One thing that was impressive about you last year was that you had zero fumbles. How was important was that to you?
It was very important. We have a great running back positions coach. We put a big emphasis on making sure we’re taking care of the ball. We’ve got heavy balls in the weight room. Anytime we’re not in practice, we hold or have the ball. Even before or after practice, we’re doing monkey rolls. We’re doing everything on our part to control the ball. We know that if we control the ball, we control the game.
Do you find it’s been good having Coach Des [Kitchings] helping improve your running game over the first couple of years?
I’ve had Coach Des [Kitchings] since I’ve been here. I know my freshman year, I was just always doing too much. I was just fighting for the extra yardage, forget about the ball, and then someone would come and poke it out. It was never a big hit or nothing like that where the ball would come loose. Our coach had a big emphasis on us doing the Dallas drill, putting our hand down on the bag, running over the top of the bag and punching us with a boxing glove with a tennis ball in the front. It just helps us get used to being in combat, change direction, and doing what we got to do while also keeping our mind on our system. It’s second nature now.
Have you seen improvement in the offensive line?
Most definitely. The charisma they have together…basically, they know who they’ve got on each play. We’ve got leadership with Rob Crisp and Tyson Chandler. And then you got Joe Thuney. You’ve got all these who are being leaders. You’ve got a good, experienced group of guys that want to go out there and prove the nation wrong.
Do you see bigger holes?
Do I? If they do their job, and we do our job, it’ll be beautiful day.
Talk about your relationship with Tony Creecy?
Tony Creecy is a great guy. He’s a very vocal leader. He does all the right things on and off the field. Honestly, he’s just real good. I admire him a lot.
Why do you feel this team is going to be better than last year?
We’re in better shape. We have a better grasp of the offense. We all have better camaraderie together. We all have the same goal. Everybody is all in. We’ve had an amazing summer…an amazing summer.