schemes and blitzes at the line of scrimmage. When things happen with him it should come as no surprise. He is ready for it.
Center and former Long Snapper, John Rochford:
Great story. Last year I met him and he wasn't even an offensive lineman. He was a long snapper weighing 240 pounds. He told me he wanted to try out for the center spot because we were hurting at that spot and he told me at the end of spring that he was going to win the spot and I thought he was crazy. To his credit, he never looked back, he went full speed ahead. And really this is his first year of playing, he has taken his lumps. This has been rigorous on him this season, but he keeps fighting through it, and keeps playing hard. He is a very, very intense hard working guy.
Offensive Right Guard, Derrick Morse:
(He is a) fun guy to be around. If I was a player, I'd hang out with D-Mo. If I was a player here, if I was on his team, I'd want to be around him because he is a fun guy to be around. He is a positive guy all of the time, he never complains, and he always comes to work every day.
He is like an iron worker. He brings his lunch pail and all. He is just a grunt, an old school type player.
On what he has heard from scouts about each guys potential at the next level:
I don't have time to talk those guys, that isn't one of my responsibilities. If someone calls and approaches me, then I am more then happy to give my input on what I think.
So what would he say?
I would tell the truth. I'd tell them what is their best quality, I also say, "you evaluate the film, you are the scout, you tell me if he can play. I don't coach in the NFL, you do."
But I will tell you his qualities. Here are his good qualities and some of the things he needs to work on. But that isn't my job to decide that.
How does this group of senior interior linemen stack up against seniors he has coached in the past:
We are in different systems, so it is all different. Sometimes I've been in spread systems, sometimes, so it is hard to evaluate that. The seniors here right now are all going to be looked at by teams, whether they get looked at by teams, they'll be looked at whether they get drafted or they go into someone's camp. Every senior will be looked at, especially offensive linemen, it is tough to find those guys.
On what he is telling the seniors and his players during this final week:
Everyone is going to be a senior at one time. I would really like the players here to understand what the seniors are going through and give a little more of yourself to the senior.
O.K., so you give to your team mates everyday, that is fine, now give a little more. Be a little extra special for the seniors this week.
It is there last chance, they want to win badly.