How does it feel to get back out there and finally do some hitting?
It felt real good. The game moves kind of fast but at the same time I know I can get out there and compete on this level and actually contribute to this team.
How is your knee and did it take a while to get your confidence back that it would hold up okay on the field?
My knee is 100% without a doubt. The confidence actually came over spring ball when I had a chance to get out there and compete a lot and so I’m just ready to go, ready to play. I’m ready for the season to come.
You made the move over to the same side as Dwayne Maddox. How is the competition going there to try to fill in for Nate Irving while he’s out?
It’s really no competition because everything is left up to the coaches. There’s no kind of animosity between him and me at all. We’re just there trying to fill that role and the coaches are going to make that decision and we’re just going to have to live with it at the end of the day. Both of us are going to try to play a role where we can actually make up for losing Nate.
Irving is considered to be one of the best players in the conference. Is it tough to try to go in behind him and fill those shoes?
It’s a tough role to actually play behind that name but we have to play his spot and that’s just part of the game. You have to be ready to step in when something like that happens.
What has the adjustment been like for you making the transition from Scotland County to playing major college football?
It’s a huge adjustment for anyone coming to the college level from high school. The game is a lot faster, people are a lot bigger and there’s a lot more competition but at the same you time you’ve got to remain confident and know that you can compete because that’s why you here.
You’ve got a good group of running backs out there to face every day. Is there any one in particular of the group that you dread having to tackle one on one?
Nah, I’m a hitter at heart and I’m going to hit anyone that lines up on the other side of the ball from me. I mean, we have a different mixture of running backs. You have some that are faster. You have some that want the contact and you have some that want to avoid it. And with all our running backs, they’re all well-rounded and they all do well handling the contact and dishing it out as well. But at the same time, I love hitting anybody so it doesn’t matter.
Talk about coach McCollum and what it’s like to play for him.
Coach McCollum, he’s a great coach. I mean, He’s one of the best coaches I ever had. He reminds me a lot of my coaches back in high school, just all of them combined in one. And that’s one of the reasons why I came here was because of him and I believe in his coaching ability. He’s a great coach and I don’t mind him coaching me any day.