"I feel like I've said it before, we're going to be the number one D-end [group] in the country. Not only because I feel like we're the best athletically, but I feel like with the help we're going to get from the inside as far as Tydreke Powell, Sylvester Williams [and] Jared McAdoo, I just feel like with that assisting us, any time they get a double team then when we get a one-on-one with somebody that it's just going to be hell to pay. Just as far as the hype we came in with this season, the people who are doubting us this season, the people that doubted us last year, we still have them on our minds."
How is the transition now with Coach Robinson going now that spring ball is underway?
"It's definitely going good. You know he's definitely the kind of guy, joking, relaxed, laid back, he's definitely the kind of guy we like to have in the defensive meeting room. So everything is going well. Everybody has good chemistry, and everything is going to be a sight to see this year coming up."
Is it good to feel like there's some stability there now?
"Yeah, because I feel like he's going to be here for a while, and kudos to Coach Davis, because he never just goes out and gets anybody. He always wants to get somebody who he feels like would fit the personality of the position group, because he is a player's coach. And he always would want to have what we feel like would be best for us."
What kind of lessons did you learn last year that you can take into this year?
"Like I said before, us against the world. When everybody else is against you it doesn't matter. As long as you have your brother beside you, you can do whatever you want, and that is what is motivating us going into this year. It doesn't matter if we have the No. 1 this and that, and the No. 1 this and that. As long as you and the brother beside you are willing to give a 110 percent you can get whatever you want out of the situation."
People still talk about that play in the bowl game where you lost your helmet, and got hit. Have you heard much about that?
"Oh yeah, everybody tells me they watched it on YouTube, and I think about it every day. Most people that would probably be their last play, but like I say all the time it was through God's mercy, and the fact that he wanted me to be a witness to millions that I look at this as basically my second life. Most people say you only get one, but the fact that I felt like I got two motivates me, and only pushes me at a higher level of working out, and actually playing on the field and doing what I love to do."
Do you feel like that earns you any extra credibility with your teammates or maybe pro scouts?
Yeah, I feel like that did a lot for me as far as showing toughness. Most people told me, ‘After the helmet would've came off I probably would've stopped.' That was the least of my worries, to stop playing. I felt like that if anything happens to me that's how I want to go out, doing what I love."
How does it feel going into this year knowing you have more experience?
"It's definitely relaxing. I'm just going out there, and I'm fighting for a spot just to be in the situation that we are in now as far as me and Coples being the leaders. Actually having the roles that we have installed we're guiding the youngsters. It's really good. It's kind of crazy finding myself saying 'youngster,' because it seems like the other day I was the youngster, but with the way time flies you have to live with it, and you just have to give what you get out of it."
Anything else that you can think of that you want to share that could be helpful or that fans want to know about, especially with spring practice going on right now?
"I definitely want to tell everybody maybe reading that you better get your popcorn ready, because it's going to be a show."