The first game is near. How does it feel?
I am excited. I can't wait. I am going to be ready to be on the field again.
What did you want to work on after last season coming into the 2016 campaign?
I just wanted to get bigger and stronger. This season we have got a tougher schedule I think. We are playing bigger guys so I wanted to get bigger and also I wanted to give back more knowledge to other players.
You didn't play much defensive tackle in high school. Do you feel like you have settled into that position?
Yes. I am still learning. I feel like I can get better this year. Every day I just go out with the intent to get better.
At NC State is there a scheme difference between the two defensive tackle positions?
It is pretty much the same thing. Sometimes I play D-tackle, sometimes I play the nose. It is the same thing.
What have you seen from Eurndraus Bryant?
He has came a long way since last year. I can tell he has been working pretty hard the whole summer. He has proved a lot from spring to now.
How can he help you guys?
He can help us in the run and the pass. He gives us help with our depth.
What about Monty Nelson?
He is right behind me right now, the backup, and he gives us good depth too. He helps stop the run and rush the passer. That depth will help us during the season.
Do you feel like the defensive line has progressed to the point where it can be a consistently strong group?
I feel like we are getting there. Each year we are taking a step towards getting there and I believe that we will do that.
Do you think the defensive line and, in particular, the defensive tackles could be a strength of this team?
I feel like it starts up front. The four guys we have, plus those [on the depth chart] behind us -- it starts with us. We can make every play, pretty much, on the field. We can make it easier for those behind us.
Do you think not making any all-conference teams last season was a slight?
I am not really worried about that honestly. I mean, it sucks not making that, but I just want to win. If we win, everything will take care of itself.
Does your mind change on a given play? Do you rush differently if it is going to be a run or pass?
Yeah, especially on third down when you have to change to a pass-mindset and get to the quarterback.
What is the number one goal, individually and as a team, going into this season?
Don't beat ourselves. I feel like we have a great chance to win the ACC championship this year. Just doing what we have got to do, stay focused and win.
Do you feel like there have been strides made in the program since you joined?
This fall camp we have talked about finishing a lot. If we finish our games, we should beat the teams that we should've beat last year -- like Clemson and Florida State -- that we had down. They came back and we didn't finish the games and I feel like this year we have something to prove and finishing is what we have to do.