I have a much deeper love and respect for the game, knowing that it can be taken from you at any time.
On his diet:
I was on a different diet for about six weeks. I was drinking carnation milk, milkshakes. All my meats were purified. It was tough mentally and physically. When you don't eat meat, you're much weaker.
On his weight:
I got down to 215 from 240 in about six weeks. I'm 260 now.
On his first meal after surgery:
My first meal was Red Lobster – lobster, shrimp alfredo, and biscuits. I had to learn how to eat and chew again. I could swallow with no problem but your teeth feel false.
On what he did following surgery:
I was in the hospital a week and then took two weeks off. No one called me into the weight room. I was in there on my own training with the team. I lifted, ran, and did everything the team did.
On being back:
It's fun to play football again because I haven't played in seven months. I bring leadership, intensity, a lot of different things.
On the D-Line last season:
From the sideline they seemed to be doing a good job but I know I can bring a lot more. They did a good job though.
On almost returning last season:
The doctor was indecisive about it and didn't really know how long it would take for me to return. He didn't give me an answer and that helped me recover. I didn't get to say that I'll just get ready for next year. I thought I could return and that helped me eat, lift weights, and prepare.
On any lingering effects:
I don't have any discomfort issues or anything now. I had to get my jaw wired shut, a plate put in the bottom of my chin and on the side. It was a microscopic plate and it had screws in it.
On the incident itself:
I was instructed by the University – Donna Shalala and Coach Shannon – not to discuss it. It's an in-house issue and not to talk about it. I let all my anger out on that field right there.
On this season:
My whole thing is winning games. I wanna be a leader on this team. I feel like I gotta mature a lot. When I open my mouth to talk, I want people to respect what I'm saying. My freshman and sophomore years, I was doing a lot of the wrong things. My junior year I got my jaw broken but I was more mature at the time.
On new coach Rick Petri:
He's an awesome coach. It's night and day with Coach Hurtt and Coach Petri. Hurtt was more aggressive. Petri is more passive. He's a real good coach. He teaches you the techniques and fundamentals and that's what he's all about.