I feel like I actually have stepped in to be a leader. Vocal leader at that. This season I actually have experience now so what I say is not coming from just out of the air because I actually have experience. You just have to take everyone in and make sure they buy into this program.
On what he and Ray Ray Armstrong have endured over the summer:
As you guys can see he's a big kid. That's what he is. He has a great attitude, willing to learn. We all just want to get better. We want to ask each other questions. Our pluses and minuses we want to work together. The best thing about Ray Ray is he's a winner and that carries on to a lot of people, he carries on and speaks out then everybody wants to listen. I can hear him and feed off of that. We just wanna go out there and compete and be like two wild animals ready to make plays and to carry this team as much as we can.
On whether he has received a nick name:
No, no. I'm still waiting though, I am still hoping.
On Jamal Reid:
J Reed is really allusive. He has that same mind frame. He always wants to learn, he's always learning and he's always asking questions. The think I like about J Reed, he's like really dynamic. He can play a lot corner, a lot of people don't realize that. He's really fast and he's really smart and he loves football, we all love football, he's a winner too. He likes to crack jokes, that's what I like about him. He's not all serious, ya know. He likes to set off the tempo and make everybody laugh and get everybody comfortable and then we go ahead and play football.
On how playing corner in the spring benefited him:
Oh man, I got to speaking to Ed Reed while I was playing corner and he was just like, "This is just going to help you understand what these corners are going through, with what help they have behind, you know that you have the safeties behind and whether you have help or not, whereas your weak and your vulnerable points." All these things. It just carries your safety position to a whole other level. You can understand routes, you can understand concepts, you can understand where the quarterback is trying to fit the ball, where you should fit in the void. If you can fit in that area, you can help the corners. Tell them where should fit and why I can help them. It just makes the team better. It makes everybody play better. It helps them along the way.
On whether being compared to former great Canes is like a double-edged sword:
I don't think so. It's really an honor. It's not like you don't see these guys. These guys come around, they are working out, and you see if you wanna be carried on like the names like them, or if you wanna have your name mentioned like these guys, you gotta work as hard as these guys or even work harder. That just really helps you. It motivates you and pushes you to a higher limit. They might not have had all the things that we have at their time. We can use that as our advantage and make ourselves better and just go ahead and keep that legacy going, keep that tradition going and just be a great player.
On how much he knew the history meant when he first arrived at The U:
I didn't really know too much. I just knew from what Coach Shannon was telling me and the history of the players. Like the big name Sean Taylor, big name Ed Reeds. I didn't really think those guys would be up here like he was saying, I didn't think they would be at practice helping us out. It's just an advantage. I really took it in stride, but I didn't really think it would be as much as it was.
On what has to change to be more of a playmaker:
I kinda lost that in my first year or last year, because I redshirted. I used to like to talk to quarterbacks and talk to wide receivers. Get in their head, and just play mind games with them. I kinda lost that nack for trying to do me. I was more to fit in, making sure I wasn't messing up and everything like that so I guess more chances need to be made and also just interacting with these guys. We are all football players. I want to talk to these quarterbacks, and let them know I am right here, try me, and if they want to try me, go ahead and try me. That's the attitude I want to have or want these guys to come at me.
On how much the attitude has changed from last year:
We bought in. We bought into this program. I said it before, when I mean buying in I mean Coach Shannon telling us we aren't young kids anymore. We were once young Hurricanes and now we are growing up and kinda developing into our own players and our own type of personalities. The personalities that he recruited that he made and molded and tried to make this a national championship team, an ACC championship team. It's not a front, we are comfortable, we understand what Coach Shannon wants us to do, we understand what our position coaches want us to do, we understand what the fans want us to do, we understand what we want to do as a team. We are just comfortable and we understand, if we all play to our ability, with the process that we had to go through, we should all come out fine. We all just had to buy in, we all had to understand that this is what we want.
On whether the defense is being overlooked:
No. We will take that in stride. Whatever you want to look at, you know what I'm saying. If you wanna talk about the offense, go for it. We love the offense just like they love us, the defense. But it's like I said, it's a team and we are all buying in. If everybody doesn't worry about who gets the credit, we are going to be the best team ever, and we all understand that. So give it to the offense, we'll take that just as fine. Maybe they will sleep on the defense and try us in different ways and then we'll be brought up that way, or we'll have to surprise people and then they will understand. You can compare us both. It's not a problem.
On how confident he feels about the defense:
I am extremely confident. Like I told the guys, like I said, I would like to speak up and be a leader. I haven't felt this way about a team since my senior year in high school. That was high school, and I know that this is not high school but the feeling that you have is always going to be the same and that feeling is a genuine feeling that every position, there is no flaw. Every position, somebody is ready to make a play. Every position, somebody is going to make a play.
On if Coach Shannon will let him talk trash to opposing quarterbacks:
He will let us play our game. We are open. If I am talking to a quarterback and I am making plays, I'm pretty sure Coach Shannon would love that just that same if I am quite and I am making plays. I'm not trying to talk to the quarterback as far as like telling him I am going to hurt him or I am trying to do anything wrong to him, I am just trying to let him know I'm here, look at me, pay attention to me, come on and try to throw it my way. I'm not trying to do it in any disrespectful way, but this here is football. Whatever way you find your knack, whatever way you feel comfortable playing football, Coach Shannon is all for it.