How has Navarre been looking?
“Navarre has been doing great! We both came in together. He was thrown into the position early and had a tough time, but he has really grown. He progressed a lot from his sophomore year to his junior year. But, he has progressed even more between his junior and senior seasons. He is looking even better. It’s because he works really hard. During the summer time he can be found by himself watching a bunch of film. He’s learning different defenses, learning to check down on a blitz, doing all of the little things to make himslef better. Another thing he is really focusing on is talking to us. He’ll come up to Braylon or myself and say... if I see the defense doing this, we are going to do that. It’s not like a few years ago where he was really nervous with stuff like that. He’s not nervous anymore.”
Chris, how are the backups looking?
“Everybody is doing a great job. All of the new guys are catching on fast. “
Are there still going to be a lot of two back sets this year?
“That’s up to coach Carr.”
There were rumors that you hurt you ankle a while back. Is that true?
“No. My ankle is not hurt and everything is just fine.”
Does your Outback Bowl performance serve as a springboard for next year?
“It is a big motivation for me to come off of my bowl game performance and keep on rolling. I had a good receiving game, but I could have done a lot better rushing. It’s always good to have a good game at the end of the season so you can start off the next season on the right foot.”
Do you think that with BJ gone that blocking will suffer this year?
“I don’t think you’ll notice too much of a difference with all of the great players we use. We have Brian Thompson and Kevin Dudley there to pick up the slack and I think that they’ll both come out and do a great job.”
“BJ was both a hard hitter and tough guy, but both Brian and Kevin fall into those categories as well. Now it’s just a matter of seeing what they can do on Saturdays.”
Eddie George took home some major hardware his last year at OSU. As a fellow guy from Fork Union, is that something you’re looking to do as well? Do you talk to George much?
“I won’t make the individual stuff a big deal, but I hope so! I would love to take home some hardware. I think that’s the case with everyone starting out the season. As for talking to Eddie, I have not spoken with him much since I’ve been up here. I’m Michigan and he’s Ohio State, but we were both Fork Union first. I talked to him at a banquet at Fork Union a while back, but other than that, we haven’t spoken much.”
What do you think of the offensive line this year?
“I think that they are going to live up to all of the expectations. Everybody there has a year or two under their belts. The have all been working hard and I’m expecting really big things.”
Do you think much about the last play of the Michigan State game a few years ago?
“You mean the hold?”
Yeah, that mugging.
“I got mugged, but we don’t think much about it anymore. We have to go back to Michigan State this year and hopefully we can have a good game.
With all of the starters on the D-line being seniors, are you guys working extra hard to lead the young guys since none of you will be around next season?
“No doubt about it! Shame on us if that WASN’T the case! We HAVE to lead them. If you look at it, all the guys behind us are sophomores. We have to leave a legacy and show them how things should be done. How else are they going to learn? Those guys are eager to learn, so that makes leading them easier.”
Do you take pride in being a guy who goes out on the field every game, regardless of whether you’re dinged up or not?
“I take a lot of pride in that. I take pride in being available for my coaches or my team in games or in practice. Most of our guys are the same way. This is Michigan, not some other school out there!”
How has Pierre Woods looked?
“He’s been looking good. He’s a real exciting player. He brings high energy to the game and is always going 100 miles per hour. He plays like he weighs 270, but he’s real fast! He just blows guys up! When he was on kickoff, if two guys ever tried to wedge him, he just blows right through them. He a tough guy. He’s obviously a strong guy and a great athlete, but he also has a great mindset. He’s intense”
There seem to be a lot of intense guys on this team. I hear Willis Barringer’s name a lot.
“Yeah, he’s a young guy, but he really knows how to get himself going out there. We have other tough guys out there too, like Norman Heuer. “
What do you think about Van Alstyne?
“I really like Van Alstyne a lot! I’ve never seen somebody come
in with so much technique. He had already been coached very well. When he came
in, he already knew what he was doing. Plus, that’s another guy that is
always going 100 mile per hour. I love to watch him play!”