Moncur expects big things in 08

Eric Moncur is the only returning starter on Miami's defensive line. Hurricanes fans are expecting big things from Moncur in his senior season and Moncur is expecting big things from himself and the team. Read on to see what he had to say about the upcoming season.

Note: Talking to injured players about injuries is off limits to the media.

You are one of the leaders of the defense. How have you guys gotten the defense to rally around you and all go in the right direction?

"To be honest with you, we really don't just come out and say we're the leaders. Guys just look up to us because of what we've done on the field. I think we have had a lot of success over our careers and that gives the younger guys something to look up to."

There are a lot of high expectations surrounding you going into this year. Does that put any extra pressure on you?

"Not at all because I put a lot of pressure on myself. Especially, with being a leader on this defense and doing the things Coach Young has us doing and working with the guys, I think we're going to be real good and real successful."

How has the transition to Coach Young's new defensive scheme been going?

"It's been going real good. At first it was tough because of the new terminology but everybody has become accustomed to it so we're doing pretty good."

Everyone expected Allen Bailey to be the other starting defensive end but he tore his pectoral muscle shortly after the Spring Game. How is he coming along and has anyone stepped up to fill that void while he has been out?

"A lot of guys are doing a good job at defensive end. With Allen's situation, that's a coach's decision, whether or not he starts. He's a hell of a player. He's a freak. He's real good. He's a real good player. I'll just put it like that."

A lot of the pre-season predictions have you guys as a middle of the pack ACC team. What do you expect this season and do you think you will shock all of the so called experts that are counting you out?

"I try not to look at the magazines because I already know that we're not ranked high at all. I think that we're going to make a lot of people in believers that the University of Miami is back. We've got a lot of talent on the defensive line. We've got a lot of talent everywhere. We're just going to go out and have a good season."

Do you prefer being the underdog?

"Yeah, I like it better being the underdog. Sometimes when you're not the underdog you get a little complacent. Being the underdog, you have something to work for. I think we're doing a good job of working hard and working together. We're just ready to get the season started and get it rolling."

How different is the feeling this year going into the season as opposed to last year?

"This year is more about getting back. We really don't like to talk about last year but it happened and it's going to get talked about. This year, I feel like we have something to prove to everybody. Last year we went 5-7. This year is a whole different year. We've got a lot of talent and a lot of good guys. We just can't wait to get the season started."

Last season there were no names on the back of your jerseys and this year Coach Shannon has put them back on because he says he sees a group. How does that make you feel?

"It makes me feel good. I know a lot of guys are happy to get their names back on the jerseys and so are the fans. The fans didn't like it last year but I think they're going to be happy with the decision that Coach Shannon made."

You're moving to Dolphin Stadium. What do you think about that?

"I'm looking forward to that especially since we're the first ones to play there. We get to start our own legacy like the great guys that played at the Orange Bowl like Ray Lewis. Playing at the Orange Bowl was a blessing. To be able to play on the same field that so many great players have played on. This year we could be those guys. The Orange Bowl has a lot of great memories but this year we're going to try to start our own legacy at Dolphin Stadium."

Miami had a great recruiting class. How much do expect these guys to come in and contribute?

"A lot of the freshmen during the spring did a good job. Making the transition from high school to college is a hard thing. I feel like they did a good job coming in early, learning the defense, getting reps in the Spring Game. A lot of them showed you that they can play and I agree they can play."

How anxious are you to get out there and get this thing turned around?

"I'm real anxious to get out and get it started. Sitting at home and not going to a bowl game is real frustrating especially with all the expectations we have before a season when playing for the University of Miami. This year we're going to turn things around."

You guys lost three big parts of the defense in Kenny Phillips, Tavares Gooden and Calais Campbell. How do you replace such big parts of your defense?

"We reload. We got a lot of guys that can play man. They weren't the only guys that could play. We got a lot of guys that can play football. I'm looking forward to seeing those guys get out on the field and show what they can do."

What has Marcus Forston shown you since he came to school in January?

"Marcus Forston is one of my favorite players on the team to be honest with you. To come here and do the things that he's done is exceptional. He really impressed me in the spring with his work ethic. He's big. He's quick. He's a real good player. He impressed me in the spring. He's going to get a lot of playing time and I feel that he's going to help us a lot this year."

Coming into a season there are always guys that scouts think will be first or second round picks. You could be one of those guys. Who do you think will develop into one of those stud players?

"I can't predict the future but I know that we have a lot of guys that are able to go out and make plays that are going to put themselves sin that position. When that time comes, I guess we'll see who it is."

You've gone up against Jason Fox a lot in recent years. How has he developed throughout his career?

"He's good. I think Fox is one of the focal point son our offensive line. He's a great player and a great leader. He impressed me as a freshman and I feel those other guys are going to do the same thing. I feel like Fox is one of the best if not the best in the country at the position. He's definitely going to help out this year."

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