looks primed to be among the leaders in Navy's offense for 2009, as the 5-foot-11 product of Chardon, Ohio brings a coveted combination of size, experience, and speed to the position. I caught up with Doyle recently, and got the lowdown on his thoughts heading into the 2009 season.
On Spring Football:
"Personally, I think that I did well…I mean it being my senior year there is not much left to learn so it was more about perfecting what I've learned up until now. So I think I did well and was pretty consistent…As an offense we are starting to come together even with all the new faces. So overall I think it was a pretty good spring for the offense."
On being used as the team's holder during the spring:
(Laughs). "That was kind of weird, but it was something I did in high school so it wasn't too bad."
On the national media perception that he has his fellow slotbacks will not be able to replicate Shun White's success:
"I don't think it bothers us. If anything, I think it motivates us to prove to ourselves and everyone else that we are very capable with what we have on the field. A lot of the guys we have coming up are great athletes and I think if anything it motivates us to do better and prove the people who say those things wrong."
On whether or not he thinks Navy's slotbacks are being overlooked heading into 2009:
"I think so. I mean two years ago it was all about [Reggie Campbell] and last year it was [Shun White]. This year we don't have the big names at slotback that we've had in the past, but the guys we do have are consistent and we work hard and we will make things happen with or without the ball. We are going to make plays for each other or make plays for ourselves. I wouldn't say we're necessarily being overlooked, but I don't know if as much is expected of this class of slotbacks as was the case when someone like Shun or Reggie came back."
On whether or not he thinks he is capable of replacing Shun White as the "go-to" player in Navy's offense:
"I definitely feel that I am capable. I also think [Corey Finnerty] is capable and that [Marcus Curry] is capable. I think any and all of the slotbacks that we have are very capable of doing that. I don't think any of us really consider that we are going to step up and take over a role as a ‘go-to' slotback so much as us spreading the ball around a lot. We all do things well…especially Cory and Marcus and I, since we are bigger slotbacks…we are well-suited for this offense in a lot of ways. I don't know if it will be how it was last year with Shun last year when he got the bulk of the carries, and I think we'll spread the ball out a little more with our offense this year."
On the younger slotbacks, including Mike Stukel:
"Well, with Stukel we haven't really seen too much because he switched [from quarterback to slotback] so late in the spring. But he is a good athlete and a fast kid and he has just got a lot to learn…but that is probably the hardest thing with playing slotback because there is so much to learn and there is so much going on and you have to learn and make a lot of reads…so it is hard to tell when a guy first makes that transition because there is just so much to learn at slotback. But we have a lot of really good young guys. I mean guys like Andre Byrd, Corey James, Marcus…they are all going to be real good players."
On whether or not he thinks he has become a leader on the team:
"Yea you know I think especially our senior class because we are so close and everything. It has made all of us step up and take leadership roles. We may not be as vocal as some other senior classes, but we try to lead by example and do things right. We are trying to show the younger guys what Navy football means and what everything is all about – why we do what we do. I think so far we have done a pretty good job."
On former position coach Jeff Monken:
"It was definitely hard [when he left], especially because he was the coach who recruited me. It was definitely weird just because coach ‘Monk' was the first guy who alerted me to Navy football. So it was definitely hard, but when he was leaving we as slotbacks understood why he was leaving and knew that that just comes with being a coach, so it was just adjusting from one coach to another. It wasn't too bad since some of the staff [stayed at Navy], so a lot stayed the same with coach ‘Niumat.' It was nice because it was a very smooth transition and I think it has worked out very well so far."
On whether or not he is excited for the opener with Ohio State:
"Oh man absolutely. I have been dreaming to play there since I was a little kid. You go to Ohio State and you generally see 110,000 people screaming "O-H-I-O" and it is just a surreal feeling. And now I get to go play there and we get to play there as a team? It's just unreal…I mean literally everyone I have ever known is going to be at that game because so many of my friends from high school either go to Ohio State or go to a school in the Columbus area so it is really pretty cool."
On his high school competition:
"Pretty much everyone that I have ever played against or ran track against [in high school] is pretty much in the NFL right now (laughs). I ran track my sophomore year against Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez, and I met Chris Wells a few times in high school. Guys like Ray Small…I mean a lot of the guys I don't know personally but I've played and ran track against a lot of those kinds of guys."
On whether or not he feels annoyed over Ohio State not recruiting him out of high school:
"I don't think so. I mean obviously that would have been great to get recruited by Ohio State but you have to be honest with yourself and know what you are capable of. I don't take it personally that I wasn't recruited by Ohio State just because I don't know where I would have fit in with what they do. I mean I was recruited by a lot of the MAC schools, and you know if you're being recruited by those kinds of schools you realize you're probably not going to Ohio State so I don't take it personally that they did not recruit me."
On whether or not he was "under-recruited" in high school:
"I don't feel that I was too under-recruited. Like I said I was talking to a lot of the MAC schools and the other thing that might have made it seem like I was under-recruited was because I committed here at Navy so early…I actually committed here in July before my senior year so that kind of threw a lot of the MAC schools off that I was talking to because they knew that I wanted to come here. The schools that I was getting recruited by – I mean no offense - but they were not winning and I wanted to win in college. Navy had just won 10 games and was ranked 24th in the country and once I visited here I loved it…I just wanted to come here. So I think it worked out for the best."
On the role his father, Bob Doyle, played in his development:
"My dad retired from coaching when I was in 8th grade but he was pretty much [Chardon high school's] ‘strength coach' I guess you could say. He was always working with me and all my friends because he works for a company called Bigger, Faster, Stronger. He pretty much just helped us and worked us out and got us in the best position he could. My dad always has great motivational stories and he is a great motivator and I think it was really nice to have him there in high school to personally coach me and my friends to get better. I think it helped me and several of my friends, who are currently playing Division III football."
On his goals for this year:
"I have not really set many personal goals. My biggest goals are that I want to start and I want to help the team win any way that I can. I don't care what I have to do, but I want to do anything I can. Our goal [as a team] is to first and formost beat Ohio State. We don't like to look too far down the road. We have one game right now and that is September fifth and that is Ohio State. So right now that is our goal, to beat Ohio State. That's how it works with how we look at the season."