"Yeah, I'm ready. I'm full go and ready to go."
How hard was it to be out this spring and unable to continue your development with the rest of the team?
"I think it was good for me. It gave me the opportunity to learn the defense a little better with Coach Young coming in with a new scheme. It gave the new freshmen guys a great opportunity to get some reps right away and when the season comes, they'll be ready to play."
"I'm just going out there to play football. I try to lead by example out there. Whether I'm trying to get a signal or get the crowd or the players going. I'm just trying to do everything I can to make sure we're going 100 percent."
What linebacker position are you currently playing?
You shined in the Florida State game last year. What was that experience like?
"It was great. Going up there and playing in their stadium with the crowd that we had and they had was great. Recovering the fumble and scoring a touchdown, that was great for us. It helped us win the game."
Did that fumble recovery motivate you?
"At the time, yeah. Right now, I'm just working on getting ready for this season. I'm getting ready for Charleston Southern, Florida, Florida State, and the rest of the games."
How do you think this year's linebackers can improve from last year's performance?
"We can improve in everything. We're not satisfied with what we did because we only won five games so obviously we didn't do good enough. We're just working on watching film, getting stronger in the weight room, and learning our playbooks so when we're out in the field we won't make mistakes."
Do you feel a difference in this team's attitude?
"Yeah, I think it's obvious. You just walk around the locker room and you can see it. The coaches are here working at 6, 7, 8 o'clock in the morning every day. We've got something special this year. People aren't really worried about or aware of us. We like that. They think Miami is down. They think we fell off the map. I think we've got a lot to show. I think the second week of the season we'll see it."
Do you think that last year's 5-7 record taught you guys anything as far as getting ready for this season?
"I think we've got a lot to prove. When you go 5-7, you don't really get much respect. I think that's the main goal we have for this year, to earn respect from everybody else because we kind of lost that last year and the year before."
Two years ago, Coach Shannon decided to take the names off of the jerseys. Now you've got them back on and he said it's because you're a group and that's what he wanted to accomplish when they weren't there. What do you think about that?
"I think it's true. I think we had a lot of individuals the last couple of years that kind of took away from the whole team idea. We've never been a closer bunch than we are now. As far as the linebacker group, we go out, go to dinner, get some lunch, and just hang out with each other. I think we can all relate as a team a lot better and I think that's what he was trying to get across."
Every team wants to be close. What was holding you guys back from being a tight knit group the past few years?
"I can't really tell you. I think a lot of guys have stepped up this year and taken it upon themselves to let everyone know that 5-7 is unacceptable. People used to sit around and figure that the next guy would do something. Now people are stepping up and saying stuff which is good. If you say things that are on your mind, it makes the team that much better. We feel like we can talk to each other. Last year something would happen and no one would say anything. I think there's a lot more competition this year which is good. People aren't satisfied with what they're doing. They're always trying to get better. I think that's what we need."
After last season, is anger the right word to describe how this team feels and what it uses for motivation going into this season?
"Oh definitely. You can say a lot of words to describe how we're feeling right now. We just want to prepare ourselves the best we can so come Charleston Southern and the rest of the games on the schedule, we're continuing to get better and making sure that when we play ACC games, a bowl game, where ever we end up, we're at our peak."
Obviously you guys say that you have to take it one game at a time but are you already thinking that the hype heading into the week 2 match up at Florida is going to be similar to Super Bowl week?
"Yeah, I think it's going to be a huge game. As far as us players, we'll be ready. With the preparation we've done already, and we still have a month and a half to go, so when we go up there and play there won't be any kind of doubt in any of the players. We'll be ready to get it."
What does it mean to have Glenn Cook back on the field this season?
"Cook is kind of a quiet leader. He's not too vocal but he leads by example. I think that with him coming back, as far as experiences that he's had going though the ups and downs and trying to show us how we need to work in order to get better. With his leadership, he's kind of like a coach on the field. I think it helps us out a lot and makes us feel more comfortable."